Marine Mom: The Few, The Proud, The Hysterical 2

Marine Mom: The Few, The Proud, The Hysterical

I am in San Diego with my family and my son’s sweetheart. He just graduated from Marine Bootcamp.

I am offically a Marine mom.

Boo, aka Sugar Bum, is a Marine.

Which makes me, Boo’s mom, a Marine mom.

The draft ended in 1973, except for moms of the enlisted.  We still are being drafted.  The United States Military is still drafting moms.

Military moms don’t get to decide.

The first morning after graduation I found our Marine in the lobby of our hotel. He didn’t sleep so he ambled around the streets of San Diego. For those of you who aren’t familiar with downtown San Diego and the Gas Lamp District, it is gorgeous – perfectly 72 degrees.

Oh, and there are homeless people… everywhere.  And they are not like the homeless people we have encountered.  They aren’t holding tin cups out in the hope of spare change.  We have been screamed at, spit on, and chased.

“YOU WANDERED AROUND DOWNTOWN!?!?!?!” I barked at the Marine-baby.

“Yeah, and it was so sad. I have worked on homeless mission trips before.  We gave away bibles and sandwiches, you cannot approach or speak to these poor people.  They are so mentally ill, I just walked around and was amazed and sad for them.”

The inside of my cheek began to bleed as I dug my teeth into it in an attempt to silence myself.

Marine moms can’t tell a Marine not to walk around the block because there are displaced people on the street.

The litany of things I cannot say runs through my mind.

“Listen, mister! We don’t mess with explosives,”  and “No, you may not swim with your boots on!” or “You will not rappel off a tall building young man!” – little things that were common place for a boy mom to say aren’t applicable for a Marine mom.

And the people I want to explain things to are off limits to me.

I know this boy… man, er…Marine.

You don’t understand, I am a Marine mom and I know him.

I know he gave up his food, dry socks, or sacrificed for the greater good of his company– and that was just in boot camp.  And, I know what he’ll do for anyone before himself.

He came like that.

I know on that bus the first time he was yelled at – “GET OFF MY BUS!” – that I didn’t prepare him for what was ahead.

Me, a Marine mom,  put him on a bus when he was 5.

And then I pictured him trying not to cry, being made fun of for his stutter… and his slower than the “norm” learning abilities and I got on that bus and dragged him off and homeschooled him – through high school.

Before graduation, the Drill Instructors taunted, “We are about to bring out your Marines! Marine moms get first hugs! Girlfriends don’t count today!”  But in my heart, I knew… she could go first.  I didn’t want a half-way, side-hug to pacify me until he could embrace his best-friend and sweetie.  He’s not a child.

I am used to his 6’3” frame and beard… man-baby.

This Marine mom can testify, I know him.

After graduation, we went out for chips and salsa.  Older gentleman swarmed him, and I was proud, the uniform reflects the boy he’s always been.

As he shook hands and graciously accepted the congratulatory praises, I noted the huge, dark scabs on his elbows from belly crawling. They don’t phase him.

Scars never have.  He’d rather work until he bleeds than fail.

I know him, and maybe that’s the hardest part of my recent draft into this branch of motherhood.

This Marine mom knows what he’ll do for everyone else first.

I know what he’ll sacrifice.

Assuredly, I know what he’ll gladly face.

This Marine mom knows what he values.

I know how much he cares.

And, I know there is no stopping him.

I know how much he loves.

Yes, I know how patriotic he is and  I know how spiritual.

I know how proud he is… and I know there are few like him.

This Marine mom can’t ask him to be less so that I can take a deep breath or sleep more peacefully.

I know, I have always known.

So, this is who I am now.  This is the latest challenge I must face in my motherhood.  I have received my orders and tucked them in my purse.

When he left he could do 10 pull-ups, now he can do 20.  When he departed for boot camp, I couldn’t fathom – now I kind of can.

As a Marine mom, I walk taller, and I am learning the drills.

I know what is allowed and what isn’t.

Sir, yes Sir, I am debriefed, debunked and basically prepared.

[bctt tweet=”I am debriefed, debunked and basically prepared. #marinemom ” username=”httpstwittercomjamiamerine”]

Another layer is added to my vocation as a mom; an accolade to my ever absent bravery.

My verbiage is changing, my prayers more intense.

I am buying Marine Mom t-shirts as a license to heave sobs and whimper prayers in the Walmart bathroom in the hope to be embraced by a fellow military mother who knows how terrified I am.

It is a sisterhood I didn’t sign up for – but desperately need.

The few, the proud… the hysterical, The Marine Mom.

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami

Get your Few The Proud the HYSTERICAL MARINE MOM T-Shirt here!

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I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. And, I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13

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  1. Glenna McKelvie on June 18, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Yes, Nana’s (Grandmothers) get drafted. too! and aren’t allowed to complain!

  2. Laurie on June 18, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Welcome to our sisterhood. You will find that you not only have a new assignment, but you have a new extended family. We are all there for you, as we pray for your son and our children too. I’ll never forget the huge lump I had in my throat–the size of a grapefruit–the morning we put our daughter on the plane to head off to the Naval Academy. It was her choice, not ours. The hardest thing to do is to bite your tongue. Just be there to LISTEN. Sending hugs and prayers.

    • jami_amerine on June 18, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      Thank you, Laurie. God bless you and your girl.

  3. Mandy on June 18, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    My son left today with his recruiter for MEPS bright and early in the morning. I have constantly searched for any update you give on your Marine, because I knew this day would come for us. Thank you for sharing with us so candidly. My husband and I watched the graduation video Friday and cheered for your guy!

    • jami_amerine on June 18, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      Oooooo!!!! Congratulations… so exciting.

  4. Kim on June 19, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    My son is in Parris Island right now. Starts phase II tomorrow. I am in about 5 or 6 Marine family groups on FB for support. It’s definitely an adventure!

  5. Dede on June 19, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    I too am a military mom. The first time my Airman-baby deployed to the Middle East, I wasn’t sure I would make it. And with every deployment, the tears and worry wash over me again. Praying through those tears, counting the days, and relishing every phone call, until he returns safely to American soil can be exhausting. They wear the uniform, but we all ‘serve.’ Today I pray for all our military members, here and abroad, AND all their mamas.

    • jami_amerine on June 19, 2017 at 2:25 pm


  6. Anastacia on June 20, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    You may not remember me, but I was at Providence, and I had the privilege of teaching the man-babies and Sophie. You are doing good things here on Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors. Vulnerability and honesty are in high demand in the day and age in which we live. You do it well.

    I have two boys (10 & 8) who don’t learn on the same path or speed as others. It is a long, hard, beautiful road. Blessings to you, your family, and your endeavors.

  7. Varina Denman on June 23, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Made me cry! And took me back a couple of years to when my family stood amid the yellow and red buildings, cheering for our brand-new Marine as he jogged past us. We were in awe of him. And SO PROUD. Welcome to the sisterhood, Sister. *sniffle*

    • jami_amerine on June 23, 2017 at 9:30 am

      Hey sis!!! #marinemom

  8. […] My son John has a friend named Craig. […]

  9. Regina Sullivan on February 23, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Hi Jamie,

    I am a Navy Mom. My son, age 20 joined the Navy December 2017. He has graduated basic training Feb. 9, 2018. It has been a roller coaster of emotions for sure. There were times I thought I couldn’t breathe just thinking about how proud I was and am, how I too know my son and know what he will do for others. There are hard days. I asked him before he joined if he had prayed about what to do and he said these words, ” Mom, you know how people feel called to do something? Well, I know when I prayed that God has called me to do this. I was made for this.” He believes it and I do too. It brought me peace. I still miss him but knowing that he is following what he believes, makes me happy. It is is like he is in his element. He LOVES it!


    • jami_amerine on February 25, 2018 at 4:34 pm


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