Proud Marine Mom

Proud Marine Mom

My Marine son graduated 3056 Lima Co, Parris Island, on 21 July 2006. I proudly attended the Emblem Ceremony and the Graduation, and will cherish these memories for life. Long before the event, I had searched for a suitable card to present to him afterwards. We drove back to his barracks to retrieve his sea bags and other items. I parked and saw lots of folks reading my bumperstickers (check the pictures I’ve attached!).

Various Drill Instructors could be seen, some observing from the external stairwells of the barracks, others greeting parents on the deck in front of the building. After the car was loaded, I observed his Heavy Hat nearby, and handed my son his card. I instructed him to read it /aloud/, in the presence of his Heavy Hat.

He began reading: “Congratulations! Under NO circumstances WHATSOEVER are you to open this card.” Hesitating for several seconds, he opened it and continued reading aloud, “How you /ever /got this far with no respect for authority, I’ll never know!” So much for what had been printed on the card… under all this, I had handscrawled, “Now drop and give me 25!”, and my Marine read this aloud as well.

The Heavy Hat was hard-pressed to not laugh. My son looked at him, then at me, then promptly dropped to the deck to begin his pushups. He hollered out, “One! Two!” and was all set for the third when a voice from the stairwell above (another of his Drill Instructors) called out, “Spell ’em, Atwood!” I immediately realized that the lad was now going to have to execute a /significantly /greater number of pushups than the original 25. Yipe!

He began anew, shouting: “O-n-e, t-w-o”, descending on one letter and rising on the next. He was spelling s-i-x when that same DI asked him how he was feeling. Bear in mind that it was a typical mid-summer day for Parris Island… hot and plenty humid. My son instantly responded, “Awesome, sir!” and continued his pushups.

A number of moms wore horrified expressions as they observed my Marine. New Marines passed by, looking bemused. /All /the Drill Instructors in the area had their eyes on my Marine. Even the Battalion Commander had come over to watch. Someone asked, “/What /did he do?”, unable to figure out why my Marine was being ITd. The Heavy Hat replied, “His mother… card… read it.”

The card was passed and read by all. By the time my Marine had spelled out t-w-e-n-t-y t-w-o, he was released from the pushups; he’d done about 65 all told. He stood up, only then realizing the extent of his “audience”. By this time, just about everyone was chuckling. We figure that the tale of these post- Graduation pushups probably made it all around the Island by the end of the day! I couldn’t be more proud of him!

Laura Atwood
Danbury, CT

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