Graduation Day, Parris Island

Yesterday morning, under a bright sun and against brisk winds, I had the honor of observing the Marine Graduation Ceremony at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC.

Welcome to Parris Island... Time to become a warrior

I had come to congratulate a young man whom I had only met a few times, but had followed his decision to become a Marine recruit and his subsequent training. This boy was now a man and his job was to protect my and your family from all enemies…foreign and domestic.

Private, First Class, Harvey Stone, USMC

I was able to meet Harvey’s parents and several of his relatives and friends. My good friend, Ed Maino drove down with me and we hooked up with Mike Enloe and the parents of Matt Dillon, USMC, (KIA, 12 December 2006), Neal and Lucy Dillion.

There were approximately 680 recruits who pinned on their Eagle, Globe & Anchor for the first time. Thousands of people filled the parade deck and we were all there for the same reason….to cheer on our Marine.

After graduation, most of the PFC Stone Fan Club, with Harvey in the middle

The band played, the Marines marched and I am positive, very positive, that I was not the only one there who was wondering when this day of joy will be replaced with fear and concern.

What I wouldn't give to have heard what Neal Dillion said to Harvey in this moment.

As the 680+ Marines stood at parade rest, we got to hear the speeches and awards, which by the way, PFC H. Stone, Company E, 1st Recruit Battalion, Platoon 2000, received the “Platoon High Shooter” award, which will surely come in handy as he pursues his MOS, (Military Operating Specialty) of being a Military Police Officer.

We had a perfect line on PFC Stone, at left.

After the graduation was complete, Ed and I drove around the Depot, visited the USMC Museum, grabbed a burger across the street and headed home for a 3pm funeral. It was five hours of driving (round trip) for a one-hour ceremony, but it was worth every minute and mile.

Congratulations PFC Stone.Thank you for your service and Semper Fidelis

Last Spring, I visited Parris Island for the first time. See my observations here.

And some more pictures…..

Harvey and Mike Enloe. Mike is responsible for introducing me to Harvey

Harvey, Lucy Dillion and Mike Enloe sharing a lighter moment

As cold and as windy as it was, they never missed a note

Ed at the Iwo Jima photo in the museum.

About Ray V.

Living between Aiken & Nashville, TN, USA, I like to share what I am looking at, thinking about or listening to. I refer to this as the view out my window. Thanks for stopping by.
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6 Responses to Graduation Day, Parris Island

  1. Neal & Lucy Dillon says:

    Great article and pictures. It was a great honor to be included in Harvey’s graduation. He will serve his America,fellow Marines and his family/friends well. He renews our faith in the youth of America to serve and defend our country. America can sleep peacefully knowning that Marine’s like Harvey are keeping us secure. We wish him well and a safe journey.


  2. Jim Rudolph says:

    He will be proud of becoming a Marine his entire life. They are few and proud. Proud of this young man.




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