November 2008 Issue
It was an intense experience that will never compare to any other, says Phyllis Sossi about that moment last November when she first laid eyes on her son after his return from Iraq.
“On the day Stephen was deployed, I gave him my last hug and handed him my ‘Marine Mom’ coin, something I had carried with me every day since his graduation from boot camp,” she remembers. “I said, ‘I’m giving this to you now, and when you come back, you bring it to me.’
“When he came home, the first thing he did was give me that coin.”
As the author of the “Marine Mom” blog on Cleveland TV station WEWS’ Web site, Sossi – the station’s sales marketing manager – shares her experiences with other Marine Corps parents.
“When you have a child in the Marines, you are so desperate for information,” she says. “Helping other parents really means a lot.”
The idea for the blog took shape last December, when Sossi had the opportunity to visit the United States Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina.
After returning to Cleveland, she realized that other Marine Corps parents would undoubtedly be as curious as she was about the training process.
“When your child is in boot camp, you don’t get any phone calls, any e-mails,” Sossi says. “There are times when you feel like you just won’t make it.”
Sossi wrote about what a typical day is like for the young recruits. She was astounded by the outpouring of responses, and knew she needed to continue the blog.
Sossi gets dozens of e-mails a month, some voicing concerns about their son or daughter’s transition into military life. Others pose questions, asking Sossi how she managed to cope during her son’s tour of duty.
All who write express gratitude.
“It does me a lot of good to know that I’m helping these parents,” Sossi says. “And I think it does them good, too.”