The ‘Mom’ will never leave me

We’ve all heard the saying, “Leave no man behind.”

That statement may be a motto of the U.S. Marines, but I think it is true for many of us moms, too.

Last week, my family traveled to San Diego for my oldest son’s boot camp graduation at MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot), and it was both exciting and a test of my mom senses.

I had only schedules for our flight and when certain activities were taking place.

I felt like a duck out of water and was worried about all my “ducklings” at nearly every turn.

There were 466 Marines graduating among six platoons. That means the families of most of those Marines were also at the depot through much of the experience.

We arrived in Yakima, having a general idea of what to expect with the new travel rules. We still felt a little lost since it had been just more than 21 years since either my husband, or I had flown.

Thank you, Mrs. Jensen for being at the ticket counter and helping ease some of my worries there.

The flight from Yakima to SeaTac was uneventful, if loud.

We thought we would have an hour layover but found our second plane was boarding shortly after our arrival and I had some hungry family members whom I was concerned with.

Umm… when mom worries, anxiety rises.

The second leg of the journey wasn’t too bad even though we lost about 40 minutes in the air.

Arriving in San Diego, we found ourselves following signs to determine where our shuttle was due to pick us up.

I missed having our own vehicle, but this was really the best option.

All the ducklings, and my mom, were together, and this mom was still worried.

Once in the hotel, I arranged our shuttle for the following two days’ activities and relaxed some.

Thursday is family day at MCRD. That means trying to stay calm in a large crowd.

We were treated to an entertaining welcome in the historic Depot Theater before being released onto the grounds.

All the families were trying to funnel through the light rain. Two of my ducklings parted from us.

I kept looking around for them before I noticed the families were lining up behind orange cones… and there were signs with the platoon numbers.

It was a lightbulb moment, and I had a greater understanding of where to position ourselves.

This is when we found the two ducklings I was looking for.

Crowded behind the orange cones we stood and waited to see our Marine as he ran past during the motivational run.

I brought my camera with its 300mm lens and captured him as he ran by. We were more fortunate than other families since he was first row whenever his platoon was in formation.

After the run, there were a few more moments of feeling lost. I was on constant alert, keeping watch for my ducklings throughout the day.

On Friday, graduation day, I continued to be on alert, worrying for my ducklings no matter if it was my mom, husband, child or another member of the family.

It wasn’t until we were at Sea World that I felt myself really relax.

But I learned something… Marines aren’t the only ones on high alert, making sure to leave no man behind.

We moms, for the most part, live our lives ensuring all is well with the ones who matter.

At least, I do.


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