I've been wanting to dedicate a post to Bob S., one of our frequent commenters, who seems to disagree with me on just about everything, but has a respectful and thoughtful way of doing so. His son recently graduated from the Marine Corps Basic Training in San Diego.
I myself went through that training in Parris Island in the summer of 1970. I did it for all the wrong reasons, mainly to get my father's approval. All this is in retrospect, of course, but even during that summer's frenetic activities, I often wondered what I'd gotten myself into. On the graduation day, which followed what was at that time nine weeks of incredibly intense physical and psychological assault, my elation at having survived and the thrill of receiving the drill instructor's as well as my father's beaming approval, inflated my persona into something new and different for the 17-year-old, 135 pounder that I was at that time.
I went on to have a less than illustrious military career and to commence upon a decade and a half of rebellion against everything, all material for other posts. Yet, I believe some lifelong habits and attitudes were instilled in me that summer, many of which have served me well.
Best of luck to your son, Bob. May the Universe smile upon him wherever his military duties take him. And may he be one of the survivors like I was.