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Old 08-06-2019, 11:44 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Letters to my SR in Bootcamp

I thought I'd post a copy of the last letter that I sent to my grandson while he was in Bootcamp. I know that at times, I struggled with what to write and what to say to him. Maybe this could help someone else.

Dear Jaden,

They tell me that the last letter needs to be mailed today since you are entering a very important phase of boot camp. So, this is that last letter. You have already accomplished an amazing feat.

As I think about the end of your boot camp coming up, I am reminded of something that captured my imagination when I was a child. On August 2, 1943, a U.S. Navy Patrol Boat (PT 109), commanded by Lieutenant Junior Grade John F. Kennedy, is rammed by the Japanese destroyer, Amagiri, which cuts through the vessel at Blackett Strait. The destruction is so massive other American PT boats in the area assume the crew is dead. Two crewmen were, in fact, killed, but 11 survived, including Lt. John F. Kennedy.

After five hours of clinging to debris from the decimated PT boat, the crew made it to a coral island. Kennedy decided to swim out to sea again, hoping to flag down a passing American boat. None came. Kennedy began to swim back to shore, but strong currents, and his chronic back condition, made his return difficult. Upon reaching the island again, he fell ill.

After he recovered, the PT-109 crew swam to a larger island, what they believed was Nauru Island, but was in fact Cross Island. They met up with two natives from the island, who agreed to take a message south. Kennedy carved the distress message into a coconut shell: “Nauru Is. Native knows posit. He can pilot. 11 alive need small boat.”

The message reached Lieutenant Arthur Evans, who was watching the coast of Gomu Island, located next to an island occupied by the Japanese. Kennedy and his crew were paddled to Gomu. A PT boat then took them back to Rendova. Kennedy was ultimately awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, for gallantry in action. The coconut shell used to deliver his message found a place in history—and in the Oval Office.

What does this story have to do with you? Kennedy was a leader. He did not give up. He set his sights on his mission and was not going to let anything stop him from completing his mission.

As you well know, the heritage, history, and reputation of the Navy is legend. And you now stand on the brink of entering into that legacy. I couldn’t be prouder of you.

Unlike the rest of your family and most of your friends, I know what it has taken for you to get this far. There is just a little way to go — perhaps, the hardest part of the way. But daylight is now at the end of the tunnel. Don’t slack up and, especially, during Battle Stations, stay intent and focused. It has all led to this.

All of my co-workers ask for daily updates about you. Dozens and dozens of my Facebook friends have wanted me to let you know that they are supporting you. Every single member of the family has told us how proud they are of you and remind us that they continue to hold you up in their prayers. The people of the church are behind you and ask about you frequently. You have been, and will be, in my prayers several times a day. You are not alone as you face this final hurdle.

You are doing a noble act, and you deserve a round of applause. Whatever challenges lay ahead, I wish you so much strength and resolve that you can do more than you think possible. You are amazing and have my admiration.
We are here rooting for you.... you deserve this and the best of the best of the best.

Only a week left until graduation. Only a week left until liberty. Only a week left until you don’t have an RDC around every corner. It’s downhill from here. You did it. You have learned so much. Much more than you thought possible in two months’ time. Think back on where you were on day one. Now look at who you have grown into.

The Navy got lucky when they got you. They got a strong, smart, dedicated individual. They got someone who could take difficulties, troubles, and strife and deal with it. They got someone who could be faced with weighty issues that some would crumble under, but you are able to quickly figure out a solution for. They got someone who others gravitated toward to help them resolve their own internal struggles. In short, they got a ready-made leader.
You are perfectly made for the job you chose. The Navy is better for it, the country is safer for it, and Donna and I are here to support you in every way.
You are days away from wearing that Navy cap and earning the title of "Sailor". It will be something you have earned and something no one can take away. It is a title that you will always hold, however long you serve.

The day you put that NAVY cap on your head is a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. Putting that cap on your head is something that sets you apart from 99% of the rest of the world. Most will never know the sacrifices you make. Many will never experience the patriotism that you will feel. Only some will understand the brotherhood you have joined. And, just a few will ever share the family of other military men and women that you are now a part of.

While some people go out and burn the flag and protest over stupid stuff, you and thousands of others just like you have been willing to put your lives on the line to give these ungrateful morons the ability to act a fool. They cannot understand what you are doing for them. They are not willing to see it. You are what makes this country as great as it is. You are what separates us from chaos and tyranny. You are what keeps us safe at night.

During your time in the Navy, you will see things that would keep most people awake at night. You will be given responsibilities that most people would never be able to handle. You will also be given opportunities that most people can only dream of. I can think of no better man to fill those shoes than you.

God bless you, my beloved grandson. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Finish the job.

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Old 08-07-2019, 09:30 AM   #2
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Very nice....
Proud Military Mom, Navy Vet Justin(MM2n), and Army Vet SSgt Clayton

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." Thomas Jefferson
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