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« 100 Days of Gratitude - Day Nine - The Internet | Main | 100 Days of Gratitude - Day Seven - The Constitution »

100 Days of Gratitude - Day Eight - Marine Military Academy

I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to attend the Marine Military Academy.

What?... Military school??? Grateful??? Yes sir - that's right.

While many of my friends at MMA were there against their will, I was there because I wanted to be there.

My Mom sacrificed a lot to send me to MMA. Some think it's a cop out for a parent to send their kid to military school, but in fact it was one of the most unselfish things she ever did, to send me to MMA. She gave up time with me (though she visited me more than just about any other parent who didn't live in the Rio Grande Valley) and gave up a huge amount of money.

For each year I was at MMA I worked summers to help pay part of my own tuition to attend school there. Many of the people I went to school with were from very wealthy families, a few of us scrimped and saved so we could attend. I think those of us who sacrificed, may have appreciated it more.

When my Mom got Cancer and money got very tight, people from MMA, namely Sgt. Major Gilmore (who I'm sure will have his own day of gratitude later in this project) recognized that the school was good for me, and arranged scholarships for me so I could stay in school there, even though we couldn't really afford it.

The discipline, leadership, competitiveness, work ethic and academics that I learned at MMA, the Nations only Marine Corps based, all male high school, are largely responsible for who I am today. Mix those positive male role models like Sgt. Major Gilmore, Gunny Ski, Coach Morton, Sgt. Maj. Steigerwald, , Master Gunny MacLaughlin, General Bowman and General Spanjer. Add in dedicated teachers like Miss Pickens, Mr. Sustaita, Mr. Christensen and others and it was truly a gift to be among people who treated their jobs like they were molding the future.

To all of you at MMA, many of whom I stay in touch with - thank you. For those who have passed, Gilmore, Ski, big coach - you're missed by many.


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Reader Comments (1)

It's great to hear that you had such a positive experience at a military education. Most young teens probably don't truly appreciate it until they get much older.

Military University

October 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

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