"Have you thought about writing your family history, but found yourself stuck from the start? Writing a family narrative can be a daunting task, but Karen Jones Gowen found a way to bring her mother's story to life." (Homespun Magazine)

Monday, January 10, 2011


At my son's graduation in San Diego, I learned that is the celebratory shout of the Marines. What else I learned--

Recruits never see their drill instructors eat, sleep, sneeze, blow their noses, or go to the bathroom. Yet these men are with them constantly, especially during the first phase. The drill instructors are like semi-gods. They are the most fit human beings on the planet. Many of them are very short. My son at 5' 10" towered over most of them, yet still felt small in comparison.

You send a kind of dorky, geeky, sometimes angry kid lacking in confidence off to MCRD at San Diego, and three months later you pick up a disciplined, well-spoken, confident young man who moves faster, stands taller, is more polite and obedient, and cares about his dress even when on leave. "A Marine doesn't wear pajama pants in public. A Marine only wears work out clothes when doing PT,"  he says. (PT is physical training) And he won't wear anything wrinkled, raggedy or the least bit dirty.

Three months ago he argued and balked whenever asked to do anything. Now he says, "Let's clean this house, Mom. It's heinous. I'll help." And he does. He used to have all kinds of reasons why he couldn't fulfill a reasonable request. Now he says, "Adapt and overcome," and finds a way.

This is why they say that parents call Marine drill instructors "miracle workers."  I thought my kid was pretty great before boot camp. Now he's amazing. And that's why I say "OORAH!" Mothers of America, don't be afraid or upset when your son comes home one day and tells you he wants to be a Marine. Thank God he made that choice and support him all the way.

(By the proud parent of a United States Marine)


  1. OORAH! Be Proud Mama! You done raised a good one there! :) And thank you to your wonderful son for stepping up, serving, and making our country proud to call him one of our finest. :)

  2. when they arrive at MCRD they are all shapes and sizes. When they graduate, they all look alike.

    give your son a Semper Fi for me...
    Congrats to him and to you!

  3. Ooorah for your proud mum and son!! I love his "it's heinous" comment!!! Excellent!!! Take care

  4. Nice job! Thank you for raising such a great son, and tell him thank you for his service to this country.

  5. Congrats! OORAH...my nephew is in bootcamp in Paris Island, right now! Be proud~xXx

  6. "Adapt and Overcome". What a great motto for living.

  7. Wow! This should be sent to the Marine Recruiters, a great advertising campaign in the making. Thanks for your visit to sixtyfivewhatnow. And yes, I have written one memoir, a blog called lakeviewer-wheniwasyourage.blogspot.com which I closed temporarily.

    I'm not sure what to do next, as the memoir concentrated on my coming to America, the adjustments and difficulties, how the rest my family back home had wished and prayed for all of them to join me.

    These stories may not be of interest to anyone else, but I had fun writing them.


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