Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
After graduating from college she gathered up her dreams and moved to Washington D. C. With her site set high, she found herself working in our nations capital.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
As I begin to type, I am reminded of the pain and fear a mother feels when her child leaves the safety of home and walks into the unknown days of their future. It had only been a few weeks earlier that Clint had announced his decision to leave the University of Houston and join the Marines. Coach and I could not have been more shocked! For most of his childhood he had
dreamed of, someday playing football at U of H, just like his dad.
And that's exactly what he had been preparing to do the past four months. After graduating in January, Clint enrolled at UH and joined his dad who was coaching there. He had just gone through off season and spring training! He loved every minute!
Nevertheless, Clint shared that God had "laid a new dream on top of his" and he knew he must go in this new direction! When I heard this explanation, God reminded me of my daily prayer spoken throughout the years, "Lord help our family, to love you with all of our hearts, souls and minds....and serve you all the days of our lives", I heard Him say, "Prayer, answered."
I wish I could say that my immediate reaction was one of gratitude, however, in all honesty I was 'stung' and hurt. I felt betrayed, having no idea that my prayer would be answered in such a frightening way. I panicked and cried! As fear began to rise, the Lord replayed another memory. This one was much older. A scene from my childhood. ~Growing up in Dallas, our parents would take us, each fall, to the State Fair of Texas. Upon entering the fairgrounds, the family would make it's way over to Big Tex where my mother, year after year, would say,
"The fair is crowded today and we are going to hold hands and all stay together...but if one of you gets lost, stop where you are and find Big Tex!
Walk back to him and we we'll meet here at his feet".~ Suddenly I questioned, ' Lord? Why am I thinking about Big Tex at a time like this'? He spoke again, "If you lose any of your loved ones, you'll be meeting at my feet". In the midst of that frightening moment, He everything changed! He reminded me that I could trust Him. As He placed a robe of peace on my shoulders, a flood of tears washed my fear away.
Three months, 2 brief conversations and many letters later, our family excitedly traveled to San Diego, for Clint's graduation. We arrived at Camp Pendleton's parade deck, before daybreak, anxious to get a glimpse of him. Our girl's spotted him first. We weren't allowed speak yet, but we got as close as we could and just stared.
A few hours later, the recruits would take their final run of USMC Boot Camp. Clint was out in front, leading a large group of young men. He carried a red flag and wore an arm band that said 1005. It was then we we're able to get closer to him and I was able to zoom in close and snap this amazing photo.
It seems important to note that on Clint's first day at Camp 'P', he was given 20 seconds to call home and tell us he had arrived. When I heard his voice I was thrilled, told him I loved him and quickly handed his dad the phone. With only a few seconds left, I heard my Coach challenge his son to, '...go be the best!'
At the end of the next week, we received his first letter. He told us his Drill Sargent had made him Platoon Leader! In closing , he said,"Dad, I have taken your words to heart and I will be the best'! Later on, he earned an Expert Marksman medal. Neither of which surprised us.....
( Clint out front, followed by Jayson Nix, of the Chicago White Sox)
Fast forward, three months later, on the parade deck at Camp Pendleton, our son stands among a 'sea' of 600 young men. All but 7 are wearing the same uniform. Clint is one of the seven, wearing 'dress blues'. We watched in amazement as Clint was selected as Platoon Honorman for Platoon 1005. He a six other young men received a Certificate of Commendation and was presented with a plaque from the Marine Corps Association. When the ceremony over, Clint walked off the parade deck towards his family.
Who stood waiting, with 'heart pounding' pride!
The following week I received a letter from the USMC, the final paragraph read:
The Marine Corps is extremely proud of Clint's accomplishment, and it is the opinion of those who have observed your son closely that he will have continued success in his future Marine Corps endeavors.
B. S. Blankenship
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps
The past four years, Clint has been in Washington D.C., two of which he spent here...
at the West Wing door.
serving his time
as a Presidential Guard.
He assisted many dignitaries,
but his favorite, was a fellow Texan and his beautiful wife.
After two years of service, Clint participated in a Exit Ceremony, in which he was able to invite his Dad. They were officially introduced to the President, where upon entering the Oval Office the President thanked Sgt. Clint Spradlin, for his service and visited a few minutes with Coach, about Texas football. One of many shared moments, they'll never forget.
Clint, completed his 5 years of service on July 10th and moved back to Texas, one week ago today! He is currently in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex, making plans for his future and looking for a job.
...and excited about, future fun!
Everyone loves Clint!...because he's so much fun!
In closing let me say this.............. "Welcome Home, Son"!