We’ve come full circle

I’m sitting here with tears of pride and joy in my eyes.

sarah and meWhen Sarah enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school, I felt this incredible sense of delight and honor! This child, who grew into this proud, independent, strong, secure Marine from the tiny, scared, non-communicative little urchin we adopted when she was just five years old, followed in her parents’ footsteps and made the courageous decision to serve her adopted country – much like I did, and much like her father did.

She didn’t join for a lack of other options. She could have gone to college and partied on like many college students did. But she chose the hard route. She became a Marine, and the sense of absolute pride and exultation I felt was indescribable!

Fast forward a couple of years.

Daniel is now a college student in his second semester at UNC Charlotte. He has joined a fraternity. He’s quickly acclimated to college life, made friends, and learned how to study, write, and analyze and synthesize information. But he wanted more, and he wanted it now.

So today, my youngest child raised his hand and upheld the family tradition of military service. Daniel has enlisted in the Army. He’s the last one – the youngest one – the one who completes this circle his father and I created when we first started this family. He wanted to serve. His last Facebook post says it all.

I remember being a little boy and seeing my parents lace up their boots and walk out the door wearing the United States Army uniform, and thinking how badly I wanted to be just like them. Then I remember seeing my sister wearing the United States Marine Corps uniform for the first time and thinking how proud I am of her. Today, I leave to enlist in the Army and hopefully continue the family tradition of service. Never thought this day would come.

me and dannyDanny went to MEPS this morning and took the oath to serve his country. After taking the ASVAB and going through all the medical exams, he told me in a text message that the best part, other than swearing in, was when the doctor looked over his paperwork and said, “Congratulations, and thank you for serving this great nation!” He told me he almost cried, and that was the most beautiful thing he said today. It shows love, pride, character, and honor.

Yes, he will finish college. He will ship to basic training at Ft. Sill after he completes this semester. He will withdraw for one semester, and return next spring to continue his education, while serving in the Army Reserves.

My only regret is that I couldn’t be there, but there’s no end to my love. I’m beyond honored to be his mom. I’m beyond overjoyed. I’m beyond touched to have inspired this beautiful child and his sister to strive to be the best they can be.

I love you, Danny!

23 responses

  1. Bravo, Danny!

    And congratulations to his beautiful and talented Mommy!

    -Jim+

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bravo to Danny and to you and your husband for setting such wonderful examples. From one military mom to another, you did good. And yes, it is a proud day for all of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hugs, Amanda! You of all people know how I feel!

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  3. Tell him that this grateful American says thank you, good luck, and God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats Mom. I know the feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations, good luck to your children and may the Good Lord keep them in his care.

    (BTW, my little girl is also adopted; wouldn’t mind a bit if she eventually follows in those military footsteps as did her father, grandfather, uncle and godfather).

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    1. Love it! Thank you! And thank you for opening your heart to a little kid. It’s pretty awesome, right?

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  6. PS: And since he’s going to Ft Sill (where I became acquainted with that peculiar form of life, the Drill Sergeant), I gather he’s going to be a redleg of some description. Congratulations!

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    1. Nope. Mechanic. And with his luck with cars, he’ll need it! LOL

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  7. Congratulations to Mom and Dad for raising two outstanding kids. Congratulations to Sarah for overcoming adversity and making Mom and Dad proud of her. And congratulations to Daniel, for making not only Mom and Dad proud of him, but also Older Sister.

    Some may think Daniel’s choice of becoming a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic isn’t the most challenging thing in the world, but without the mechanics the machines don’t run. And if the machines don’t run, then everyone’s got problems.

    Mom, Dad, you done good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tis true, and as Danny and I discussed, with the crap luck he has with cars, it’s probably wise that he learn a bit about them. Plus, nothing says he can’t reclass a bit later.🙂

      I just love this kid so so so much!

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  8. There is not enough “Hooah!” in the observable universe, for a post like this. (raises a glass to the Kenyon kids)

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  9. Hoooooah! and Semper Fi!

    Ft. Sill is were I learned to be a cannon cocker.

    You both done good raising ’em.

    OC

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! They’re great kids. I couldn’t be prouder!

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  10. “She could have gone to college and partied on like many college students did.”

    If your daughter decides to transition from the Marines to college full-time (or part-time), I recommend Columbia University in NYC. Your son, too, for that matter. Columbia has a thriving student-veteran community with a strong relationship with the university administration. They’re a serious bunch. See http://milvets.columbia.edu/ .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My son is coming back to UNC Charlotte. He loves that school and everything in it.🙂 Sarah is a mystery. I’d love for her to go to college, but we’ll see where her career takes her.

      Not everyone is made for college.

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    2. That’s true. At the same time, it’s common among milvets that few expected their enlistment would open a door to the Ivy League. Not that admission is guaranteed, of course, but Columbia gives military experience considerable weight and pride of place (and support) to its student-veterans. Now that Columbia has reinstated NROTC, that’s an option, too, for a former Marine. Anyway, with her parentage, I’d be surprised if she isn’t at least open to giving the option a thought and filing it away for when she’s faced with ‘what’s next’.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I think you’re probably right, and she’s growing up quite a bit. She studied her ass off at DLI and did quite well on her Russian exam. She’s smart and motivated. Maybe she just needs some time to mature and work before she heads to college.🙂

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    3. DLI, huh? It’s hard to believe she won’t follow that up with advanced academics. In the Army, a good number of DLI grads have gone to USMA as prior-service cadets. In addition to the Columbia option for when (if) she looks ahead to the former-Marine stage of her life, I suggest she looks at USNA and USNAPS. Unlike Columbia, which will be there whenever she chooses, the service academies have age restrictions, so if Annapolis appeals to her, she’d have to start that admissions process sooner rather than later.

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  11. DLI, huh? It’s hard to believe she won’t follow that up with advanced academics. In the Army, a good number of DLI grads have gone to USMA as prior-service cadets. In addition to the Columbia option for when (if) she looks ahead to the former-Marine stage of her life, I suggest she looks at USNA and USNAPS. Unlike Columbia, which will be there whenever she chooses, the service academies have age restrictions, so if Annapolis appeals to her, she’d have to start that admissions process sooner rather than later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s not sure what appeals to her quite yet. She’s only into year three of her first enlistment. Right now she wants to reenlist and go back for the advanced course. I’m sure she’ll change her mind about four times yet. LOL

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  12. I cried when I read that. I wish your son the best of luck in basic and AIT, By the way, is going to Fort Jackson (ugh, the worst place to do AIT) or Aberdeen Proving Grounds for his AIT?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AIT is at Ft. Lee.🙂

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