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The Men I Love to Hate and Hate to Love????

Well, I know, "hate" is a potent word. But coupled with the word "love" might suggest some hidden deep dark emotion, as we say in the counseling world. You know love-hate relationships. All of us experience this psychological oxymoron, if you will, at least once in our lifetimes, whether we ever admit it or not. In my case, I just never thought it would be with people whom I've never met.
"People." Hmmm. Sometimes I've wondered if they are truly of the human race. I mean, maybe they are Super Heroes! Indeed. That's the category I'm leaving them in. Them? You know to whom I'm referring to, right? USMC Recruit Training SDIs (Senior Drill Instructors) and their sidekicks... DIs (Drill Instructors). Kill Hat. Heavy Hat, etc.. Even their names ignite ((fear)) and ((trembling)) to your very soul!

Yet, who else could yell & scream orders 24/7 and make perfect sense (well, mostly)? Dance and choreograph steps that could win awards and make Recruits cry with either nervous laughter or mostly involuntary tears? Spit farther, jump higher, leap what seems like buildings, then shake rattle & roll 90 well able-bodied YOUNG men into shape, all in one single moment in time? Alas, then continue to don the "stage" effortlessly, seamlessly for three solid months? Certainly, not EVEN the above average human. ((Super-Heroes, I tell you!))

There is no "mean" (i.e., average) for them, except being Mean, Lean, Marine Machines. They own THE category; they are The Few of The Few. The are the crème de la crème of any military branch of service. ONLY about 600 serving this particular volunteer billet. Yes, VOLUNTEER!

They are far from being God. But I think in so many ways, that's who they represent to our young men. Though there are times, I'm certain the Recruits think their DIs are the devil himself.

Certainly, these men of valor could have found an occupation that brought them more money and prestige; yet, not the reward of knowing, come the end of the day, that they were transforming lives.


I have endeavored to remember and take comfort from the promise they made to my son on that first encounter,


United States Marine Corps Drill Instructor Creed

"These recruits are entrusted to my care. I will train them to the best of my ability. I will develop them into smartly disciplined, physically fit, basically trained marines, thoroughly indoctrinated in love of the Corps and country. I will demand of them and demonstrate by my own example, the highest standards of personal conduct, morality and professional skill."


Still, at times, I find myself wavering on the matter. One minute, I'm fighting them. The next, I'm sweetly acquiescing to them, to do their best at redefining who my son is for the cause and love of the Corps.

Truthfully, I guess, I never "hated" them; I just didn't understand them. How could I? After all, I grew up in a minister's family, with only a few threads of military woven through. Then again, maybe there are some similarities there. Ha! You know, Hell, Fire, And Damnation sermons my daddy preached many a time in his tent meetings as an evangelist, back in the day, long before I was even thought of. Now that I AM thinking about it, he kind of looked and acted like a Senior Drill Instructor! Oh my. He certainly had a platoon of "recruits" ~ his audience, congregation, for sure. Hmmm, I think I remember seeing some of them shakin n rattlin, n rollin' in their shoes as well.

And, of course, we have GySgt Carter and Pvt Gomer Pyle as our guides. Ha! Let's not add insult to injury here. I admit, today I watched one of those episodes on YouTube! I must say, the brevity was therapy for this Marine-Mom-In-The-Making!
Moving right along...

In conclusion, I've grown to love these men whom I have entrusted my Recruit. To respect them. To embrace who they are in his life and mine. The essence of Semper Fi. To believe that they have my son's best interest at heart. They do have heart, don't they? Ah, yes! I think I hear those hearts beating now, for the purpose of what they love and have invested their lives in... The United States Marine Corps!


What more could I ask?


To shake their hands and say, "Thanks for pouring/poring yourselves into 'making' and growing my son into a young man, and an honorable United States Marine!"


Ummm, oh, yeah, and maybe, "Sir, might my New Marine, make a phone call come Liberty Sunday, after The Crucible? PLEEEAZZZE!?" ♥s


*UPDATE: I didn't get that one Liberty call. I got THREE! My son survived and graduated and is a proud United States Marine, giving most of the credit to God, his SDI, and DIs. As for myself....I will forever be thankful for the time, energy, and dedication they provided in helping him, but also helping ME to become a United States Marine... M.o.M.! ~Semper Fi~

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Comment by Gerald01 on November 7, 2013 at 6:39pm

Great write up!

Comment by Deanna on November 7, 2013 at 1:39pm
Love it! Brought tears to my eyes!!
Comment by Rsm on August 31, 2013 at 1:37pm
Ok, that made me tear up. My son and his DI are constantly on my mind!
Comment by wolfdragon on August 17, 2013 at 10:17am

Ain't it tho!

Comment by Sher on August 17, 2013 at 10:14am
That was awesome!
Comment by Rony Meyn on March 5, 2013 at 9:05pm

This blog is written.. so well.  Boy we  got some wonderful people who are able to express what i feel ..   awesome..    


My son deploying soon.  winter.. maybe spring 2013.   Loved your video too.   Our son's have the same name.. as well as the spelling.(saw your sign in pictures)..   Thank you .  Love. that SUV song.   Had to put on my Facebook..   

Comment by wolfdragon on January 19, 2013 at 7:47am

Periodically I like to visit some of my "friends" and fellow Marine Family to see how they are doing, now Truly Marine Parents and along the path into the Fleet, or in the Fleet.

I want to thank you for this post, for my Father, who was an SDI at the time of his passing, as well as several of the fine Men I know and their Wives.

Thank you for saying these words because they do mean a lot to them.  I always try to assure people that begin the journey that their people will be fine, and that upon the end, they will be quite satisfied with the results of their and YOUR Faith in These "Devils" have.

Best Regards,


VPF/VPAF of 5 United States Marines

Comment by 1~sandyr, MFN VO & VPMM on December 29, 2012 at 4:43pm

Congratulations to your son and to you, Marine Mom!!

You might want to check out our What's After Boot? categories for the next step of his journey (after his leave, of course!):

Sandy (1~sandyr)

MFN:  Director of Online Support Services

VPMM of Brian

Comment by 88 Days on December 21, 2012 at 12:16pm

Thank you, 1~usme (Laura)! You are so right, deployment has to be 1000x harder for family and friends. These 13 crazy weeks were but a taste. Had they been any harder, I don't think any of us would have survived! I'm glad to report that we did, and I was a blessed one to have received that blessed call Liberty Sunday. Too, I did take the time to meet some of his instructors...they are still my Super Heroes! =) 

Comment by 1~ucme (Laura), VPMM & Volunteer on December 11, 2012 at 9:45am

This brought back SO many memories of those 13 weeks that, at the time, seemed like a torturous lifetime, only to discover they were NOTHING compared to the deployments to follow!


Thanks for the smile =)

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