Fourth of July! America's Birthday.
Two years ago - just about to the minute - my son left for Marine Corps boot camp at MCRD San Diego. The Fourth of July will always be wrapped up in my mind a bit with that bittersweet moment. Pride because he was setting out to do something that not every young American is willing to do - to defend this great nation of ours. And fear, fear of the unknown, mostly. But also the fear of every mother who has ever sent her son off to battle; the sure and certain knowledge that he will be putting himself in harm's way.
There is a coin (and any Marine who reads this understands MC Coins, the rest of you just accept that it's a Marine!thing) - A Mother's Coin. It says "it is because you protected them that they are now willing and able to protect you."
We are exactly half way through his first enlistment. I don't know if he'll re-enlist; I rather doubt it, but you never know. But these four years will forever mark him. Not only the USMC tattoo on his arm, but deeper, less visible marks as well. He IS a Marine. He always will be.
On a lighter note:
Went to the Cathedral's annual Independence Day service - full house! Almost like Christmas Eve and Easter LOL. In the prayers of the people, they listed out the names of all the parish members who are serving - no ranks or service, which in a way irritated me, but in a way I understand. It doesn't matter if you are an ordinary seaman cooking in a ship's galley, a PFC Marine in Iraq, or a Col in the Pentagon - you are still a member of our Armed Services in a time of war.
Today is one of the few days the my "my son is serving" tee shirt with the flags and the Mother's Star and the Eagle Globe and Anchor is appropriate. I wore it with pride.