|Robert's original Michigan ID picture, left, and a shot from video taken just before the end of Marine boot camp.|
I kind of have an idea of why Robert decided he wanted to become a Marine.
I'm not entirely sure, but I think it probably has to do with the fact that in that particular branch of the service, there's a culture devoted to being the best. Everybody gives a damn. Everybody aims to be the best. It's just part of the culture.
He wanted that.
Robert's always been driven to be the best he can be, and while he can tolerate what he considers mediocrity, he doesn't like it in himself. He also doesn't like to fail.
Wednesday, Kissy Missy and I fly out to San Diego for his boot camp graduation. I'm not exactly sure what to expect, but I know the change in him will be remarkable.
It's been three months of forced-draft growing up, physically and emotionally. I don't expect to understand it fully, because only people who have gone through it can fully appreciate it.
I do know that day after day, when I dropped the kids off at school, I told them, "I love you. Now make me proud."
I think that when we arrive aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego (Note to wannabe editors: the proper term is "aboard."), we will learn that Pfc. Ranzenberger will have accomplished that mission. And more.