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Posted: 1/25/2001 4:27:04 PM EDT
my son just joined the marine corps--leaves for basic in san diego on monday.

does anyone have any words of wisdom for me, and especially my wife, as to how to keep his spirits up, etc?

any help would be greatly appreciated.

Link Posted: 1/25/2001 5:20:45 PM EDT
bolt...he is in great spirits.  he is really excited about it.  what i meant is that when  and if he gets down what can we do to reinforce  him.  i speak  from experience...my nephew had some rough times in basic and i really didn't know what to say to him.  i really want him to have a great experience. that's why i am looking for help should the problems arise.  i'll pass on your good wishes to him.  thankx
Link Posted: 1/25/2001 5:26:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/25/2001 5:26:35 PM EDT
Just admit to him that basic won't be fun...but that it's not supposed to be either. "Keep your eyes on the prize". Graduation from basic will be a momentous occasion that he'll never forget or be prouder of.
Link Posted: 1/25/2001 5:48:48 PM EDT
I had alot of fun in basic (Army). I think the key is to tell yourself ok I`m here, there is nothing these guys have that I cant get. I`m here to learn to be a man and thats what I`m going to do. If it gets cold well then I`ll be cold.
You probably will get in fights, it`s ok, it`s part of it. You wont die, you will be more able to identify, adapt and overcome.
The service is exactly what you put into it. If you want to get out, then you just wasted alot of time and you will always know you failed.
Play the game and it will be over and you will remember the time in the Marines as the finest time of your life. Good luck I wish you well.
As for your wife, this is the speration point in life for son and mom, you dont have to like it but it`s happening. Pray for your son to have the strength and for his saftey, He`ll be more than ok, he`ll believe in himself. It`s a good thing.
Link Posted: 1/25/2001 6:18:43 PM EDT
I don't know how to post lins, but the following provides a good description of boot camp and what to expect.

I see that (hopefully) it is still just as tough as it was in the early eighties when I went through.

Tell him to keep his eyes open, his mouth shut, and to stay motivated, no matter how bleak things look.

One day he will look back fondly on his boot camp days, and only remember the "good times" (such as they are).


Link Posted: 1/25/2001 6:22:55 PM EDT
I went to MCRD San Diego on August 7th, 1984, and spent the next 15yrs, 4 months, and 1 day on active duty.

He will be fine!  He will be challenged beyond the limits of his wildest imagination, both physicaly and mentaly.  He must remember that EVERYTHING he goes through has been calculated to drive home a lesson to survive and win in a combat environment.  For me, compartmentization was the key to getting past the "insurmountable".  I couldn't do 100 more, but I could to 1 more a hundred times.  I might feel like I could not make it another day, but I could make it for another minute 1440 times.

He will be cared for and looked after more thourghly over the next 3 months by his Drill Instructors then he was by you and your wife in the past 5 years.  I am not saying that as an insult, but when was the last time you checked his fingernails and toenails on a nightly basis?

Keep us posted to his progress.  Those of us in the Brotherhood are anxious to welcome all of you into the family after his graduation.

Semper Fi
Link Posted: 1/25/2001 6:24:59 PM EDT
just tell him to look around at all the other guys going through it with him with the idea that if they can do it so can he. that was my mantra when i went thru basic at ft dix in 66. and tell him to keep in mind that his di once went thru it also.
Link Posted: 1/25/2001 7:16:36 PM EDT
You summed it up nicely exgi - dix sucks, and drill sgts are major league a**holes, but they will teach you things that save your life as I found out 30 or so years ago. Earlybirdnj, your son will be fine - tell him to just suck it up and soldier on.
Link Posted: 1/25/2001 7:53:35 PM EDT
1. Don't be afraid to get up in the middle of the night and take a sh*t.

2. Don't say a word for one week.

3. keep your head down.

4. change your socks.
Link Posted: 1/25/2001 8:16:41 PM EDT
My son just graduated USMCRD San Diego in Dec. He was high shooter for his platoon, and was 1 bullseye shy of high shooter for the whole company. (not that I'm proud of him or anything). He said it was pretty tough, but he just kept his focus on the goal of graduating. Have everyone in the family write him often, that will help his morale alot.
He just finished his combat training, and said it was tougher than bootcamp, but he got to fire some cool weapons. His self confidence and attitude have definitly improved since he went in.

Link Posted: 1/25/2001 8:30:08 PM EDT
Write him everyday. Basic can be very lonely even when you're kept busy 23 hr's a day. Tell him to keep his mouth shut and don't be a smart ass. The smart asses are shit magnets!
Link Posted: 1/26/2001 1:14:24 AM EDT
Basic training may be the most fun he's ever had, you never know! Hell, I loved it! Just tell him to take NOTHING personally. Later, he'll laugh at the things that will hapen to him, trust me.
Link Posted: 1/26/2001 2:26:04 AM EDT
When I left for basic at 17 years of age, my father took me to the airport.  He retired 26 years in the military, and although he was a wonderful Dad, he was never for being too sentimental.

When it was time to get on the plane, he shook my hand and said "See you later".  And that was it.  Not that there wasn't a bond between my father and I, but I later understood that he knew that I'd be taken care of, and that I was no longer a boy needing reassurances.  And he was right.

When I was in basic, I received one letter, and that was from my mother.  I can't say that I wasn't disappointed at each mailcall, but I was just fine.

When things got bad, I turned to those around me (and that built the TEAM), and to the man that I was becoming.  Because of this, when I did graduate, the sense of accomplishment that I felt was beyond words.

My parents built the base, and they trusted the man in me to get the job done.

Basic training is a time that you need to be 110% focused.  Even though you have the best of intent by trying to keep close contact, know too that you can very easily put alot of pressure on [u]him[/u] at a time when he doesn't need it.  

Know that HE WILL BE TAKEN CARE OF by the most professional Marines that the Corps has.

Remember that hardship builds character, and will make his accomplishments that much more rewarding to him.

Link Posted: 1/26/2001 3:06:02 AM EDT
My attitude was that 10000 or so guys make throught Marine boot camp every year.  If they can I can.  NEVER volunteer for ANYTHING!  Tell your son to snag as many AR mags as possible.  Beretta mags would be nice too.
Link Posted: 1/26/2001 3:06:33 AM EDT
thanks guys for all the insightful thoughts and comments.  i think it will be harder on my wife than it is on my son or me.

willl keep you posted as to his progress.
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