Well, okay, not the real Parris Island, but she is on her way to Young Marine bootcamp this morning. Her first day. She is so excited! She looks so cute in her red shorts and white t-shirt. Her hair is in a neat bun.
She keeps yelling "Semper Five delis"! The other kids are constantly correcting her, "Semper Fidelis"! They yell back.
I am not going with her. Honestly, I can't bear to watch her get yelled at. My husband says "You yell at her all the time..what's the difference?" He smiles. It just IS! She's my baby..my little one..she's just too darn cute to yell at. Ach!..what if she cries..I'd go to pieces.
Okay, okay. She's gone. Nothing to do about it now. She can fend for herself! She's strong! She's ready. She's just 8!
I love these kids..I love the way they have rallied around her to help her memorize the Young Marine obligation, to do facing movements, stand at attention and sing The National Anthem. She is learning love of her country, pride in service and self-respect. Being a military family it's hard not to be patriotic. I still get goose bumps when I stand for The National Anthem. We stand for the National Anthem, even when we hear it on T.V. It's our anthem. It's our country.
I remember very clearly, the first time I had to salute the flag during my own bootcamp. It was very early, 5 am. We were on the grinder at Naval Training Center Orlando, in formation. 80 girls. We were not yet women. The National Anthem comes over the loudspeaker and the flag begins to rise up into the morning sky. I remember being filled with so much emotion it brought tears to my eyes.
I am very proud to have served my country. I am very proud to support my husband as he heads off every day to do his best to protect it. My father, mother, sister and brother, have all taken on the responsibility of protecting this great nation.
Now, watching my children, I am very proud of them. They are learning what it means to be patriotic. To love their country. To make a personal choice to never bring disgrace or dishonor on their God, their country and it's flag, their parents or themselves.
God Bless America! And my children too!