The Marine Family Day was September 21, 2018. My son was a part of it. I’m so proud of him! It’s been a busy summer for us, but the highlight of it all was my sons graduation from boot camp!
I can’t imagine what kind of physical feats he had to go through at boot camp to become a Marine, but he did it! Graduation was September 21 and I flew down to celebrate it with him.
The sheer volume of young men; trained, polished, clean shaven and well dressed, was incredible. All were on their best manners. I know because I queried many of them looking for my son. I could not find him. He wasn’t expecting me, so he wouldn’t be looking for me. As the day was drawing to an end I started searching for someone who looked like they might know something. The recruits were nice enough, but none of them had heard of him. There is no directory, nor PA system to call him on like Safeway has when you have a lost toddler. You’re just supposed to find them.
So, anyways, I ask several recruits if they knew my son. Nobody knew him. Later I learned they don’t go by their first names there, I know that now. Then, I saw a woman with a clip board in her arms, I thought she looked like she would know something. I jogged over to her and told her my situation. Without the slightest sign of bother, or irritation, she produced a phone and started making phone calls (That’s when I knew she had to be somebody, she had a cell phone!) After a couple of calls she asked me if I was up for a walk? Well, why not? I’d already been traversing the base looking for my son for two hours! As soon as I said yes, we took off on a brisk walk across the base. All I could think was, “What did I just take her away from? She was going somewhere when I grabbed her, I hope she doesn’t get into trouble!” I was so thankful for her to take the time to walk me all the way across the base with the kindest attitude. I didn’t dare complain that she moves at quite a fast pace! She noticed at one point that I was having trouble keeping up (and I consider myself fit! Ha!) and slowed her pace. What got me was her kind attitude. She acted as if that was what she had planned to do all day, walk a lost mother across base to find her son, oh boy. If she was bothered she never let on to me. I told her how thankful I was for her help. She asked my name, I was getting pretty winded at this point of the walk, I think she was just getting warmed up! I panted heavily,”Joanna, my…..name…..is…..Jo…anna” She smiled. I gasped, “And……yours…” Even though she looked right at me when she replied, I was breathing so heavily (trying to hide my heavy breathing) I couldn’t hear her exact reply, but I did hear, “Commander and Kate ……” I learned later that she was a high rank officer. She handed me off to a Lieutenant who planted me at a position he guaranteed I would find my son. It’s the only way my son could get back to the barracks he said. And sure enough, no sooner did he walk away, my son walked up. It happened so fast that I was able to point out the briskly walking man who had planted me there. My sons mouth dropped open. He said, “Mom! You asked a Lieutenant to find me?!” I said, “Yeah, why not? He was nice, but the Commander Kate was nicer.” My son looked like he was going to faint! He says, “Mom, you don’t ask an officer for direction to your son.” “Well, I did, and look, I found you!” I said,”It’s okay. They were both really nice! And she didn’t appear to mind at all helping me.” He was shocked to say the least. On a side note: I wish I knew her. I bet she’s a great person.
After visiting with my son, we parted ways. I don’t think he recovered from the shock.
So, this shout out is for Commander Kate, (please forgive me if I have your name incorrect, it may be Katie) I hope you understand, it was a long, brisk walk, I was feeling light-headed by the time we exchanged names. I appreciate your help to the depths of my heart! You dropped what you were doing with not so much as a sigh. Without you, I know, I would not have found my son that day. As it was, that evening, 15 minutes was left, was the only time I had with him. The next day he had plans with other people. It meant the world to me to see him that evening, Thank You!