2am starts the most difficult part of the whole experience. The crucible. My dad explained it very well on his blog so I am going to steal his words ( My dad has the best way with words, he REALLY should write a book) "At 2 a.m. he will begin The Crucible, the final test before a recruit becomes a Marine. The Crucible is a 54-hour test of endurance, a physically and emotionally challenging event in which, under conditions of sleep and food deprivation, recruits must work as a team to overcome various obstacles. There are 36 stations and 29 problem-solving exercises that must be negotiated, and they will hike a total of 48 miles throughout the event. They will get to eat only 3 MRE's over the course of the 54 hours, and, in addition to their gear, uniform and rifle, they will each carry 45 pounds of equipment during the Crucible.
It ends on Saturday morning with a nine-mile hike. Upon completion, they receive the coveted Eagle and Globe emblem, and they are no longer recruits but Marines."
I really can't imagine what he has to go through. I know he has been freaking out about it. But I also know that he is in the best shape of his life right now. I know he will do great. But I will be thinking more about him these next 2 days. I will be shooting up little prayers throughout my day. Willing him to dig deep and find that extra energy. At the end of it they get to have the warrior's breakfast. They basically get to have as much food as they want. I know food motivates Austin, so I keep telling him to focus on the food at the end!
1 week from right now (11:25pm) I will be driving down to South Carolina for his graduation (actually at this time I will be in the passenger seat, either being really annoying or sleeping.
1 week from Thursday we will get up early and line the route for the motivational run, and then we get to hang out with him for 5 or so hours. Friday is the big day. Friday am my little brother will be a Marine. I am so excited. I am so proud. I can't believe the things he has overcome to get where he is. I can't wait! I can't wait to hangout at my parents for the weekend to celebrate. I am actually more excited about that than the LOST final show. Yup.
Anyway, if you are up at 2am (or whenever you read this), say a little prayer for the recruits tonight. The next 54 hours will be hard for them, but they can do it.