Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The start of being a Marine, Camp Lejeune style




Taylor's day started out early, as she had to eat her breakfast and then meet Sgt. Coon for the first time. He brought along with him, Marines Harper and Ringgold and we were on our way to watch Hotel Company graduate MCT. On the way there, there were 2 cars of us, and we went past a several signs. When we got there, Taylor was introduced to several higher ranking Marines and then we were asked what we thought of the sign. Sign? What sign? 2 cars of us drove right on past the sign announcing her as a special guest! I am afraid to even admit, that I do remember seeing the sign as I read the top line of it and then thought of our good friend JimmyK, as he was in Hotel Co. back in Vietnam. None of us noticed Taylor's name on there! YIKES! On the way back, we had to make sure to stop and get a picture of it.

We got to sit right in front of Hotel Co and Taylor's name was announced as part of the ceremony. Not being military nor a Marine, I was sitting with all Marines and next to Taylor. I was just soaking it all in and the next thing I know, everyone is standing up. I stood up. Taylor, standing tall and erect, not moving her lips a bit but what she said was loud and clear to me, she said 'SIT DOWN' Apparently, the standing up part was not for civilians! LOL Afterwards, Taylor looked me dead in the eye and told me to NOT do that again!

It was neat to watch the graduation and to be a part of it. When we were ready to leave, the young Marines were running around to get the bleachers put away and one young man came barreling towards us. The next thing I see is him jerking his body in a completely unnatural way and he went from running full bore to standing still and saluting within a nano second. He almost ran right into Lt. Col. Maxwell! Taylor saw it as well and turned around and just had that grin on her face. This poor kid I am sure, just about crapped himself to put it mildly. We got a kick out of his almost misfortune the rest of the day.

Taylor then got to go to the big boy toy area. The instructor was amazing as he showed Taylor the 240 Gulf, the M 16, and a grenade launcher. He then let her have it and Taylor came alive! She sat down Indian style on the 240 Gulf and immediately took aim and started plucking things off as if she had been a sharp shooter her whole life. Every body's eyes got big as they watched her just zero in and take care of business. Then came the fun part, she got to shot in bursts and she loved it! I had images of Rambo flashing in my head as she unloaded! It was funny for me to stand there and watch, because at first it was just Taylor shooting. Finally, the instructor asked all the other Marines standing around with us if they wanted to shoot. They all hit the deck even before he got the words out of his mouth and the energy level went sky high. A Marine+rifles=electricity in the air.......who knew! I don't know who was more excited, Taylor or the rest of the boys! She then got to move onto the M 16. If some of you will remember, back in October when she was made PFC and she was issued her cammies, we got home and she very seriously asked me if she was going to be issued her M 16 soon!! This is what she had been waiting for! Her little arms were not just quiet long enough for her to stand and hold to shoot, nor for her to go to her knees and shoot that way without help holding up the rifle, but once she got in the prone position she became that ole dead eye again! They scored her and she got a 43 out of 50, not bad for a complete newbie huh? Then she went on to shoot a 230 grenade launcher. It was so funny to watch her, she was so animated and this is something we don't see in her much. She was on fire!

Then it was on to eat lunch of at Officers club. Big shot that she is and all! She ate like a horse!

Then it was off to get her the one thing that has always bothered her that she did not have, her very own Combat boots! I think she would have slept in them had I allowed her to. When we got back to the Maxwell's, she went up and took her cammies off, but came back downstairs with her shorts on and she had put her boots back on!

(When I get all the photo's uploaded online, I will share the link of where they are.)

I think she slept very well that night, I was to afraid to ask her if she dreamt anything because I am pretty sure she would have told me she was going to be the next Commadant of the Marine Corps!

1 comment:

Mike Welch said...

Cathy and Taylor,
It sounds like Taylor got some good ole Marine Training, Gunny Batten, got a good Marine Ring to that name.
I will keep reading the blog, I think it great way to keep everybody up to date.
Mike/Rosa Welch