Seeing our Marine grandson was a dream a few weeks ago but it became a reality this weekend. It has been truly amazing to see Ben transform from a high school teen to a muscular Marine.

No wonder this "tough guy" is the Marine mascot.

Last evening Ben shared a video that documents his intensive survival training by French troops in New Caledonia. While there, among other things, he jumped from unbelievable heights, learned to hunt and dress a deer, ate live grubs that had been dislodged from a tree, and mastered multiple water survival techniques. An unplanned event for Ben was being bitten on the arm by an “unknown” insect. This resulted in a swollen arm, losing a large patch of skin, and a big open wound. He has a scar. Lesson learned: Keep arms inside the sleeping bag. (His mother thinks maybe a Purple Heart. After all, he was deployed and he was wounded. Never mind that it was by a vicious little critter.)

Additional achievements for Ben while deployed included earning his black belt in Marine Martial arts and mastering scuba diving.

Welcome home for a while, tough guy!


  1. Congrats to Ben! Love that cartoon.

    1. Thank you, Secondary Roads. While Ben was in his thirteen weeks of recruit training, his only contact with the outside world was through letters. I collected lots of cartoons and quotations about Marines to include in my daily letters. This cartoon was one of them.

    2. I am so glad you got to see him but not so happy about his "battle" scar.