I was so taken by the graduation that I did not get many photos. Here is the bugler who started the pre-graduation festivities. It was here that several people were recognized. First of all were the DI's who served as far back as Vietnam and before that even. Sorry, I thought I had a photo.
Second of all was this dear, old man, Mr. Jack Tramiel. Mr. Tramiel is a Polish Holocaust survivor. His entire family, other than his wife, was killed in Auschwitz (I am not sure whether or not he married her after the war).
He eventually made his way to America where he eventually became the founder of COMMODORE, yes, the company who invented the Commodore 64 home computer. He later, as CEO, acquired ATARI. He eventually retired. I sat near him. He was so freaking patriotic, singing the THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER in his old voice while they raised the flag over Paris Island. You can't beat those old immigrants. Mr. Tramiel is in the front row with the baseball cap on. Sorry so blurry. I need to get the Iphone 4.
Ah, we got to see Hummer, Parris Island's mascot, up close. Hummer is an English Bulldog. They said that their mascots actually enter basic training, too.
The following is a group I mistakenly thought was graduating. I was a little disillusioned at first, because they kept looking at the crowd, swaying on their feet, and appearing to be distracted. I learned that they were JROTC from the local high schools. I was relieved to learn that.
They had the Parris Island band play several patriotic selections. Amazing band. We watched them raise the flag which was seriously large enough to drape over and cover a small plane. I could not help but to get really sober (without tearing up, but close). Every Marine who has died, has come from East Coast Parris Island or West Coast Camp Pendleton.
We later went over to the where the formal graduation and parade of the recruits (204, I believe, in all) graduated. Wow is all I can say. Those boys... those men... were sharp.