OK, now to the HIGHLIGHT of our trip...CODY. What an amazing experience our entire family had at Family Day and graduation!
I have always been proud of my son, but this was an absolutely incredible feeling, OVERWHELMING.
When we first arrived to Family Day, we were able to see Cody, but not touch him. He was preparing for his motivational 5-mile run.
I just started bawling the moment I saw him. He looked so good, and I missed him so much. Our entire family was touched with emotion to see such an incredible young man stand before us.
There were 600 recruits and their families from all over the country. The energy was tangible.
Then at the end of the run, they assembled in front of us, again. And, we still could not touch him. But, since he was a squad leader he was in the front row, and I was maybe ten feet from him!!
Then the recruits left, and the families proceeded into a theater to watch an inspiring video and listen to a motivational speech about our sons.
The formality, tradition and symbolism of everything was very touching. You can't help but feel this incredible pride and patriotism when you are there.
Following that, we headed out to watch the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor pinning ceremony. This is the exact moment when a recruit become a marine.
Cody was a squad leader, so once he received his pin, he actually went down the line with his drill instructor to pin the other recruits in his squad.
When this ceremony was complete, we could run down (trust me, I RAN) and hug our babies. We also were able to meet the other young men who will now be lifelong friends.
Then Cody had leave for 5 hours with us! He had his first pizza in three months!
I have always been blessed with good kids. What I can say the Marines did for my son...they allowed him to realize what an incredible human being he is and what he has to offer this world.
You wouldn't think that you would see much of a transformation in a kid that really had so much already going for him.
This young man...WOW. That's really all I can say.
We next were able to see him at his graduation ceremony. This was another incredible experience.
One of my favorite parts of the ceremony is when they marched by the Commander with "eyes right" to show respect and be reviewed.
All I can say is if you ever have a friend or loved one that enters the military, make sure you do whatever it takes to attend his/her graduation. This is one of the most incredible experiences in my life.