We come from an island

We come from an island. A motivated island. They call that island Parris Island. – Marine Corps Cadence

This is the first place recruits learn forming up on Parris Island. The infamous Yellow Footprints. Many recruits instantly ask themselves, “What have I done?” here.

Christopher’s platoon, the Music City Young Marines, came back Friday evening on 20July2012. They came back motivated, hard core, and changed. The change was especially noticeable in Christopher. He walks with more pride than he ever has and is now convinced that he wants an MOS of 5812, Working Dog Handler. Parris Island has made up his mind.

“Through these portals pass prospects for the world’s finest fighting force—United States Marines.” Music City Young Marines at Receiving Barracks entrance.

The “kids” had a blast. I use quotes because they did things most people never experience and came out the better for it. They experienced the gas chamber (the chamber was filled with residue from a recruit platoon the day before), run the Obstacle Course, were able to “fire” at the ISMT (Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer), rappelled from a 55ft tower, performed stations at the Crucible, performed Close Order Drill under the guidance of their Drill Instructor, SGT Patton Butler, and of course did lots and lots of PT (physical training). Like I said, they had a blast.

Rappelling was the most challenging for a few of the Young Marines. But all did it, showing a level of physical courage that is admirable.

It wasn’t all work though. They went bowling, visited the Marine Corps Museum and the rifle range to see recruits qualify, and were able to watch Kilo Company 1st Battalion graduate.

Mr. Westbrooks, Drill Instructor SGT Butler, and the Music City Young Marines visiting one of Parris Islands rifle ranges.

It was an experience that Christopher, and everyone in his platoon that I’ve spoken to, cannot wait to do again.

Making sugar cookies in one of Parris Island’s sand pits. Lets see how many people out there instantly get that “joke”.

I’d like to give proper credit and thanks to Mr. Anthony Westbrooks and his wife Barbara Westbrooks for giving me advanced access to the photos in this post. Without them, this entry would not be up today. And a special thank you to Mr. Westbrooks for commanding the best unit in the Young Marines.

I’d also like to say thank you to Drill Instructor SGT Patton Butler for visiting my blog when they first arrived. Mr. Westbrooks relayed to me that he was impressed with my posts about the Music City Young Marines and Christopher. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that he found my graduation post humorous and enlightening. Thank you, Drill Instructor for what you did for Christopher and his platoon that week. Christopher really was inpired by you.

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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4 Responses to We come from an island

  1. Sounds like Christopher had a blast! What a cool experience!

    • He really did. He brought home some souvenirs for us, too. I got a new 2nd BN t-shirt and was shocked that they changed from green battalion colors to gold. I have to admit that I’m bummed about that. lol

  2. Missy Frye says:

    Though I don’t know Christopher, I’m really proud of him (and the other kids) for the direction he is taking. I’m sure the “Adult” Marines look forward to having him among their ranks.

    • Thank you for commenting and your support, Missy! The Young Marine program, especially his platoon as its one of the hardest in the southeastern US, really strengthens America’s youth. It sounds cliched, but I’ve seen it physically and mentally in Chris. Tabitha and I have worked hard to raise respectful, well-mannered children and the YM has taken our work and built upon it.
      I served as well and I must admit that while it makes me proud that he wants to be a Marine, it scares the living hell out of me. What can I say? I’m a dad first and foremost. Parents always want our children to better than we did.

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