Dixie's - Heart and Soul: Memories of our trip ...

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Location: Tennessee, United States

I'm a 40 something single mother of 2 - Matt, a United States Marine, who is married to the most beautiful girl in the world, Ashley and Kaitlin 14 going on 21, need I say more... two grandchildren, Tyler and Jordyn who is the applie of Mimi's eye... I have the most wonderful man in my life right now. Tony is my true soulmate. I am so happy with my life.... it can't get any better than this!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Memories of our trip ...

Yes, this is a long time coming. I'm so very sorry... I've been having major issues with my computer at home downloading pictures to Blogger. So without further ado...

We left on Wednesday morning, October 17 around 4:00 am ... took our time traveling to Beaufort South Carolina. One couldn't ask for more beautiful weather for traveling.

We traveled through the state of Alabama ... went right by Talladega Motorsports Park. Of course no race and since I was the only one in the van to have ever been there the others wanted to check it out.

We checked into our hotel around 5:00 pm, unloaded the van, got into our rooms, relaxed for about an hour or so then off to find a place to eat. Found this wonderful place called Golden Corral. We don't have those here... excellent buffet... more than I could have ever eaten.

Our waitor's name was Gil ... talking about one hot sexy young man... oh my ... if only I were 25 years younger... Kaitlin was "in love"... LOL She got so bum-fuzzled that she was acting really silly ... see

We went back to the hotel room and tried to get some sleep... but we were running on pure adrenalin. Alarms went off around 5:00 am and we were off and running, literally.

As we drove onto Parris Island it was pitch dark. We found a parking space, jumped out of the van and walked over to the bleachers where we where to sit. All of a sudden you hear this candence but could not see anything but darkness. Then from the lights of the families flashlights you could see nothing but yellow reflectors ... and there they were. Just standing there ... waiting for 7:00 am to come around. Oh my ... the chills that ran down my spine.

At about 6:55 am you heard this loud command of "right face" and in complete unison Oscar and Echo Companies turned to the right. Everyone screamed and applauded.

Now let me tell you, the Marine Corps NEVER starts anything late... NEVER... at exactly 7:00 am they are off for their 4 mile Moto Run...

Calling cadence all the way. Of course, I could not understand what they were saying but I didn't care. My son had made it. He had become a United States Marine.

Let me tell you, trying to find him was hard for me but Tony just knew how to do it. Matt has the harriest legs of any one human being I know. So when they came around he started looking down at the guys legs ... he found him... by the hair on his legs... there he was... there was my baby.

After the Moto Run, we hung around base for a bit. We visited the Iwo Jima Statue there on Parris Island.

Then we left for a little while as we would not have any contact with Matt until 1:00 pm...

We arrived back on Parris Island around 11:00 am as they were having a ceremony for the families before we were allowed to see our Marines. After the ceremony we walked around a little more outside. There was this awesome Hummer sitting outside of the All Weather Training Facility.

Then it got extremely quiet... so quiet that yes, even outside you could hear a pin drop. There they were... coming from their Squad Bays to the All Weather Training Facility... Ever so quietly marching ... not a word was being spoken, no cadence was being called ...

Everyone started making a mad dash for the building as NO ONE wanted to miss anything. After all the families gathered into the building ... here they come... marching in by platoon...

They did a small ceremony thing and then the Marines were released to their families until 1845 pm or 6:45 pm ... I couldn't get down to that floor fast enough. I was like a squirrel on crack... nobody had better NOT get in my way.

I finally found my Marine and his friend Adrian ... here is one of the first pictures taken of them on Family Day.

We found a place to eat lunch and just visit. Matt wanted to show us a few things around base. I am not posting the pictures of the things on base he showed us. But I will show you his rack and the awards that they won. I am going to show you the infamous yellow footprints and the building where they were at for 36 hours after their arrival to Parris Island.

Here is Matt standing in the infamour yellow footprints. He will NEVER again have to stand there.

This is the building where they do the Receiving process. Matt and the other recruits were here for 36 hours.

Here we are outside of the Receiving Building, in front of the yellow footprints ... Matt talking to my mother and Tony.

After we left this area, Matt wanted to show us where he had lived for the past 13 weeks. He had the bottom rack.
Do you remember me telling you about the awards that the platoon had won? Well, here they are.

By the time we had driven around base for Matt to show us around it was time for us to leave. My how time just flew by. I didn't want to go but I knew that I would see him again in only a few short hours.

Friday morning rolled around and it was yucky. There was a 90% chance of rain that day. I was so wanting to see them march across the parade deck for graduation but Mother Nature had other plans. Thanks Mother Nature...

This is what it looked like as we drove onto Parris Island Friday morning.

I could not get any real good pictures of the graduation as it was held in the All Weather Training Facility. I did, however, take my camcorder and have a excellent video.

The graduation started promptly at 9:00 am and lasted approximately 1 hour. This was something to see .. Once again a mad dash was made by all to find their new Marine.
Here is the very proud Marine Family ...

Oh yeah... remember me telling you too about Matt's SDI knowing who Dixiechick was? Matt was ragged to death from this man aboud "Dixiechick" ... well here he is ...

Matt and his SDI.

Well that pretty much sums up our trip. I know that I'm leaving a whole lot out but you get the picture.
Proudly Brought to You by Dixie 8:00 AM

Comments on "Memories of our trip ..."


Blogger Matt-Man said ... (11/27/2007 4:09 PM) : 

Great post and great pictures Dixie. Congrats again to Matt. Cheers!!


Blogger Stephanie said ... (11/27/2007 4:28 PM) : 

Love the pics, Dixie!!


Blogger Sarge Charlie said ... (11/27/2007 5:03 PM) : 

I am happy for you dixie, I feel your pride.


Blogger Tug said ... (11/27/2007 5:53 PM) : 

AWESOME. Just awesome. ;-)


Blogger katherine. said ... (11/27/2007 6:05 PM) : 

I can so feel your Mama's heart in this post. You did a great job raising this boy (man...marine...) thanks for sharing the trip and these pictures.


Blogger Mags said ... (11/27/2007 6:15 PM) : 

If I'm proud of Matt, I can only imagine the amount of pride that is bursting from you!! I can't believe the difference in him from start to finish-it's just amazing...


Blogger Julie said ... (11/27/2007 6:30 PM) : 

Oh Dixie! Great account of that time...now saved forever!

Golden Corral! Wooohoooo! We have one about 30 minutes away and will soon have one in our own town! Can't wait!

I can't begin to imagine the blood rushing through your veins as the reflectors indicated the new Marines were there!

And the 4 mile run! WOW....aren't you glad that at least Tony remembered Matt's hairy legs?

"squirrel on crack" LMOO!!

Oh Dixie...a most glorious post!


Blogger Linda said ... (11/27/2007 7:02 PM) : 

Great pictures and well worth the wait to see them!!


Blogger Travis said ... (11/27/2007 7:48 PM) : 

Thank you for sharing this incredible time.


Blogger Amazing Gracie said ... (11/28/2007 3:04 AM) : 

Wow...leaves me speechless. We watched a video that Robby brought back with him - it shows everything the guys go through during training. Ugh. I do not know how on earth they make it. Well, I do too - the desire to be a Marine!
Robby is about 6'3" and I don't think he even weighs what I do. But for certain, there's no fat on those bones!!!
Thank you so much for your wonderful note. I love the way your enthusiasm jumps right through your words...
Love to you and your Matt!!!


Blogger angell said ... (11/28/2007 10:45 AM) : 

Dixie - fabulous pictures honey! So proud to know you and your fine family.

Love from north of the border!!



Blogger OBLadyBug said ... (11/28/2007 10:46 AM) : 

Great pictures Dixie. Thank you for sharing such an incredible story.


Blogger the108 said ... (11/28/2007 2:14 PM) : 

Wow, Dixie! He looks GREAT!

Thank you for this post. It has brought back a lot of wonderful memories for me and the pride I have for my soldier. After such a rough global climate and so much happening, it has been difficult for me to feel this pride as I once did. Fear and frustration and worry has overwhelmed me for so log that I have bee unfocused on just what my baby does and what he stands for.I look at Dean in uniform every single day and it has somehow just blended into our routine but you have reminded me of how it felt the first time and how amazed I was at his strength.

Thank you so very much for that :-)


Blogger Bond said ... (11/28/2007 3:26 PM) : 

I have goosebumps all over my body after reading and seeing... If you were here I would squeeze you to death...


Blogger Turnbaby said ... (11/28/2007 5:39 PM) : 

It was well worth the wait Sugarbaby!

Your pride and love shines through.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11/28/2007 7:45 PM) : 

Love the pics, Dixie. What a good-looking family...and Matt is so handsome in his uniform. Kaitlin is a doll... just like her momma!



Blogger Semper Fi Mom said ... (11/28/2007 9:27 PM) : 

Great pics!!! I'm jealous that you got to see his barracks. At San Diego the parents aren't allowed into the barracks at all.


Blogger Anndi said ... (12/02/2007 6:32 PM) : 

Goosebumps Sis... So proud (of Matt for making it, and of you.. for surviving becoming a Marine's Momma!)

Love you


Blogger Desert Songbird said ... (12/03/2007 11:40 AM) : 

Aw, Dixie, this post made tears run down my face. What an incredible day. Thanks for sharing.


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