Friday, June 12, 2015

The end of the "Adventure"

Five years? Really!? We were surprised a while back by Sgt Sara that she had made the decision to EAS or End her Active Service.  For many reasons, we were convinced she was to be a career Marine.

When I asked her why, she replied, "Dad, with the MSG program and this past year [as a first female MSG MSAU], I have done everything I got into the Marines to do. It's time to move on."  Well,  good!

So, on the day she says 'good-bye' to her life of the past 5 years, it will be with great pride and honor that I will "lower" and put away the USMC flag that I have displayed in my yard 24/7/365 since the day she became a United States Marine that August morning after the Crucible back in 2010.

Words cannot describe the journey this has been. I have been emotional. I have been anxious. I have been proud. I have been honored. I have been glad. This "little" adventure took me across the country three times... to Parris Island, to Cherry Point, and to Quantico. I have proudly stood several times a year at concerts and ball games, being recognized as the parent of a Marine, and I always stand during the playing of the Marine Hymn.

This "adventure" took our Marine to Parris Island, Havelock, New River, Quantico, Baghdad, T'Blisi, Arbil Governate, the Ukraine, the Bahamas, West Virginia, as well as Paris, Istanbul, and Kuwait City (and probably other places I just don't know about yet, ha!). She had to be med-evac'd by chopper, went horseback riding in the Caucusus mountains, walked the coast of the Black Sea, and other adventures which are left unwritten. She personally met and worked with Ambassadors, the VPOTUS, and our Secretary of State.

 The Red Cross along with her FRO (Family Readiness Officer Ms Amy Watson), helped get her home from the other side of the planet within 48 hours of initial contact so she could say good-bye to her dying Grand-dad. Her "Pop Pop" prayed for her day and night. Her choice to give these years in service caused her to miss a lot of our lives and for us to miss a lot of hers. I would say that that has been the biggest challenge ... missing the events that make family a family. She is still Sara, but what I see is so radically different. She left our home a nervous, if not a smidgen rebellious, DEP Poolee. She became one of the Honor Graduates from Boot Camp, was meritoriously promoted twice, was selected as a first female into the post Bengazi MSG Augmentation Unit. While overseas she was Assistant Det Cmdr of her unit. She picked up some new scars and significant necessary tattoos. (Memories of a schoolhouse brown recluse encounter while sleeping remain visible due to emergency surgeryas well as a Spider tat next to the scar.)

She now walks with an air of confidence and accomplishment.  She has friends for life and a second national family that will never abandon her.  She loves guns, the outdoors, and her independence.

All in all, she is a better person, a stronger person, and has become my good friend.

So, Sgt Sara, to you I again say, publicly, thank you.  Thank you for staying true to your purpose, for excelling, for never EVER "dropping your pack,"  for having the backs of the Marines you worked alongside, the Marines you led, and those Marines who led you.

I believe it is safe to say, you have been a credit to the Corps.

Good job Marine.

I will always take great pride that one of my own served her country for better than 5 years, and in particular, as a twice meritoriously promoted, distinguished graduate, company high shooter, range coach, Assistant Det Cmdr female in the United States Marine Corps.

No comments:

Post a Comment