Friday, December 29, 2006
Resources for Marine parents
I was thinking today about how I felt when my oldest son told me he wanted to be a Marine. The first thing I did was start combing the internet for information. I knew very little about the Marines other than the "big and bad" reputation and I wanted to be informed. From the Google searches that are leading people to our blog, I'm guessing there are others out there in the same situation. Luckily for us, there are LOTS of resources for Marine parents on the internet. I would start with the official USMC parents website. Then go to the MarineParents.com website. There are message boards for both parents of recruits and poolees as well as Marines. I found parents from both of my sons' recruit training companies and met many of them in San Diego at the graduations. The recruit message board is mostly San Diego parents, but there are some with Parris Island recruits as well. There are separate threads for each graduation date. On the Marine side of the message board the threads are organized according to duty station or unit. You may be able to find other parents with Marines in your son or daughter's unit. I found a mom there whose daughter is stationed with my oldest son and they are in the same unit. She met my son when she went to Japan to visit her daughter and I met her daughter when I went to visit my son. Another message board that I only found recently is the USMC EZ Board. There are more Parris Island parents here. I found the mom of my #2 son's room mate on the EZ Board. Those poor guys don't stand a chance with their moms talking to each other, do they? ;)
If your son will be going to MCRD San Diego for bootcamp (men west of the Mississippi)click here to see the official USMC training matrix. If your son or daughter will be going to bootcamp at Parris Island (men east of the Mississippi and all women) click here for more information. For unofficial (but highly recommended) graduation advice for San Diego visit Max's San Diego Graduation site, and a similar unofficial (but again highly recommended) site for Parris Island grads here.
Now, as far as I know, there are no similar websites for parents of other branches of the military. I do believe there are some official websites for parents, but no message boards or unofficial websites that I know of. If anyone knows of any, please pass them along.
The above picture was taken at MCRD San Diego before my second son's Family Day, which is the day before the actual graduation. It was the first time in 13 weeks for us to catch a glimpse of him. Aside from the days of their births, their graduations from bootcamp were the proudest (and most emotional) days of my life.