July 10, 2012

I'm a Marine Mom??

  Can you sense my apprehension, my confusion, my fear.  I sometimes feel that those emotions are overshadowing the strongest one ~ pride.
    I am so incredibly proud that my son has chosen to join the United State Marine Corps.  He enlisted on May 23rd just before graduation.  He won't be shipping out until next spring after his braces come off.  Between now and then he attends weekly PT sessions at his recruiting station and will participate in local charity events ran by the Marines.  He will start working on his Associates Degree for two semesters before attending boot camp in Parris Island next summer.  The current plans are for him to be a part of the Marine Reserves stationed locally until he finishes his degree then switch to a ROTC program while he earns his bachelors then eventually joining full-time as an officer.  He plans to be a career officer then retire and start a second career in physical therapy. Those are what the plans look like for now.
     I am wise enough to know that there are no guarantees when it comes to serving the military.  What his recruiting officer and his current CO tell him can all change in a heartbeat.  He current job will be to serve on the amphibious assault vehicles as a technician(?).  Fortunately the Military Channel had a program on it that I was able to watch so I have an idea of what he'll be doing. FYI I didn't even know there was a Military Channel must less that we were subscribed to it.  They really are kind of cool I have to admit.
    What does this mean for us, for our family?  I don't feel like a military Mom, and admittedly that's probably because he hasn't left for boot camp yet.  I haven't put anything on my car saying I'm a Marine Mom or such. I'll be honest when I envisioned my son's future I didn't see the military being a part of it.  Just 5 years ago he had been stuck in a wheelchair for most of 7th grade.  He spent the first two years of high school at a School of the Arts studying film.  When he joined NJROTC in his junior year, he transferred to our neighborhood school for that purpose, I began to think this was a possibility.  When he not only embraced NJROTC but was incredibly successful reality came knocking on my door.
     With my husband working for the Dept of Defense, which meant us always residing in Navy towns, I knew with three kids there was always the chance that someone would either marry into or join the military.  I'll be honest I was hoping for the marriage option.  
     The Marines choice was even more of a surprise.  If I had things my way he would have joined either the Coast Guard or the Air Force.  Unfortunately his C/O at NJROTC did a pretty good job of trashing every branch of the military that wasn't Navy as he was a Naval Academy grad.  Having had numerous friends throughout his life whose mom or dad served in the Navy he had seen/heard about way too many divorces and long deployments separating families.  How he thinks the Marines will be different I don't honestly know.  
     So while I am trying to process all of this myself I have been sharing his news with friends and such.  What absolutely has floored me is their response and reactions.  You know that face someone makes when they learn someone they know has been diagnosed with an illness, I've seen that more times than not when I share my news.  They try to cover it but they're usually aren't quick enough.  Wow! Really? Is he sure? Are you worried? My son pretty quickly goes from being a recent high school grad to a sad news statistic.  There are of course those friends who are right there with me, proud and apprehensive, thank heavens for them (Jane and Cassie big shout out here).  
     I've had people share with me their lack of support for all the wars going on asking how can I support them?  Easy I support the military not the people making those decisions.  One interesting conversation I had with someone was am I worried about the testing the military does on its members and the state of the Veterans Affairs.  I'm curious as to how my son's signing on the dotted line has somehow made me the resource officer for all that's occurring in the military.
     So yes this time next year without some unforeseen event occurring I will be the very proud mom of a Marine.  While I know my pride will be uncontainable  chances are so will my apprehensions.  If any of you are military parents, spouses or members please share any advice. 

July 9, 2012

Pick A Rant

I have a couple of things I just need to get out there and so I thought I would share these thoughts/rants with you to see if I am the only person~

    I am really getting tired of people having to share every little injustice in their lives as if it is a cross we all have to bear.  Recently a friend was standing in the express lane and the woman in front of him had 15 items instead of 10 (someone call the supermarket police). As if counting her items out loud wasn't enough humiliation he felt the need to take her picture and post it to Facebook.  I wonder if during this little temper tantrum if he thought about how uncomfortable the poor teller and anyone else around him felt!!  Really this was so upsetting in your life that you had to share it with the world.  Who hasn't this happened to and come on who hasn't been guilty once or twice in their lives of having an item or two over?  The first few comments on his post were supportive then a few of us starting pointing out the pettiness of it all.  His response to everyone was "Calm Down"  (a phrase that sent me into a my own temper tantrum today ~ see below).  My overall thought is... If that is the worst thing that happened to you today then you had a great day and unless you want us to start pointing out all your little smudges of the rules think twice about posting someone else's.

  I dare one more person to make a face when I tell them that my son has chosen to join the Marines.  Yes, please ask me am I worried about him dying.  You know you're right I haven't thought about the fact that someone, someday may point a gun in his direction thank heavens you pointed it out for me.  And in response to your unasked question why isn't he going to college~ he is doing both.  No the military isn't his only option it is HIS ONLY CHOICE.  He has chosen to work hard and overcome the physical ailments of just 5 years ago to become one of the strongest in his squad.  He has chosen to choose a career in the military so that you can tell me how horrible all the wars are and how sad the state of our military is.  He has chosen to defend what he believes in the greatest country in the world and the freedom it affords you to vocally share all of your opinions.

  And from today's happy experience~~ Neighborly Courtesy.  From what I understand many neighborhoods have someone that I am going to name Anal Andy.  Our Anal Andy, who lives across the road from me and has a serious fetish with his lawn.  I'm not talking about someone who likes to make sure their lawn looks great.  Anal Andy wants his lawn to look as if it is ready for the cover of Better Homes and Gardens EVERY DAY.  You can see him watering his lawn daily despite any drought conditions.  He has actually chased down many a truck driver who had the absolute gall to run over the edge of his lawn (no sidewalks here).  He has interrupted parties to loudly inform the host that one of their rude guests parked on the edge of his yard. When someone he, or anyone else, has a garage sale he puts cones around the edge of his property to protect it from rude shoppers; not caring that his customers have to park their cars somewhere just as long as they don't hurt a blade of his precious grass.  Living across from Andy for the past 14 years we've endured many of his tirades.  We've seen him stand on his lawn and watch to see if our learning drivers were going to back onto his grass. We've heard him yell at kids whose carelessly thrown, kicked or hit ball happened to land on his lawn and encouraged them to move down the street.  To make things easier when we're having an event we tell him so he can put his little cones up, though he still watches every car being parked.  So today when he had three massive pine trees cut down you would think that common courtesy would prevail.  The first two trees came down and unless it was the plan one took out his decorative fencing.  Tree #3, the largest of them all, was to be felled in front of his house like the other two but at the last minute the workers decided it had to be pulled across the street towards our yard.  The guys who were pulling the rope attached to the tree were standing precariously close to our driveway where our two cars were parked.  Now this is where you'd assume that common neighbor courtesy would come into play.  Did he or his wife warn us and suggest that we move our cars???  Well you already know the answer to that.  We realized all this was happening as the men were pulling on the rope and the tree was dropping.  Thankfully our cars were not harmed by the tree that fell less than 6 feet away.  While we were outside surveying the mess he came over like a proud poppa bursting with pride over this great event.  UM NOT HAPPENING DUDE!!!!  I asked why couldn't you warn us?  He said it doesn't matter.  I said no that's not the issue why didn't you come and tell us to move our cars. His response~~~ Calm Down!  Excuse me no I am not calming down if this had been the other way around you would have had a hissy fit if any pine cones or needles landed on your lawn.  Now he tells me to Calm Down and Shut Up!  Well it didn't end pretty.  The tree guys hearing this exchange apologized saying they should have come and told us.  But ended it by saying we've been at this 20 years we knew what we were doing.  Oh yeah like when you took out his fence~ I didn't say this but sure thought it!!!  My next door neighbor who came out afterward was just as shaken when she saw the laying tree in-between our yards and she kept saying Andy didn't tell me about this (and he likes her!!).  Guess common courtesy is no longer a two way street.

 So there you have my three latest rants... Am I crazy?  Is it just me?  What do you think?


July 8, 2012

I've said it before...

.... there are some people born with part of their brains missing.  However with this certain group thank heavens for people like them.

     As mentioned in a previous post I enjoy shouting at the TV when I see people choosing to do simply stupid and life threatening activities ~ like say choosing to take a ride on a shark's fin.  Tonight hubby and I watched a TV show that had me screaming at the fools one minute then being absolutely fascinated oh so grateful they are doing what they do the next.  History Channel has a new series called Shark Wranglers.  Here's their tag:
On the far side of the Atlantic Ocean, in some of the world's most treacherous waters, Chris Fischer and his crew of the shark research vessel OCEARCH are on a mission to decode the mystery of one of the planet's most notorious predators: the great white shark. Fischer and the crew risk life and limb to tag and track the great whites, revealing where they feed, breed and prowl. 
Now when they say risk life and limb they truly mean it.  What these scientists do is catch a great white shark in their "little boat" then tow it to their anchored floating ocean laboratory.  Attached to their lab is what they call the cradle, which I think looks like a giant porch, that they lower into the water.  One of the scientists gets out of the little boat and jumps onto this cradle with the job of guiding the towed shark onto it.  ***I was honestly screaming at the TV at this point because did I forget to mention that the shark is not SEDATED in anyway shape or form.  Actually it is pretty pissed considering it has just been towed how many miles and there are buoys attached to the line to prevent the shark from diving.  So yes please sign me up to jump on the cradle and guide the 300 teeth attached to this 400+ pound pissed off fish onto while I am barefoot and have no weapons whatsoever!
     Once the shark is on the cradle it is lifted out of the water  A wet towel is put over the shark's eyes to calm it down, we don't want to stress it out anymore. (yeah I had a bunch of comments here) The team has 15 minutes to run tests, install trackers and remove the hook.  That's right someone puts their hands into the shark's mouth ~ the one with 300 teeth, and removes the hook.  One of the questions hurled at the TV during this scene.... Do you let your significant others watch the show??? What about your life insurance agents??
     While you couldn't pay me any kind of money to even be the chef on this boat what these brave men are willing to do in the name of science is fascinating.  During this premiere episode they showed footage of a Japanese ship catching Great Whites, cutting off their fins (while still alive) and throwing the dismembered sharks back into the ocean.  It seems Shark Fin soup is regaining popularity and fins sell for upwards of $1,000/pound.  The mission of  Ocearch is to not only study Great Whites and use that info to stop human attacks but to hopefully prevent the extinction of this species.
    We've set the DVR to record the series so once a week I'll be screaming at the TV then praising the fools at the end.