When he was 12 years old I gave my son Seth a book called "Sniper" and started the ball rolling without my knowledge.
In 2002, on my youngest son's graduation day, his recruiter came to watch Seth graduate. Sgt Springer then said his good byes to my husband and me and took his leave.
It so happens the Sgt. had accepted our invitation to dinner at a near-by restaurant a few nights before graduation and of course we discussed Seth and his coming time at Parris Island.
The Sergeant went through a thumbnail description of what "boot" was about. The thing he said that I will never forget is the fact of the "breaking down" two week period, after which the building up to make these young people Marines begins. Just before we left the restaurant, the Sergeant leaned down (he was very tall) and whispered to me, "They'll never break your son, he's already a marine"
My eyes got a little teary, but I didn't cry, because I wanted Sergeant Springer to understand the stock Seth came from.
True to his recruiter's word Seth never broke and as a result made Sgt himself after 18 months while he was on the way to his first deployment in the he Mideast.
His Battalion was hugely successful in their deployment, losing one marine (even though one is too many and he and his family will always be in our hearts and prayers) and killed over one hundred Taliban fighters.
In 2006 Seth was picked to enter ARS. After many marines were eliminated from a prior, mandatory service in Rip Platoon in order to qualify and the guys who couldn't make the cut and the others imported from Camp Pendleton, Seth made Honor Graduate over a total in the neighborhood of 200 other worthy marines. His Score was less than .05 from breaking the Camp Story record. His dream of being in Force Recon had come true.
Seth then joined an ARS team and was deployed to Iraq. When his dad arrived to ready his house for home coming, he found a note taped to Seth's door saying " Off to kill the Godless. Be back in 7 months" and he was, after many, many missions. During those missions there were weeks that went by when we heard nothing from him. Natural, of course, but agony nonetheless. He returned unwounded, with the rest of his team, who had his back, since he was the sniper, even though he hadn't yet attended the formal school. The photo you see on this page was taken within 5 minutes after he disembarked from the bus that brought him home to us.
After his return from overseas, he entered the "Sniper School" and graduated as Scout Sniper among 6 other marines out of 27 that started. He was then accepted to "Dive Combatant School" ( a school he didn't think he'd make) and once again graduated with 16 other great marines out of many great marines.
We now await his third deployment, which will take place in just a few short months. During this deployment we may not hear from him at all and may never know his location due to his assignment, but we know he's received the very best training in the world.
We know he'll come home and breathe a sigh of relief when he does. I wish to tell the other moms and dads, wives, brothers and children, we have the greatest fighting force in the world. We've had some fallen and mourn them as no one else can understand but they're doing God's work and will never be forgotten.
My youngest is the pride of our lives, as are his 2 brothers and 1 sister. We support whole -heartedly his duty to his country and it's people, even though there're so many who don't and never will.
I don't feel that it's God's wish for anyone to wage war, anymore than we do. It's in fact, a disgusting practice started by the first humans to walk the earth. However, if we are caught up in this Hell, then let's remember our men are doing their jobs. not having a good time. They all need our help in any form that we can give.
We can't forget the women who also serve, whatever their jobs or training. They're just as brave (and in some cases braver) and important as the other soldiers and marines who give their all as well. Thank you, for your sevice and loyalty. We honor and respect your dedication.
Posted to Reddit.