There are some personal details in this blog that I haven’t shared with anyone outside my close friends and family. Veterans Day is upon us, so I’ve decided to share a story with all of you — because I feel very differently about the military today than I used to, specifically the Marine Corps. And I want to tell you why.
In light of today being the 242nd birthday of the United States Marine Corps, and tomorrow being Veterans Day, I’d like to express my recent experience with the Marines.
My grandfather was a Marine and fought in WWII. My memories of him are vivid but he passed away 20 years ago, and since his passing I can’t really say I have had close relationships with anyone else in the Corps, and I certainly never knew the extent of what it means to BE a Marine.
This is why I was a bit shocked when my son Cameron told me he wanted to join the Marines. I really had no idea where the notion came from until later, but I’ll get into that in a second…
Let me first admit how challenging it is as a single mom to raise a boy into a man. You have to be the mother AND the father at all times, usually without much disciplinary support from anyone else.
I certainly experienced this with my own son, and the role of tough parenting, punishment, and discipline over the years has really been left to no one else but me.
ANYWAY, Cam met with a Marine recruiter but didn’t really pursue it much after that. A couple months went by and he got in some trouble. Nothing major, but let’s just say as his mother, I almost lost my mind. He then proceeded to tell me he was dropping out of high school. After screaming till I had no voice left and then telling him he had to move out if he wouldn’t finish school, he left. I was up all night sobbing my eyes out. It was truly one of the worst nights of my entire life.
The next morning I had a video shoot scheduled, coincidentally of a Marine who loves Be Trū Wellness products. He was supposed to come to the shoot alone, but as fate has it, Cameron’s recruiter showed up with him. His innate intuition immediately sensed something was wrong with me, so he pulled me aside and asked me how Cameron was. I burst into tears and told him what happened…he listened to every detail then our conversation went something like this:
Marine Sgt: “Why didn’t you call me??”
Me: “It was late at night and why would I bother you? Cam only met with you once…he isn’t even sworn in…”
Marine Sgt: “It doesn’t matter if he never swears in, it’s my job to protect and serve anyone in need, no matter what. And it’s never a bother, and never too late to call. I’m here for you and Cameron, do you understand? In fact, where is he now? I’m going to handle this for you…”
I was completely speechless. The lump in my chest and throat started to swell. For the first time in 17 years, someone else took the disciplinary load off my shoulders. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
For the next 8 months, this Marine sergeant helped me. He accompanied me to parent-teacher conferences, he met with Cam’s guidance counselors, he came to my house and stood over Cam while he did his homework, he took him to the track at 6am and made him workout, he picked him up from school when I couldn’t, helped him create a plan for his future, and most importantly, he pushed my son to graduate high school.
That Marine sergeant also loved what we are doing with Be Trū Wellness, so he and about 12 other Marines got dressed up in their blues and came to support us when we had a press conference announcing our clinical trials, then later they drove to San Diego to help us promote Be Trū at Camp Pendleton. All of these men have wives and families of their own, yet they never say no when it’s time to offer help, encouragement, and support to a fellow American in need.
Cam finally did swear in, and he will be going off to boot camp to become a Marine himself on December 26th. When he opened up to me about WHY he wanted to join in the first place, he told me this: “I want to know that no matter what happens, I have friends who will never, ever turn their backs on me… or anyone else for that matter. I want to be a part of a brotherhood. I want to help people. I want to be a Marine.”
Now I get it.
I understand now that being a Marine is not just about war. In fact, a small percentage of Marines actually serve and fight overseas. A large majority of these men and women spend their time helping people, whether it be rebuilding cities after a natural disaster, supporting local businesses, helping kids who are going down the wrong path…..or offering support to a mom who needs a little help…❤