I got a phone call tonight. Actually my oldest daughter made a phone call and I got to speak with a Hero-In-Progress.
Joel is a kid from around the area who had a bit of a bad run, and my daughter (who takes in stray pets and kids) begged me to let him stay here for awhile last summer. He's a pretty quiet kid (at least around me) who got into a little trouble, did the party thing and was generally headed nowhere. He was an Air Force brat (mom still currently active) and moved around a lot. She was out, and he had nowhere to go so I let him come to our place. He worked, and gave me a little money for food and electric every week. He hung out with my girls (they were a "pack" themselves) and we spent some nights playing board games at the house. (My OWN kids won't even do that!) Actually a very streetsmart kid.
He went on vacation with us this year to Tennessee and we had a lot of fun. He decided he was headed nowhere and was going to do something with his life. Next thing I knew, he was gone for basic training to Parris Island. Yep, my little guy is USMC. We got hold of his address and whipped off a couple letters to him, but hadn't heard anything from him.
So anyhow... I'm on the phone with him and he's telling me he graduated Basic this past Friday(12-8-06) and he's home til the 3rd. Said the first week or two he wasn't sure he did the right thing, but after the 3rd week he found his groove and he knows this is for him. *tissue moment* Aside - In my letter to him I had asked him if Basic was kickin' his butt yet! lol Little did I know!!!
He said he was very glad to get our letters, but he was so busy during that time he couldn't write back. He said he'll make sure we know where to contact him because he loved getting the mail. (Soldiers' Angels is the same thing!!!) When he goes back, he's doing Infantry training *sniff* and then Deployment training *double sniff* and then he's gone.
My oldest girl is going to see him tomorrow, and he'll stop by over the holidays to see the younger girl as well. They were such good friends.
Joel, honey, if you get out here to read this, just know kiddo that I am so very proud of you and I'll be the proudest Almost-Marine-Mom in the whole USA!!! Of course, you immediately become one of my unofficial adoptees. :) Semper Fi.