This is a great story. It is an event that happens every year. It is in a different state every year. And it is very, very motivational every year!
It is the Marine Parents United Conference. Amd this year it was in Cary, N.C. If you have never hear of that city, it is very near Raleigh, which you probably have heard of. I do not know why the MPUnited group chose what it chose, but I am very glad they did. If you want to know more, go to their WEB SITE and learn all about it. It is very possitive!
The Wounded and Non-Wounded Warriors, just Marines in this case, had a wonderful time. The trip was funded, so it was free. And while that is nice, which it was, they were not there just for fun. They were there on a mission. They were there to motivate the parents. To share their experience with the parents.
Many of the parents believe that every Marine there, whether wounded or not, earned their pay-check. Even if they didn't teach a class. Or carry the colors.
They were there.
The parents saw them. Watched them. Talked to them about the Corps. Where they had been stationed. They would ask them what unit they were from. Many of the parents wondered where their son/daughter was going. Some of the parents knew where their son had been.
Prior to the Conference, many of the parents had spent an exhausting day going to "Boot Camp".(Check their web site)
So, of course, that had been a topic of discussion. All of the parents had a son/daughter who had been to boot camp. Some of them had just graduated. Others had graduated a couple of years ago. Several of those Marines came to the event with their parents. Not all of them, but a few.
But in some cases, the Marine would never be there. The parents knew that. And so did the Wounded Marines that were there.
Because a number of the parents' had; rather, have, son's/daughters who were killed in the war.
And the mission of the Wounded Marines was to stay with them. Spend time with those parents. Whoever wanted it. Whenever they want it.
And that was tough.
Every one of those Marines had lost a friend. A brother. In several cases, that brother's mom/dad was there. At that conference. At the same table. And they had just figured that out.
In other cases, the parents and the Wounded Marine would realize that they had been in the same unit. There were two parents who had just met each other. Their son's had been in the same unit. The same company. At the same time. But one couple had lost their son in Iraq.
So, it was difficult to talk. Several of the Marines, tough young men and women who had been to combat at least once, who were in the bar drinking a little beer bought for them by parents whose sons had been killed, found they had a little "sand in their eyes" a few times.
But that was their mission. They had volunteered to be there. And they had known, to some extent, what it was all about. And so they talked, openly, to the parents of Marines who had been killed. And parents of Marines who had just graduated from boot camp.