New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
Editor, The News:
This is a tribute to our amazing neighbors, the recruits who take the challenge to become Marines and the gracious people who eagerly express thanks to those bravely serving our country.
Our son, Mitchell, enlisted as a Neshannock senior. Four days after graduation, he entered the grueling challenges every recruit must complete to earn the respected title, United States Marine.
On Sept. 6, family and friends ushered Mitch home from Marine graduation after completing 13 weeks of boot camp.
The atmosphere at Parris Island is memorable because of the powerful respect felt and demonstrated by those in uniform and those attending graduation.
Mitchell arrived home to a flag-lined street and a neighborhood response of overwhelming support and enthusiasm. One family donated 200 small flags displayed around the cul-de-sac. All neighbors wrote at least once to Mitch during boot camp.
Marine boot camp is the longest, most physical training of the military’s main branches. The Crucible, a three-day physical, mental and moral test, must be completed by every recruit before becoming a Marine. They trek 45 miles and are deprived of sleep and food, preparing them for real combat. Carrying 45 pounds and their rifles, recruits are tested with 29 problem-solving exercises, then run nine miles to the Iwo Jima memorial where they receive their coveted medal and the title “Marine.”
We, as Americans, should be encouraged to know people were constantly approaching Mitchell with words of thanks and prayers for his safety.
We like to think our community is representative of America. What we see is glorious support and pride for our military. We know we speak for many when we say, “Thank you” to those who bravely “Take the watch” and defend our country so the rest of us can live in freedom.