Letters from My Marine

“I am enlisting” those three words had the power to take my breath away and cause tears to flow down my cheeks. Those three words had the ability to make my mind race with so many negative thoughts. Those three words changed my life.

It was the summer of 2017 when the hints of him enlisting came about. Originally, he was attending a private college, where he had tons of friends and a great first year. However, as we know, private colleges are expensive and he could not afford to attend there anymore. Loan after loan, thousands of thousands, my marine decided to enlist. There may have been other reasons of why he decided to, but those reasons are unclear to me. I would ask but that letter won’t come fast enough.

I digress, let me take you back to the day he told me. It was our one year anniversary and we were celebrating, at the end of the day he pulled me aside and told me, “Jasmine, I am enlisting.” What was I to say to this? How was I supposed to react? I knew his circumstance and although it's hard to admit this, I knew that was his only option. I recalled how I stared at him and then the tears started to flow, then before I knew it I was on the ground just crying. What did this mean for us? Will there even be an us? What is going to happen?

Well collegiette, here is a spoiler alert: there is not an "us" anymore. However, this had to do with other things in our relationship. Although he and I are not together, this does not mean I did not go through what a marine girlfriend has to go through. So, for collegiettes who are a girlfriend to a marine or married to a marine, here is how I survived boot camp and SOI (School of Infantry).

Boot Camp

He left for MCRD, a base in San Diego, to attend boot camp. Now, his and my breakup was not a good one, but what breakup is ever a good one? Let’s just say the break up did not happen face to face. Instead, it was over the phone. Yes, you can gasp. We all know that a break up over the phone is the worst way to end a relationship. Before he left for boot camp, he called me to apologize for our breakup, but the call was more for him than it was for me. In a sense, it was for him to have a peace of mind. The next day, he left.

Letters from My Marine

I was so sure I would not hear back from him. But then a week later, my mom blew up my phone with calls and text messages. I could not answer her calls because I had a class at that time, but out of concern I sneakily looked down at my phone… My heart nearly sank and I could not believe my eyes when I saw the words, “Glenn wrote you a letter.” Immediately I told her to send the letter, in which she did. I probably read it 15 times (I am not exaggerating). The letter explained how he was, how he missed me, and more. For three months we wrote each other letters, I kept him up to date on my life and he told me about boot camp. I have a total of 10 letters. There were days where I would get frustrated because in some of my letters I had questions that needed an immediate answer but I had to wait two weeks just to hear back from him.

Now collegiettes, never get mad at your marine for a letter because from what I've heard. there is not enough time to write letters in there. In fact, I was lucky enough to get that many.

Facebook

I missed him. I missed my best friend more than anything. In order to cope with his absence, I joined three Facebook groups that kept me up to date of what he was doing and when he officially became a Marine. These groups are easy to find on Facebook.

The Call

As soon as the administrator said finals were cancelled last quarter, I went home! A week later, I received a call from the area code of San Diego. I know absolutely no one in San Diego but…I immediately answered the phone. For three whole months I had not heard his voice, and for three minutes I heard him again. The conversation consisted “Oh my! It is really you!” - that went on for a good minute. Then he invited me to his graduation. Without hesitation, I agreed to go attend. Luckily, I had a friend was more than willing to drive me to the base and go with me to watch his graduation (I did not have the emotional strength to go alone).

The ceremony was absolutely breathtaking! The music, the marching, the transition from boy to Marine was insane to watch. At the end, they released the marines, which again was an amazing sight to watch. As soon as they were released, tons of people ran down from the stands to go hug their Marine. Finding him in that sea of people was like finding Waldo, all the graduating Marines were dressed the same, but then I heard his voice. I walked towards him, watching as he hugged his family. He looked at me and started to cry. He told me how he did not expect me to attend his graduation but was glad that I came. I gave him a hug and then had to say goodbye. The next day he came over to talk. For two weeks, I talked to Glenn while he was on his “leave.” A “leave” is a ten-day break between boot camp and SOI, however, he got an extra week in order to recruit.

Leaving for SOI

I saw him twice during his “leave.” Somehow that was more than enough. Although he and I are not together, he is still my best friend and I will always love and care for him. So when it was time for him to leave again I cried. I cried because I knew that would be the last time I would hear from him for another month.

Now in SOI, the Marine can have their phone, however, it is up to their drill sergeant if they can use it. Usually, they are allowed to use their phones only on the weekend if they have “good” behavior. The SOI is another stepping stone to their Marine training, so you can guess how rigorous it is.

Depending on your Marine, he will either go to a non-infantry, where Marines attend training at Marine Combat Training Battalion (MCT), while infantry Marines attend training at Infantry Training Battalion. Ask your marine which one he is in. This is important to note because the non-infantry is only one month while the infantry is two months or three months long. They also differ in the aspect of “liberty,” “liberty” is when the marine is allowed to have visitors come and see him, or he is allowed to leave the base. Depending on his company and this type of “liberty” it varies on what days you can see him.

Today

Image via oorah

Today, I am continuing to work hard in school. Luckily we are on a quarter system so I do not have time to be sad about him being away. At first, learning that your boyfriend will be a Marine is sad and it takes a while to process. Just know you are not alone, there are many Marine girlfriends out there. I know it is hard and you miss him so much, trust me I know. But know as well that you are collegiette and while he is out there training or on deployment, you need to be here getting an education and getting those A’s! Oh, and by the way OORAH!

image via soldier