Saturday, August 1, 2009

Another Achievement, Another Step In The Journey

This past Thursday, Kurt, myself, Katie and Kameron took off for our last trip to Camp Geiger to see Justin graduate from School of Infantry. This time we rode in luxury, in the roomy Grand Caravan. (a treat! uses too much gas to take out there every time.) Jonny had to work, so he was our designated "hold down the fort, take care of the critters" person. We missed having him with us, but appreciate his availability to oversee everything.

Of course, Kurt and Kam had to have their healthy, high energy food groups to eat on the long road trip. Helps to keep them awake and buzzing.... {:-O

Thursday evening we got 3 hours to spend with Justin and we were ready and waiting to get him! He called us when we were checking in at the security stop for our registration and pass to let us know he was giving blood and would be a little later. AARRGH! We passed some time checking in at our hotel, and going to the MCX there on base looking at all the USMC stuff placed there to separate us from our money!

When we finally got our Marine, he looked a little tired from all the preparations that had been going on to turn in equipment and get packed and ready for the move to Camp LeJeune. He had done a motivational run the morning before that had started at 4am so that had started out the last 24 hours of tiredness, plus giving blood...

He was ready to eat. Away we went to find a Fish place. (his request)'s the place we spotted LAST time and made a mental note to get Justin in there, NEXT time.

Katie: After you, my hungry Marine brother...

hmmm. so many choices.. it all sounds good.

Look mom, I'm actually getting to see Hogie again...I miss him!

Waiter: Appetizer? Marine: Yes,Sir..Calamari. Thank you sir. All rightee then...

Yum! One of Justin's favorite parts about a Saturday Liberty visit.

Poor Kam. Everyone had their food and had started eating, and he was having to wait for his clams.

And STILL waiting...The poor waiter kept coming out to tell him, "It's coming, buddy, it's coming!"

In the mean time, he kept smooching off of Katie's selections!

Finally, he says... Oysters on the shell with garlic butter.

After dinner, we stopped at a Navy Federal Credit Union for Justin to do some business, which just happened to be in the same shopping area as the Tobacco Shop next to the Little Caesar's we had visited last liberty. (where Justin had stood with the wooden Indian) NOW...Kam would get his pose with the infamous Wooden Indian Figure. :-)

Justin just wanted to go back to the hotel and hang out with us for a while before he had to return to be in formation.

Kam decided to check out the cable channel choices...

First things first for Katie- she's checking out the Wi-Fi connections because she has to sit in on two online seminars tonight 'til 11 pm for her studies.

At 7:30 we hustled Justin back over to Camp Geiger so that he wouldn't be late reporting in for Formation. We told him we would see him in the morning for his Graduation.

Upon returning, Kurt and Kam decided to go out and take an evening swim in the inviting pool...almost had it to themselves. It was a nice night.

Nice! They enjoyed their swim.

The next morning, after a not so restful night...(Katie and I slept together, and Kurt and Kam slept together double beds...ugggg) well, I guess we shared the bed is a better way to say it...since no one slept very well. Anyhow, we headed out to watch the Graduation of the Echo Company's 273 Marine Infantrymen at School of Infantry.
The informational letter we received put it this way. - "the successful completion of Infantry Training Battalion's grueling 59-day training package. Over the past two months he (Justin) has lived in the field, hiked over 30 miles in full combat gear, and conducted 26 live fire evolutions. He has applied the skills of combat marksmanship, day and night land navigation, offensive and defensive tactics, patrolling, military operations in urban terrain, and unarmed combat.

We got to talk to Justin and have him explain some of the weapons that he had been trained on over the last two months.

And here's a shot of the actual ceremony taking place in the gymnasium on site at Camp Geiger. (pretty warm in there. One Marine fainted right near the end of the ceremony)...pretty loud in there when they all sound off in one voice.

We knew that after the ceremony our time with Justin would be very brief, as they would be getting ready to load up the buses and be off to Camp LeJeune. Here is our very pleased Grad. I'm sure he is glad to be done and have the ceremony over with.

And here's one very pleased and proud Dad. Glad for Justin that he has completed another step of training.

Ooh Rah Hogie. Way to go. Semper Fi!

Oh mama...don't you cry!!!! Proud Marine Mom.

After waiting quite a while, we caught a glimpse of Justin as the soldiers assigned to Camp LeJeune formed up and waited to load their gear and board the buses.

Our last chance to say goodbye and give our love and best to Justin, until we get another visit. Always in our prayers.

Mom has to get one final parting photo. Dad whistles, Justin looks, mom snaps the shot. Love our Marine. Miss him..God be with him and all his Marine band of brothers.

Justin will be in different locations training over the next couple of months most likely, so we will look forward to getting to see him again when he has enough liberty time at LeJeune. Until then...
Ooh Rah First Battalion, Second Marine Regiment, Second Marine Division. Semper Fi Justin.
We Love You! You are an honorable young man.

Next time around, Camp LeJeune, here we come. :-)

Posting - E-scrapbook entry - Justin's Camp Geiger Graduation - July 31,2009

Blessings to all who may read this post. Pray for our military people.


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