You’ve heard the hue and cry (I’ve been one of the huer and criers myself, once upon a time)…
Find Your Passion!
Sometimes though, a passion finds you. It could be out of necessity, it could be out of love, it could be out of a desire to make a difference, it could be because it hits really close to home for you; whatever the reason…it shows up on your doorstep refusing to be ignored until you open the door and let it in.
I don’t know about you, but I have lots of different passions. I use the word passion loosely; in this sense I am using it to convey my interest, intense enthusiasm, and overarching themes in my life.
My latest passion is for something called the SAM Bag Project. Something I would have never known anything about if not for the fact that it hits very close to my home right now.
My youngest son is currently a guest of the United States Government down at Parris Island. He is training to be a Marine. I’m not sure where his passion to become a Marine came from…although I can say he’s always had a highly developed sense of justice and integrity.
Although only 18 years old, he has never compromised his values and has never been one to follow the crowd to fit in; he is an exceptionally fine young man…so yea, I’m damn proud of him and I would move heaven and earth to see him graduate.
This brings me to the SAM Bag Project. SAM stands for Stand Alone Marine. These Marines, due to various circumstances, have no one there at graduation. Thirteen of the toughest weeks of their lives with limited contact (only handwritten mail) and there is no one there to celebrate their accomplishment.
No mom to fuss over them
No dad to shake their hand and say “Well done”
No sibling to gently tease them
No grandparent with a “My grandson/daughter is a Marine” Tshirt
No significant other to hold them close and say “I love you”
No.one. Let me repeat that: No.one.
As a human being this makes me sad…as a mom it breaks my heart. The Marine Corp considers itself a family…your fellow recruits become your brothers, in part because your life may depend on one of them someday.
So, in a larger sense these SAM’s are my kids too…at least for graduation.
The SAM Bag Project is run entirely by donation. The parents of recruits who will be attending (with the help of some of the Drill Instructor’s wives) organize and gather items to make up care packages for these young men and women as they make their way to their next destination after boot camp.
It is a way to show them that indeed, there are many people who are very proud of them and who thank them for their sacrifice and service.
Care packages are made up of things like:
snacks (any and all types…new Marines always seem to be hungry!)
personal hygiene items (toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc)
biofreeze (sore muscles!)
magazines/word search/puzzle books
notes of thanks and encouragement
decks of cards
food gift cards (see above about being hungry!)
drink mix pkts.
bags to put the items in
the items are really only limited by your imagination
The rule of thumb is about 35-50 bags and anything left over is saved for the next graduating class or is sent to deployed Marines.
Did I mention it is all done through the kindness of others?
Interested in putting a smile on a new Marine’s face?
I have been moved to tears by some of my dear friends’ generosity…I have the bags covered for sure, and some other items on the way.
I appreciate you reading this post and I hope when an unexpected passion knocks on your door you welcome it with open arms.
As for me, on March 30th I plan on handing some young men and women a bulging care package, giving them a big hug as only a mom can and saying “well done and thank you”