Bundle of frayed nerves

YM CPL Shannon “Gomez Addams” Rapp and YM PFC Chris “This Guy” McKinney

Monday has come and gone, and it’s only Wednesday. Chris, my son, left for MCRD Parris Island Monday morning at 0405 (4:05AM CST) for his four “summer camp”.


Waiting to disembark while discussing the finer points of shaving peach fuzz.


For those that don’t know, Chris is a Private First Class in the Music City Young Marines. He enlisted on February 25th of this year and graduated on May 19th as a PFC. He was nervous to say the least. But he’s not alone in that. Out of the 18 kids that went, only 5 had been there previously and those 13 were just as scared as he. Luckily one of the “veterans” has befriended him and is helping him along.

Chris and his evil pet gerbil, YM PFC Pim Riley

But who will help us along? By “us” I mean Tabitha and I and the other parents that are nervous and scared for their children. Make no mistake, it’s not like we’ve sent our kids into harm’s way. They’ll do hard things like Marine style PT (physical training), rappelling, the obstacle course, portions of the Crucible, rifle drill and some simulated rifle range training, but still, these are our babies.

Getting squared away.

Once upon a time I didn’t understand the horror my mother felt when she signed for me to enlist at 17, and I sure as hell didn’t get her fear as I left for Parris Island 19 years ago last month. But I do now.  Dear God do I ever.

Here we go!

Chris is a tough but sensitive kid. He wants to be a Marine K9 handler before moving on to becoming a veterinarian. He loves animals to the point where he bawls his eyes out when he sees those ASPCA commercials. “Damn them for showing that,” he mutters more often than not as he leaves the room. He’s very sensitive.

Chris and his rack mate, YM PFC Chris Cooke

They’ll return Friday night around midnight and I’m sure that Thursday night will be spent by us in the same way that Sunday night was spent; full of anticipation, worry, and nervousness. Do I think he’s fine? Yes. Do I think he’s afraid? Hell yes. Do I know he can do it? Hell f*ck yes! Am I proud of him? You bet your ass I am. But I’m dad, and as such, I worry about my baby. It wasn’t that long ago that we brought him home and he was just that. Now, he’s a teenaged Young Marine discovering himself. Where did the last 13 years go?

About Jason McKinney

I'm a word slinging, werewolf loving, zombie wrangling, scare master author, husband and father of three. When I'm not writing, I'm blathering nonsense to the world or taking orders from the family. You have my thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the madness and mayhem! Stay delicious, my living peeps!
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6 Responses to Bundle of frayed nerves

  1. Don’t worry Jason, he’s in good hands and getting a good dose of “here’s life” that a lot of kids don’t get until they graduate (or not) from college these days. I know you’re very proud, you and Tabitha have every right to be! Hell, I’m proud, and I don’t even know him! 😉

    • Thank you so much, Nina. 🙂 Chris is a very determined young man that’s lucky to get experiences a lot of us didn’t get at 13, and I know he’s okay… in my head. 😉 My heart is another story. I’ve had more flashbacks and past memories of my time on Parris Island that makes me tear up. Like I said, now I know how my mom felt. lol

  2. You should be very proud — what an amazing young man you have. Go Chris! Thanks for sharing. Oh by the way, I cry at those ASPCA commercials too. Way back, I wanted to be a vet but I’m afraid that animal owners would have had to console me every time I had to put an animal down… 🙂

    • I just found out, quite covertly from an individual with his group, that everyone did the rappel tower today and experienced the gas chamber. From all indications the kids got to wear gas masks and experience some minor tear gas. He’ll either come back motivated and confident, or he’ll be made for pushing him into the trip. lol

      I know what you mean about that vet occupation. He loves animals so much that it was him that said, “there, there” and gave me the pep talk when I had to have my lab mix Candy put to sleep. Oh I boo-hooed and he was my brave little man. Yep, he’s a great kid. 😀

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