Thursday, July 16, 2009

Liberal's son joins Marines

a href=",0,5941004.story?track=rss"Pat Saperstein:/abr /br /blockquotediv class="storybody"After we celebrated the Fourth of July with a family barbecue, my 18-year-old son, Sam, shipped out for Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego. The idea of having a son in the military still seems strange, but I'm starting to get used to /br /When Sam first announced his decision, it seemed mystifying that my not-terribly-athletic, bookish son would decide that what he wanted most of all was to be a /br //div My friends were shocked and offered plenty of advice -- he should see a psychologist; he should consider the Navy; did I realize how underhanded the recruiters could be?br /br /But Sam never had an easy time at school, and he wasn't interested in college, at least straight out of high school. He wanted to be a Marine, period. Since he was a toddler, he's been fiercely stubborn, a child who did exactly what he wanted without much interest in the approval of teachers or /br /For years, he read up on World War II and the Vietnam War and devoured war novels and fighter plane encyclopedias, though he had little use for history classes at school. It didn't occur to me what his hobby might lead to. We didn't know a single person who served in any branch of the military, other than the grandfathers who fought in World War /br / /br /The bedroom that had been the typical teen vortex of dirty plates glued to gaming magazines was suddenly organized and vacuumed. For the first time ever, homework was getting done and chores accomplished, at least some of the time. Despite weekly karate classes, he had started the year with the typical gamer's pudge. Now he woke early on Saturdays for physical training with the recruiter. He watched his diet, joined the Y and got the highest score in his bodybuilding /br /It seemed like he was ready for basic training, but we were still worried about what would come /br /Sam selected aircraft information systems as his job (which, thankfully, involves an entire year of training in mellow Athens, Ga.), and he says if the Marines need him to go into combat, he'll do what is asked of him. Of course I'm worried about Afghanistan, tanks, injuries, psychological scars ... but worrying hardly seems /br / //blockquoteThe enemy in Afghanistan does not have any tanks. Her son will comeback from boot camp changed for the better. He will also know how to function in combat and be a rifleman in the Marine Corps regardless of any specialty he is selected for. It is the fact that every Marine is a rifleman that has helped the Corps overcome the odds in combat like the breakout from the Chosin Reservoir. He will also be around a group of fellow Marines who will support and defend him like no one else ever has.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src=''//div

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