|Parris Island or bust!|
The next three months were filled with prayers, excitement, and anxiety. Each day that passed without a call telling us he was coming home meant that he was making it. No news was good news. We had a schedule that roughly told us what he was doing each day, but it was mostly “radio silence.”
There was a certain point about 2/3 of the way in when we knew that he was going to make it. Even with The Crucible (a 54-hour test of endurance, a physically and emotionally challenging event in which, under conditions of sleep and food deprivation, recruits must work as a team to overcome various obstacles) facing him at the end, we knew he was toughing it out. When the time came for the Crucible to be over, we knew he had done it. He was no longer a recruit—he was a Marine.
|Teary mother and sister reunion|
|I didn't say he was fully matured.|
And so Austin steps into the next phase of his life. In a few weeks he will be a full-time student at Frederick Community College, living in Frederick with Rich Cook. He’s in a great relationship with a sweet girl, Allie Stone, who grew up across the street.
It’s been a great ride, and things look promising. We are told that there is no such thing as a former Marine. You are a Marine for life.Way to go, Son. We are very proud of you.