We arrived at Parris Island early evening on Friday and to my own surprise I was anxious to go explore. Just like every other morning we woke up early, fed the pups, let them out and made coffee. This morning was different though because I peeked outside and saw a platoon of recruits humping along in full gear, worn out, but motivated and immediately passing the RV area we hear a loud, speedy “AYE SIR” in the distance. We took our coffee in our yeti mugs and off exploring we went.
The first stop we made was the parade deck. Approaching the parade deck, there were a bunch of drill instructors standing around and it was then I realized the platoons of recruits we saw earlier were finishing up their crucible. That they would be earning their Eagle, Globe & Anchor this very morning! We did have a brief interaction with one of the male DI’s. Immediately pulling into the parking space he came over and says “someone is going to lose their mind when they see you parked in this space” I’ll tell you this...I am still scared of a DI ANY. DAY. OF. THE. WEEK. If I were sitting in that driver seat I for damn sure would have said “aye sir” but my wife and I love her for this says “why? we have a disabled vet tag” My heart raced as Jai spoke but every minute that she did I was so happy because Drill Instructors aren’t used to answers other than aye, yes, no sir or ma’am.
We did get to watch the ceremony. Gus got to see where my Mama sat and watched me become a Marine. I told her many stories (again) of how that was the beginning of my journey that lead to her. She got to stand on the same yellow footprints as I did when I arrived at Parris Island. This was the first time Jai experienced a Marine Corp base and she was in awe of the difference between the branches. She didn’t get to see many female recruits which was disappointing, so I think at some point I’d like to take her back. Parris Island will forever be sacred ground for me. Although my time in the Corps was cut short, it was valuable, precious time. I have endured pain of all sorts in my attempt to find happiness again and I am truly blessed to live the life that I live.
We are now in Charleston, SC until Monday and while the city has its charm I’m not impressed. Yet.