Saturday, March 27, 2010

Welcome Home, Marine

We are having a great weekend at our house! Benjamin has made it home for good- no more returning to California and other points on the compass! His discharge from the Marines was finalized Thursday- designated "General under Honorable Conditions". We have great gratitude to God for this answer to prayer- praise for all the things He worked out for this to be accomplished- praise that the Holy Spirit guided our prayers and inspired us in this BIG THING in all our lives- praise that God worked according to His Word that says "...the Lord...redeemeth thy life from destruction and crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies." (Psalm 103) I know his total story cannot be made public in a setting like this, and if I were to try to explain it all it would take a long time, but suffice it to say Jesus proved to him that He loves him and saved him from what he could not save himself from. Some may not  know that he was involved in high school in Self- Infliction, which really disqualified him from being accepted in the USMC, but after many tries his recruiter was able to get him passed in. He survived boot camp with high recommendations from his Drill Instructors, and in SOI (School of Infantry) loved his training, to a point. After hitting "the fleet", a lot of hazing happened and this resurrected some old troubles, resulting in him being reported by one of his buds for suicidal talk...He was admitted twice to Balboa Naval Hospital for treatment, which resulted in a diagnosis of Personality Disorder with Borderline traits. His doctors recommended an Admin-Sep and it finally was signed off by the General this week, after an agonizingly long wait (for Benjamin). Of course, this is a very condensed version with a lot of details left out...but it's all over now and he is happy to be home. Now the adjustments to civilian life have to be worked through...He is proud of what he did get accomplished, and glad of what he learned that he would never have learned any other way, but he has struggled with many issues and ambivilant feelings. The Marine Corps has left its mark on him and changed him in many ways for the better. All our lives have been changed- speaking for myself I pray for the military now like I never did before, knowing now firsthand some of the struggles they go through, particularly mental. I do feel like his diagnosis is accurate-- when I researched it for myself I recognize it is accurate, knowing my son like I do!! I can confidently say that God is with us! and working for good in our lives- Benjamin now can freely admit this. He told us on the long drive home, somewhere in Arizona he left his "old man" somewhere on the side of the road (meaning he received salvation) and that God had proved Himself to him. Our relief is great and our hearts are full of thankfulness for this wonderful, happy conclusion to this last "1 year, 1 month and 2 days" !! We have prayed so many prayers during this time!...I wonder what the count would be!
Me, Ben, Julia and David

A big hug for father and son while happy mom looks on

Brother and Sister- Ben and gal pal Al

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