I didn't think I'd miss Jon when he left for boot camp. I was very excited that he wouldn't be "the boss of me" anymore. As my after-school babysitter while Mom was still at work, I felt like Jon made my life a living hell. He was a constant tease and it sure felt like he picked on me a lot. He was always Mom's favorite and so my complaints about his treatment fell on deaf ears. And looking back, I guess I didn't have it too bad. I was only 8 years old in this picture, but I knew it was a really big deal when Jon went into the Marine Corps. Mom was so proud of him and the sentiment rubbed off on me as well. I may not have understood, but I knew Jon was different when he came home. He was still a tease, but he wasn't a boy anymore.
Jon taught me a lot about the Marine Corps when he got home. I knew all of the words to the military running cadences and many of the acronyms.
He spent a lot of time trying to teach me how to stand at attention (as pictured here.) I remember thinking the holding still for that long was virtually impossible. Eyes straight ahead, hands relaxed, thumbs tucked in and most important, no smiling.