Sunday, November 25, 2007

Parris Island Revisited

Thirty five years ago, my husband visited S. C. - only his touring that time was limited to Parris Island. As a new recruit, he spent twelve weeks isolated there - away from home during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Last Friday, he urged me to visit the place that changed his life forever.

"I want to see what you've done to the place in the last 35 years," he joked with the sentry on duty. The young man in uniform smiled and handed us our visitor's pass. We drove over the bridge and down the endless lane passing by the barracks filled with young men and women eager to serve their country. Fresh recruits were being drilled but overall the base was nearly empty due to the holiday.

After a tour of the museum, we walked a few blocks hoping to discover long buried memories. Soon we spotted a Drill Instructor. My husband told me one never forgets the man that grilled them through basic.

"Were you afraid or sad?" I asked.

My husband shook his head no. "It's what you did." I watched his gaze search the drill field as we drove back past the marsh.

Thiry five years later - memories never forgotten.

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