It was my first combat deployment and as a motivated infantry company commander I completed the “work up” of training of 6 long months before deployment like the remainder of the battalion. However, it wasn’t until our day to deploy came. We all mustered at the battalion buildings, families said their good byes, tears were all over the place from wives & kids, some of the wives were pregnant and their Marine wouldn’t be there for the birth.
Then the news would come that the air transport fell through and we could all go home only to be called back the next day and do it all over again (not fun) this happened for 5 days in a row. Wives and parents were physically torn down from the emotional roll a coaster telling their Marines good bye as they headed to combat over and over.
One case I remember the most was a young Marine’s mother. It was only he and his mom left in the family. His dad died, he had no siblings and it was only his mother there to tell his son good bye. I made it a point to talk to her and meet her and after a few minutes of friendly discussion, she put her hands on my shoulders, looked me square in the eyes and told me, bring my boy back to me, he’s all I have. No pressure….
That was one of the most personal moments I experienced before combat, this lady would have gone in his place to save her child the evil of war, but he was going and she knew she couldn’t stop him so she found me and just said, bring my boy back to me. Pretty much sums up what American people entrust the Marine Corps to train and lead. Yes, he did come home all in one piece. Time for a C-Gar