Off to Parris Island

Off to Parris Island, that was his destination 

He was searching for a challenge, the Crucible would be his confirmation

He left home a teenager and we had tears on our faces

Our boy was on the cusp of manhood and he was off to the races

He was allowed one call to confirm his Parris Island arrival 

He read from a script and I could tell he was already fighting for survival 

His voice was haggard and sounded very tense 

He had to be thinking this makes zero sense

The drill instructors were screaming and ordering him to be done

All of this and more and it was only day one.

His first letter home was upbeat and encouraging 

However a few things he said were mildly discouraging 

Mom and Dad I have stitches on my nose and I have had pneumonia and rhabdomylosis 

Cathy and I both experienced a brief psychosis 

It seemed pretty serious but James’s letter did not reflect a care

However Cathy quickly transformed into a Mama Grizzly Bear

This was her cub with whom these Drill Sergeants were a messing

And she was ready to head to Parris Island to teach all of them a lesson

We made it through that and find ourselves here today 

We are proud of James in every conceivable way

Thank you all for joining us to celebrate what James has done and will do 

He is off to serve his country and to help protect me and you 

There is much more that could be said but that is James’s story to tell

Tomorrow you will have a chance to hear directly from Private Bell

His travels may take him around this world so far and wide

But there will be no farewells because in our hearts he will always reside

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