An Outreach Program of MarineParents.com
My son was transferred to MRP last week during final PFT with stress fractures. His initial phone call and letter sent the day of was one of disappointment in himself and discouragement and lack of motivation. He has always been a perfectionist and the things that the DI's were saying to him when he "fell out" made him unsure of his ability to finish. This after he qualified swim test the first day and got expert in rifle week and just the week before sounded so upbeat and confident and happy.... I don't know what to do with this - or what they will do with this. Do they encourage at all or continue with the mental game? Also, please share stories of recruits continuing on after feeling this way as well and what got them sure of themselves again. My son has been dreaming and working for this his whole life. I know he will regret it if he doesn't finish...for the rest of his life. Any advice, information, ect? Heartbroken here in KC...
Sometimes when they get a bit discouraged like this at first a good old fashioned pep talk letter from their recruiter works, you might want to give him a call or drop in and visit and just let him know how he sounded, and it makes a big difference for them to get a letter from their recruiter saying you can do this, then from us saying it, they know we will always believe in them, they need to know a Marine believes in them (hope that makes sense).
MFN Manager of Boot Recruit Groups
Mom of Deployed Marine
Here's the thing...Drill Instructors are INCREDIBLY hard on recruits...some might consider it down right cruel. HOWEVER, I guarantee you that combat stress is a MILLION times more difficult than what they experience in boot camp. The entire point of boot camp is to prepare for the stress, confusion, and chaos of combat.
My son was heartbroken when he called from medical. I cannot remember the last time I heard him cry...and he was sobbing. I gave him 2-3 minutes of empathy and then moved on to suck it up and get it done mode. His motivation never wavered, his confidence did...but it has steadily increased over the past 3 weeks that he's been in MRP. It takes time to accept and process the setback. BUT Marines are trained to improvise, adapt, and overcome adversity. Letters to recruits in MRP should be upbeat, positive and stern in my personal opinion. Sympathy can be found in the dictionary...they do not need sympathy or coddling...they need encouragement and at times prodding.
Do you know the old saying - do as I say not as I do? When we got the 'bad news mom' call I was instantly in the worried, over protective mom mode. Got off that call and jumped right into one with the recruiter and Chaplain. Then I realized I was not helping. I put on my cheerleader uniform and started motivating. I sent magazines and books (his request). His uncle had won the Air Force Cross so I sent a copy of the Commendation stating he came from brave stock. Unfortunately my brother had died in a helicopter crash so I posted on a board for survivors of the action that my brother was decorated for. Several kind, retired military men emailed me and I sent these to my son. I wish I hadn't been stuck in the 'I need more information' loop for quite so long. My son made it through, RTFD and cried like a baby when he was handed his EGA. Your recruits will finish. It may take longer than expected but they will get their chance to cry like a baby, too. Until then see if your cheerleader uniform still fits and get creative with that motivation.
Come back here often after all - we all need a place to worry out loud. You will find your own cheering section to keep you going when it is tough. God bless these recruits and their wonderful, caring parents.
Proudkcmom--I know how you feel, mourning the loss of the fellowship with all those parents on Family Day. I felt the same as my son's platoon went on without him and graduated. I have heard boys who are so close to the crucible/in the crucible when they got dropped repeated a week or so of training when they got picked up again. This is another week added on, but a week to establish some relationships with the guys before the teamwork required in the crucible. I hadn't thought about being in the video-or the yearbook-in the new platoon. That is a real bummer.
My son was also in Plt 1010 and called us yesterday 10/22 to tell us that he was in MRP with a stress fracture as well. He sounded good considering he was dropped for four weeks. I wanted to tell you that my son told us that we could still attend family day and be with him but he would not be graduating. I emailed his SDI to confirm that we could attend and be with him but after I sent it remembered we probably wont hear from him. (crucible is this week). My son really needs the family connection right now and I don't want to make the trip if we are going to be turned away. My husband is going to call his recruiter tomorrow and see if he can get any additional information confirmed. You might want to also contact your sons recruiter too if you can make the trip. If I find anything out I will pass it along. My son's name is Ryan and he is the one everyone called "sniper" after Table 1.
Thank you all for all of the advice... Things are looking up and he seems to have his head back in the game... He is worried about being able to pass his final PFT ( where he ultimately went down) and is disappointed because his original platoon won honor platoon.. He wonders what platoon he will end up in next and company ... Does anybody know if he will pick up right where he left off or what... And how do they determine what company and platoon to put him back into? Is it a disadvantage for him when completing the crucible to be with a new platoon? Also... they did the video of the recruits right after he went to MRP and he wasn't in it... when he gets back into a platoon will he be in a video ...? My cheerleader uniform still fits proudone.. I just know that it originally had his name on top and platoon 1010 after that ... I find myself mourning the other moms and guys that he went through all of this with ( not getting to meet them and congratulate them on honor platoon - not getting to go to the meet and great that they had planned.. ect.) So I can only imagine how he feels...