Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Good luck, Matt

Dear Matt,

Matt, it is now 17:30 hrs on the west coast. You have been at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California for about 17 hrs. If everything went to plan, you spent all day yesterday in Los Angeles with your recruiter before getting on the bus and arriving at MCRDSD in the middle of the night.

By now, it has been quite some time since you had any sleep. You have been extremely busy and it will be a long time before you will be allowed to rest. This is to prepare you for the mental and physical challenges that you will be forced to endure over the next seventy-some days. You must abandon the normality of your former life and adapt to your new one, the one of a warrior.

Even though you will get some sleep and will be adequately fed, you will always be hungry and will never be rested during your time at MCRDSD.  That is part of the process of turning you into a Marine. The limits that restrained you during your old life will be erased and reset farther than you could ever imagine.

I spoke with you on Saturday, you seemed eager to start your new life. I hope that when you return to your family, you enthusiasm for your decision remains as high. I wish you well Matt and I hope that you are kept safe, that your leadership makes sound and wise decisions and that after your enlistment is over, you can return to civilian life an whole and healthy individual.

 Joseph Schmoe (KG's dad)

Number 1 son's friend matt left for the Marine Corps yesterday. He is a good kid and I wish him well. I know his mom isn't to happy about it, but there is nothing she can do. Godspeed Matt.

Thanks for reading,


  1. I was crying before I finished the first paragraph. Its still so fresh and some days feels like it will never be over.

    Matt's mom will miss him everyday. She will worry and cry a lot in the beginning. She'll think she's never ever been more proud when she sees him at his graduation. After Boot Camp she'll have days she thinks she's getting used to it. Other days she has to pretend.

    I don't think I ever will.

    Good Luck Matt. Thank you for your service to our Great Nation, and I thank your family for their sacrifice.

  2. Peedee - I kinda thought of you when i wrote this. It must be kind of a bitch to know that where your kid is, no one really cares for her like you do.

  3. Well I can honestly say your statement "no one really cares for her like you do" is somewhat true. Yes, in your heart you think that, but at the same time their is a deep seated knowledge that she's in no better hands and her new extended family will protect her.

    As the weeks, months and (OMG) has it really been over a year already(?), go by the pride you feel actually gets you thru a lot of the days.

  4. Cap,

    You sound like you once stood on the yellow footprints yourself. I knew there was a reason I enjoyed your writing and outlook on the job.



  5. John,
    I am very sorry to disappoint you, but I have never served in the armed forces of the United States.

    I am the son and the son-in law of U.S. Marines and have been educated in the process of reshaping young men and women into warriors.

    Oddly enough, my father-in-law probably fared better than my dad, who was, deep inside, a devout pacifist. Yet despite his abhorrence of violence, enlisted for three years.

    Both men have expressed to me how the Marine Corps taught them that they were capable of achieving much more than they previously thought.

    Thank you for your service and I am glad you enjoy my musings. I have not earned the right to respond with a Semper-Fi, a Semper Paratus will have to do.


  6. Cap,

    I'm not disappointed at all. The service of your father and father in law make you family. The beauty of the Marine Corps is that the lessons we learn there follow us in life and influence those around us in a positive way. You learned the right lessons.