Saturday, July 7, 2012

And Then, Brett Joined The Marines


Last week I had the opportunity to go up to Denver with my "little" brother Brett and my parents. He was going to be sworn into the United States Marine Corps, and then leave for about 3 months to Camp Pendelton for Boot Camp. It's still hard for me to believe that he's all grown up and gone. My little brother is a man. 

My other "little" brother Matt and his wife made a surprise trip from Provo, Utah to say good-bye to Brett. It was great to see them!

Saying good-bye to Whitney, Aaron and Kate. 

Brett is Aaron's hero. 

Matt and Jessica took Ethan up to Utah with them for basketball camp. It was hard for Ethan to say good-bye. 

Then we dropped Brett off in Pueblo with his Recruiter who then drove him up to Denver. We met them at his hotel later that evening and had a wonderful evening wandering around down town and the 16th Street Mall. I had never been there (Shame on me, we even lived in Denver for 4 years!). It was beautiful, and the lighting was perfect for pictures.

Dad, Brett, and Mom

They had these pretty pianos all over the streets and Brett, being the extremely talented person that he is, stopped and played for us. 

  I am really going to miss the sound of him playing the piano at my parents house.

 One last Father and Son talk.

And one last hug goodnight.

The next morning, we went to the MEPS office. We were scanned and checked, (and once they were sure we had no weapons) we went into the waiting area...anxious to get a glimpse of our Brett.

We got there at 9:30 a.m., the time his papers said we were supposed to be there. And then we waited for 6 hours in the waiting room for him to be sworn in. Typical. There were other families there doing the same thing with their sons, so it was nice to talk and swap stories as well as make some new friends and connections.

Finally, they called the families in and we all tried to hold back our tears. They were tears of many different emotions all at once. Tears from seeing our Brett, all grown up, making one of the biggest decisions of his life. Tears of fear, not knowing what the future holds at war, knowing he will be so far away from home. We will miss him so much!!! And of course, tears of joy, we are so very proud of him and his decision to serve our country.

All sworn in now. Thumbs up.

 Then, he was property of the United States of America.

We love you, Brett. You make us proud. See you in 12 weeks!

8 people leaving some love!:

Dave said...

Thank you Nat, for capturing the memories and for expressing the sentiments so well. And thanks for always being there for us.
Love you,

Carolina mama said...

Bittersweet and heart-wrenching! Thank-you for posting, Natalie, and happy belated birthday!

Melissa said...

Good for him! This was a touching post! I am especially fond of Marines! Boot camp is rough but it made my husband the man he is today and I'm grateful for our experiences!

Mike & Rachel Barton said...

Thanks for taking pictures and sharing, Nat. I love the picture of Aaron with the hat on.

Anonymous said...

I wish we had such lovely photos of our son's swearing in :)

Can I share a couple of tips for letter writing?

When we finally got our son's address, my husband and I wrote every day. Each of us. Separately. I cut & pasted photos onto copy paper along with comic strips, cartoons, and newsy articles, sports scores, Oscar results, etc. I did it that way so that the letters didn't draw any undue attention and then have to be opened in front of everyone. Always use plain white envelopes with no embellishments - unless you "want" him to have some extra attention ... and really you don't ;)
I sent a letter with one ziplock bag in it (came in handy for storing all those letters), another with one rubber band. The things we do for our boys (and mine was 22). I also have some fun fill-in-the-blank/multiple choice letters I sent knowing he wouldn't have time to think of all things I wanted to know about :)

If you haven't checked out yet, do so - there is a wealth of information and support for every phase of Marine life. I am there as Mommallama(Cindy)
Also search for the USMC training matrix. I used one to keep up with what he was doing and could tailor my letters.

Can you tell I'm a Moto Mom?

Rebecca said...

Oh gosh! This made me bawl my eyes out!
So proud of Brett! We will be praying for him and
writing him and thinking of him and the brave men who serve our country. God Bless them!

Annegret said...

What a lovely tribute to your brother, Natalie. This experience can be a great one for Brett IF he remembers to do what is right. I wish him the very best and will add my prayers to those of your family.
Love, your Dad's favorite aunt Anne

DeAnn @ The SIP project said...

So great that you captured that important day with some great photos. Very much a day of mixed emotions I am sure!