Just The Two of Us: Our Son~Our Proud Marine...Kevin
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Monday, November 13, 2006

Our Son~Our Proud Marine...Kevin myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

Our oldest son Kevin, served our great country in two wars, the first in Afghanistan, and the second in Iraq...He was 22 when he came home to us...A Hero.

Marine boot camp was rough for Kevin. When Kevin was a senior in high school, he and his
brother were co-captains of the wrestling team. Kevin made it to Regionals in the State tournament. Kevin was injured in a match, he consequently, dislocated his shoulder, instead of forfeiting, Kevin asked to remain in the match and finish it, this was a major reoccurring struggle, when it came to doing the required chin ups at Marine boot camp. In total, we received three letters from the medical infirmary, that Kevin was ill. Once for pneummonia, once for having to have his wisdom teeth pulled, and once for re-dislocating his shoulder.

Because Kevin was so sick or injured it actually took him twice as long to graduate. Our hearts bled for him that he would have to go through such a rigorous and physically demanding boot camp for so long. He did it though! When Kevin left for Boot ca
mp he was an 18 year old boy, 2 weeks out of High School...the day his father and I went to Boot Camp Graduation and Family Day, he was a gentlemen and a Marine! Our hearts bursted with pride.

One of the requirements that all of the recruits had to pass in order to graduate was called "THE CRUCIBLE" it was an endurance task that was extremely physically demanding. It lasted 72 hours and was the most grueling three days a Marine is expected to complete. It involves several obstacle courses, hiking with 50 Lbs of weight on their backs with little or no food and they have to go 55 miles with 6 hours of sleep maximum over the entire time.

His drill Sargent's wife ran into Kevin and I, during family day and she said h
er husband the drill Sargent, couldn't say enough of this fine young Marine, our son.
and that was saying a lot coming from he husband.

Kevin was so excited to be stationed in San Diego, CA as a Marine. He had been half way around the world on his ship. Getting to see many countries along the way, On September 11th, he was on a three day leave in Sidney, Australia, suddenly the entire crew were called back to Port. 9/11 had just occurred...

Kevin was with MSSG 15, Communications. His ship's name was the USS Pelieu. Ke
vin had several close calls while in the front lines of the war. His bullet proof vest saved him from three bullets that hit him in the vest. One of his most frightening experiences was when he had gutted out the back of their hummer vehicle so that he could rig up a computer system, never the less, almost got crushed to death.

Kevin said that his experience with the people over there was of gratitude. They even played soccer with the kids in the streets. He had other close ca
lls, being shot at with snipers on the roofs etc.

Just the two of us clung to the television while Kevin was in the war. It was such heart-wrenching and emotional time for us that every single Marine looked like our son. We were blessed in that Kevin, being in Communications
was able to call us once a week. One of the first calls we received from Kevin he told us they were using chickens to detect whether gas was in the area, as there was a huge fear of chemical warfare. Probably one of the most heart-wrenching conversations was when Kevin said his socks were so wet and the sand had froze to them making them feel like sandpaper. He asked if we could please send socks in his care package. When he got food poisening from eating some bad chicken, he woke up in his trench he had dug to sleep in and he was drenched in sweat. He said that between his uniform and the hazmat suit it felt like five layers of pure sweat. Just the two of us prayed that our wonderful Lord would keep our precious baby out of harms way, cause you see, no matter how old they are, they are still your baby! I also prayed that God would help us get through this too.

They had MRE's (meals ready to eat) that were incredible for the most part
in that they would heat up with just a bit of water, right in the bag. He told us while in Afghanistan they had a severe water shortage which made things difficult.

Three days after the war began, March 23, my Dad, Kevin's Granddad, had a sudden heart attack and went to be with our Lord Jesus Christ. We were devastated, and learning tha
t they didn't allow the Marines to come home for the death of a Grandparent (at that time), (since then they changed the rule to allow them to come home). We had to make the difficult decision not to tell Kevin until he was out of harms way. Kevin took it very hard, but luckily his Uncle Floyd and Aunt Lisa, their kids Christine and those cute little twin girls, McKenzie and Alizabeth whom he was visiting in San Diego and who were more than generous in being there for Kevin, while he was stationed there in Camp Pendleton, helped him get through it. What a blessing and comfort they were to all of us!

While in Iraq, Kevin was able to take pictures with a few celebrities, Wayne Newton, Drew Carey, and General Frank. Two days before Christmas Terrence and Chrystal had several of their friends over when Chrystal came running in to tell me that Drew Carey was on the phone. I was amazed at how sweet, and thoughtful he
was in calling me. He had gone over and entertained the troops when my son and several other young Marines gave him phone numbers and ask him to call and wish their Mom's and Dad's "Merry Christmas from your son, Kevin". I cried but only because it was so kind of him to see their wishes through.

When Kevin was almost ready to be Honorably Discharge
d they issued a stop order and we had to wait an addition 6 months for him to come home. When he flew home for that last time. we made posters and called friends and had balloons and were dressed up in patriotic colors with hats on that sparkled with glitter. The television crews were lined up to cover his homecoming, when what does he do, he misses his plane. We welcome him home a bit later that day...but no TV crew, it was too late! lol

Dennis and I flew out to California to help our Kevin move home, we enjoyed seeing Camp Pendleton, and all his hot spots where he liked to hang out. We went to the Ocean where Kevin and I battled those huge freezing cold waves. We got to take my BIL, Floyd, his wife Lisa and their Kids out for Scrumptious Chineese food, it was a great time for all. Then we treated Kevin to four days in Vegas to unwind. We had the time of our lives, and it served to
help Kevin unwind, and just enjoy a little time with us.

So it's just the two of us, humbled and ever so grateful to God that Our Son~Our Proud Marine, Kevin is home safe, married, with a great career as supervisor of a local Cable Co., and attending College full time. He is such a good Daddy to our first and only little Grand Baby, Ben, with his sweet wife Renee, who is expecting our second Grand Baby, and it's going to be a little girl due in February! Realizing that we are eternally grateful for God's loving mercy!

Post Note: Kevin's commanding officer, wrote a letter to just the two of us expressing immense appreciation and gratitude for going above and beyond in the service of our country. For the gallant and outstanding service that our son had demonstrated. He said Kevin was indeed a hero in every sense of the word, and that he wanted us to know this and that he wished he could elaborate but we should just take his word. Wow! What more could any parent ask for in life. ...and how trivial some things seem to me now; I am so appreciative to God for all of the blessings in my life...as life is just so precious!


At 6:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Pamela ~ A wonderful post and a lovely tribute to your son Kevin.
Thank God he got through all that war service unscathed. I am so happy for you and Dennis as you are rightfully
very proud of him. Great to know he is now safe, married and a Daddy and I hope he and his family have a truly
wonderful life.Thanks for your comments Pamela. Take care, Love, Merle.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger HORIZON said...

What a wonderful post and such a touching story. What most of us don't see- the real life boy with parents at home waiting. I agree with you- that it does not matter what age your kids are- they are still our babies.
You should be proud - your lad is a brave man and l wish him the very best for his future and family.
hugs to you mum

At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An incredible tribute to a fine man. You are truely blessed.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger PEA said...

Oh Pamela...I don't know your son but I'M even proud of him:-) I can't even imagine, though, as a mother, the worry you must have gone through when he was overseas. I really don't know if I could have handled it. You are so very lucky that God watched over him and made sure he came home safe and alive. I've got tears running down my cheeks just thinking of all the soldiers like him, past and present, and what they've gone through and the sacrifices they've made for us. God Bless them all!

At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Joan said...

What a wonderful tribute to your son's service to our country. It brought back memories of my nephew who served in Vietnam. He had such a hard start with the Marines. He was overweight and they nearly starved him on the "fat farm" before he made it. God chose not to let him come back home to us. Like you, we are so proud of the courage that our young men display.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Morning Glory said...

You have much to be proud of. Thank God for a safe homecoming! What a beautiful tribute.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

What a wonderful post!! I can tell you burst with pride and it is well deserved!!
Please tell him for us thank you for his sacrifice and his hard work!!

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Sue said...

You have such a right to be very proud of Kevin. He has my heartfelt thanks for serving our country...

At 5:22 PM, Blogger Pretty Lady said...

Thank you Kevin for serving and make us feel so proud to be Americans! Pamela thank you for being a great mom to a great soldier thank you for giving us a real hero! I am glad he is home safe.

At 7:06 PM, Blogger Wystful1 said...

Oh Pamela *gulping and choking* ---what a wonderful, WONDERFUL story of courage and fortitude for all involved, you, your family AND Kevin!

It brought chills down my spine and tears of pride (being a Marine mother myself) for your courage having to deal with a son in the line of fire...being in the line of duty serving our country.

The Few, The Proud, The Marines!!!!

(thanks for the reminder) I would have definitely missed it --and I'm so pleased that you shared this with the world. No one that isn't a mother of a military man(woman) will ever understand the heartaches and fears we have when our sons(daughters) are overseas in war torn areas!!!

At 7:39 PM, Blogger Helen said...

That was lovely to read about your son, you must be very proud but what worrying times there must have been, thank God for His hand on Kevins life, I pray that Kevin and his family will be Blessed loads!!

Have a great week Pamela!

At 9:58 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

what a beautiful tribute to your son Kevin! He has been through so much; please thank him for his service to our country!

At 10:26 PM, Blogger Linda said...

It's hard to hold back the tears Pamela. Please tell Kevin that we are so grateful and so proud. What a fine, young man.
I remember feeling all those same emotions when my husband was in Vietnam - watching the newscasts, praying, praying, praying. God is good.
I'm thankful my sons didn't have to go to war, and I'm doubly grateful that your son was so willing to serve.
Thank you for your service Kevin. You cannont know how deeply we appreciate it.
Thanks for a wonderful post Pamela.

At 10:38 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

YOu have every right to be very proud of Kevin. He sounds like a very tough and determined young guy. We have a Kevin too, who has fought demons in his life and is now serving the Lord and going to college. We ae so grateful to God and to the many people who prayed him through.

At 10:50 PM, Blogger on the Rock said...

Continued Blessings!

At 11:08 PM, Blogger Amy said...

Oh Pamela, I have been reading this with a huge lump in my throat and tears running down my cheeks. This is a beautiful tribute to a very fine and deserving gentleman! I know you are so proud of him! Thank you Kevin for serving our country and working so hard. I will pray for God's blessing to continue as you prepare for the birth of your daughter :o) In His Love, Amy

At 12:19 AM, Blogger Barbie said...

Wow what a touching story. Thanks so much for sharing. So grateful with you that the lord protected your son!

At 12:20 AM, Blogger Barbie said...

Wow what a touching story. Thanks so much for sharing. So grateful with you that the lord protected your son!

At 12:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved this Pamela, it was just beautiful.

You know my husband is in the Air Force and my father in law was a Marine Drill Instructor.

Thank God for a safe homecoming and thank you for the sacrifice made by your family, it means the world to us ;)

Huge huge hugs to you,

At 4:15 AM, Anonymous Kevin Ihm said...

Thanks all for the loving thoughts and memories, and mom your so great and wonderful. I’m glad you got to meet all these wonderful people its so amazing the bogging community.

Thanks for continuing to support me in my life I hope I can be half the parent that you were.

Love your Son,

At 5:48 AM, Blogger Chrystal said...

Kevin is such a great big brother. I have so many memories of the time he went into the marines. It was sure hard for you and dad to see him go, but to see you guys beaming with pride when he came back, I knew it was all worth it. I remember Drew Carey calling and asking to speak to me, saying that Kevin told him to wish me a happy birthday! I thought how thoughtful Kev was to have him do that. What a great big brother I have!

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Susie said...

I loved reading this tribute to your son. Tell him thank you for serving our country. We are truly blessed to have men like that out there.

At 11:12 PM, Blogger Magi said...

Beautifully written. What a fine job you and your husband did raising your son.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

What a fabulous post! How did I miss this one! I can imagine you are so proud. Our Joey wants to be a Marine someday. I am not sure where he got the idea but the Marines are amazing.

Thank you for sharing about your son. God Bless him!

At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a tribute to your son. he looks so handsome in his uniform. How proud you must be. I am so sorry to hear about his grandfather though. I just know he is a wonderful family man as he had the best of examples!

At 5:20 PM, Blogger Kerri said...

What a wonderful read! You have every reason to be proud of your young Marine. Kevin is lucky to have such loving parents. Thanks for sharing these blessings with us.
Once a Marine, always a Marine. My hubby is one too :) They are a few good men!!!
Please tell him thank you from me for serving his country so faithfull and gallantly.

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