Sunday, November 28, 2004

My Son, the Marine!

I met Tom when he was 11 months old. His bottle was second only to his blanky as his best friend. He wasn't walking or talking, but he sure had energy. For the next 10 + years I would play an integral role in his life. The only stable father figure he would have. I was there for his first step, the bottle weaning, potty training, bike riding, ball games, parades, carnivals, fairs and festivals. We did all the things dads do with their sons.

When his mother and I split about eight year ago, Tommy stayed with me to finish that year of school. In the Spring of 1997, Tom would leave to spend the Summer with his father, and I knew that would probably be the last time he lived under my roof. I had no strong legal grounds to keep him, and as long as his father was in the picture, I didn't stand a chance at custody. His father was (is) a good man, and I knew Tom would be fine.

Over the next several years, Tom would stay in touch, and we would get together occasionally. For reasons I am not totally aware, Tom decided to move to California last fall to do his Senior year of High School living with his mom. We exchanged a few E-Mails, but it wasn't the same with him out of state. When graduation passed, I sent him a congratulatory E-Mail, with no response. This was unusual, but a newly freed 18 year old can be a pretty busy guy.

Although I had speculated what may be up, it wasn't until I received an E-Mail from his mother, addressed to his brothers, that confirmed my suspicions.
Tom has been very very busy the last 9 weeks. On September 13th, he began a very serious journey towards becoming a Man. This was a journey that he felt he had to make and really wanted it badly. We had been planning this since February of this year, he didn't want anyone else to know about it until he was on the final leg of it. As of last week your big brother is officially a United State Marine, completed the crucible which is a 56 hour test of strength and will. The crucible is a right of passage for all who wish to earn the title of United States Marines. He will graduate from boot camp on the 10th of December.
I am not sure why they would want to keep this Hush Hush. I kind of feel cheated not being able to support him on his journey. But I do know one thing. I have never been more proud of my Son, as I was when I read that E-Mail.

My Son, the Marine!


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