Saturday, January 30, 2010

Who is This Boy of Ours Inside The Camouflage?

We are banishing The Camouflage Effect, one personal story at a time. Please enjoy reading about Shane, another of our 2/2 Marines who is serving us and our nation while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Who is this boy of ours inside the camouflage?

I can tell you this, he has always been in camo.

He just traded in his hunting camo for digital camouflage. I can describe to you his younger years, however, who he has become today sure warms his families’ hearts. He still has the same personality as his younger days, but one can not help but notice he is a man now with maturity beyond his years.

I was always told that Shane was mature for his age, even when he was young. I guess being an only child had something to do with that fact. Although he had many friends and cousins he played with as a child, he spent a good bit of time with adults. His Dad was his best buddy and to this day that still remains true.

He was one of those children that liked to mimic his Dad and pal around with him.

He grew up around his Dad’s adult friends, which today are now some of his best friends as well. The age gap has no bearing on their relationship.

When he was very young he used to tag around with me, his Mom. We spent many a day shopping, but he soon realized doing guy things was way more fun. He was always a shy child.

Although he has come out of his shell quite a bit, he still is one to sit back and listen and not be too talkative, well, unless you talk about hunting or guns. We should have realized at a very young age that the military was going to be in his blood.

His passions are hunting, guns, his dogs, his family and friends. We often wonder what order that list falls.

There is not much that will come in between him and his hunting plans. His girlfriend at the time, now his wife, was told long ago that hunting comes first. If you want to make plans during hunting season, don’t expect to include him.

He would get up early in the morning before school and hunt. He would go to school and afterwards, go off to work. When he punched out at the time clock, it was off to hunting coon at night. We would have to remind him that there is more to life than hunting. He never has come around to that way of thinking though.

When the day came that Shane told us his intention of wanting to be a Marine, we were not surprised, but yet apprehensive. That is probably saying it mildly. I was not for it at all. His Dad was more open minded about it than I was. We all talked about it extensively. We had many visits from the recruiter, but Shane would not sign the papers unless he had his parent’s blessings. For the obvious reasons I couldn’t give him my total support. I was scared. After all he is my Punkin!

One day he had an injury to his hand that could have possibly threatened his chances of becoming a Marine. His Grandmother and I were secretively happy at the thought, but when the doctor told him, I could see the huge disappointment on my son’s face. He was crushed at the news. That moment changed my outlook. I knew at that time that this was my son’s dream. I must now support him and his decision.

Shane has always been one that gave 100% at anything he attempted. He always had to prove to himself that he could do what he set out to do. He never wanted to fail. Sometimes that can be a lot of stress on a young person. We tried to explain to him that it is not the score or grade that is important, but knowing that you gave it your best and applied yourself that really matters.

When Shane entered the Marine Corps, he set a personal goal for himself. Go figure! He said he wanted to be a Sergeant before his 4 year enlistment was complete. At 2 ½ years he has reached his goal. It was not an easy climb. He paid his dues. He studied and worked hard to achieve this rank.

I could sit here and write on and on about all his accomplishments to the point that it would become too much bragging. I will try to save you all from that. I know my son is so very proud to be a United States Marine. He said they are the best, and he wanted to be one of the best. We are all aware that it sure is not an easy road to become a Marine. They are very disciplined and unique individuals. I know we are all as proud as scared Parents can be.

As you can tell we admire our son and all his achievements throughout his life, but I am more proud of the man he has become. He stands up for what he feels is right. He is one that doesn’t go looking for trouble, but if his friend is in need, they can count on him. He is a very loyal person and will do anything for a good friend. Yet at the same time he will have no trouble telling you when you have crossed the line. He believes in fairness for all and looks out for the underdogs. He wants nothing handed to him and wants to earn his way. He is devoted to his wife and family.

If someone messes with either one, he is there with out question at their defense. He has a rough exterior but a soft, kind heart. He makes it no secret that he loves his family and wife. He never parts a phone call or visit with out a kiss for his Mom and Dad both. He always tells us he loves us at every chance.

He has great respect for his uniform and the US flag he defends. To this day he still gets embarrassed when someone makes a fuss over his service to his country. He tells us this was his choice and he is just doing his job. He has a high regard for the Marine Corps and their standards, standards he won’t budge on either. Just ask the Marines in his squad who wore sandals with their uniform one day at rest. Of course the Mom in me told him to not be so tough on the boys. He told me “We have standards to uphold, I can’t pick and choose which ones we will follow and ones we will not.”

As a Sergeant, he may bark at his men and demand perfection from them. However, he will defend and go to bat for them at any cost if ever needed. He respects them and is proud of their accomplishments and devotion. It is like he has become a father figure to 11 men at his ripe old age of 22. He doesn’t carry himself as a superior in their presence. He tells us he just leads them, and they deserve the recognition. He feels a sense of responsibility for each of them. He tells us they are his family now.

We long for the day when we can wrap our arms around him once again.

This was written by Diane, on behalf of herself and John, in honor of their son, Sgt. Shane.


  1. It was great getting to "know" Shane and he sounds like a terrific guy and a great and trustworthty leader.

  2. Hearing the news today of your son Shane and reading the blog about him, please know that you ALL our in my prayers.