This morning my heart exploded with pride as my sister Katie marched into view as a U.S. Marine. Today was Family Day. Tomorrow she will graduate with her fellow Marines from Fourth Battalion Papa Co. and Second Battalion – Echo Co.
She has come so far from where she was just over a year ago when she made an extremely courageous personal choice and left my house to figure out a way to put the pieces of her life back together – to make a life for herself that she – and her family – could be proud of.
The tears flowed freely as the newly minted Marines were released to their families. All the emotion in the room was moving. Thousands of family members witnessed the start of a new life and new opportunities for their child, their sibling, their grandchild or their parent. For me, Katie was there when Sophia and Miles were born but had not yet met Violet. It broke her heart that she could meet her newest niece before she reported to Parris Island. I was ecstatic to finally unite these two beauties!
Katie was, for the first time in a very long time, proud of herself. She was so ready and has waited so long to stand in front of our parents with nothing to hide and immense possibilities in her future. No Katie did not ever want to put Violet down…would you?
That smile shows the sister I used to know who was lost for so long. I am so grateful to see her glow again. The Marine Corps could very possibly be the change she needed in her life.
This graduation is a major accomplishment. After 12 weeks of gruelling basic training culminating in The Crucible, a 54 hour physical and mental endurance test, she certainly deserves to be called one of The Few. One of the Proud. One of The Marines.
The Crucible Basic Facts (From the Marine Corps Site)
Recruits will travel 48 miles on foot during the event.
There are 29 problem-solving exercises during the Crucible and 36 different stations.
The recruits will have three meals, ready-to-eat (MREs) during the 54 hours.
The recruits will be required to carry 45 pounds during the Crucible, in addition to 782 gear, uniform and M16 A2 service rifle weight.
WHAT??? Holy crap that seems ridiculously tough! Go Katie!
I believe the Crucible may actually top MOTHERHOOD in testing the limits of a woman’s strength, perseverance and courage. However, it ends after a few days so it’s a toss up.
My thoughts are jumbled in my excitement and exhaustion but I will post more pictures of Family Day and Graduation as well as more information of my sister’s experience as a woman in the Marines.
I am one proud big sister and yes, my sister is now a little scary. Did you know that Marines must be able to shoot a target at 500 yards away. Katie barely missed expert but is now a sharpshooter with hand to hand combat training. She could totally kick my ass. And I couln’t be happier about it.
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