Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Loud Silence

Well, Austin has been at Parris Island for over a week now everywhere I go people who know ask me if I have heard from him.

My answer: I don't want to hear from him.  Not right now, anyway.  It's too early for him to have written us a letter; we don't even have his mailing address yet.  And he's not allowed any phone calls, so a phone call from Austin right now would only be bad news, like he's gotten injured or something.

The first communication we'll get is a simple postcard in which he will have filled in his company and platoon information so that we can begin sending him letters. 

Other than that, nothing.

And that's the weird part.  In this day and age of instant communication via email, IM, cell phones and text messages, we'll be reduced to snail mail.  We are used to hearing from our kids quite often; to be incommunicado with one of them is strange.

Especially when you want to know how things are going and what he's doing.  Believe me, there have been times in the recent past when ignorance was bliss, and I just as soon not know what Austin was doing, because I had a pretty good idea what he was doing, didn't like it but couldn't stop it.

That's not the case now.  The best I can do is look at the Training Matrix on the Marine Corp website, which tells some of the activities they will be doing each day--like today they are doing Combat Conditioning i.e. getting their butts kicked via pushups, crunches, weight lifting, etc.; learning different punches during martial arts training; and classroom instruction on the customs and courtesies of the Marines--but you really want to know more, and specifically how he's doing in each.

So this is one of the hard things.

Pam is really missing him.  I'm not missing him as much as I just wish I knew what was going on.


  1. Hi Larry,

    My dad has been forwarding me your blog postings. As few people can truly say, I DO understand! The toughest part of boot camp for parents is the communication "black out." It's a strange feeling in our day and age of instant everything, but I can tell you that it's part of what makes Marine Corps boot camp unique. And it's why Marines are the best trained and best prepared of all the military branches. You can't truly develop the "esprit de corps" that the Marines are known for without that factor. These young men learn what it means to take care of each other in a way that the rest of society has forgotten. They don't have first names, they don't use "I" "me" or any other pronoun aside from "this recruit." It may seem almost crude by our "Me generation" standards, but I can promise you this - when you see Austin on the parade deck in May, you will recognize your son, but you will see a man.

    If you have a chance, ask my mom or dad (Jim and Alice Burgoon) what they saw 4 years ago with our son Matt. They were there for his graduation from boot camp, and I assure you they were literally shocked and amazed at the change.

    If you ever want to know about boot camp from a "guy's" perspective, I know Rex would be happy to talk to you. Our e-mail is and Rex's cell is 972-814-2474. The Marines are a family, so we have to stick together!

    Best regards,

    Sarah Saoit

  2. Thanks, Sarah, for your comment, and BIG thanks for the great support you have been for Pam these last few months. She has really treasured your willingness to talk and to listen.