Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Christopher part II

2-18-09 proud aunt Judy brain

Continuing on with my nephew’s story: As many of you know, Christopher was accepted into OCS in October for 10 weeks of training. OCS= officer candidate school for the Marines. It was quite the accomplishment just to be accepted. You had to pass physical requirements as well as have good college grades and write an essay. This 10 week period was a roller coaster for all of my family as we followed along with Christopher on his adventure.

For the first 3 weeks, we had no contact with him. This was hard on him and especially hard on my sister who is use to being in daily contact with her children. After that period, we were able to exchange letters and would get a phone call from him during his weekly 24 hour "liberty" period when he got to go off base. I guess he spent most of this time eating and sleeping in a hotel near base.

Christopher wrote some heartbreaking letters home, but inspiring letters as well of his struggles to complete this 10 week training. He was put to the test with physical challenges, leadership challenges, there was book training and testing and the whole emotional and mental challenges of being in this military environment. Only about half of his platoon made it to the end, either they quit by choice or they were sent home when they didn’t pass all the requirements.

From week to week, we didn’t know if Christopher would make it or if he would choose to leave. We knew he was struggling along the way, trying to figure out if this was what he wanted to do with his life.

One particular letter home was at Thanksgiving (about week 7 out of 10)……

Today has been one of those days where I have both vacillated about my future and received clarity as to what I should do. The motivational run this morning really inspired me both by the descriptions of the recipients of the Medal of Honor and by the bonding of the team through cadence and everything we’ve been through. It made me really feel like it was something I could do and that it was worth going to fight. But liberty (24 hour period off base) is both the thing that has gotten me through this place and simultaneously shown me that this life is not for me. Today when I took off my “libo” (liberty) clothes, I felt trapped, like I was taking a piece of me, a form of my freedom off and that came with a few moments of despair”……

So long story short: Christopher hung in there and did complete the 10 weeks of training. We were very proud that he graduated. At that point, Christopher had a decision to make- whether to accept a “commission” and continue on and officially join the Marines and make a 4 year commitment to them. At this time he has not accepted a commission. I believe there maybe a time period in which he still can accept, but at this time I believe he is considering graduate school instead.

I always thought he was more of a “lover” rather than a “fighter”…. But as I said before, he actually probably is BOTH- he is a multifaceted type of guy. Like most all of us had to go through......Christopher still just needs to fine his niche and his passion in life. So far, he knows he does not want to be a golf pro like his father, so with the process of elimination, he is one step closer to figuring out his life.

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans"

(John Lennon)

I guess for the time being, Christopher's life is all about helping me, and I am truly blessed by this and grateful!

1 comment:

  1. This posting is for Christopher:
    You and your aunt Judy have a bond and a gift (writing) that you should be proud of. Your writing is much like Judy's ....very inspiring. You too will find your niche....