Well, Brent called a second time yesterday, once he'd been moved to the medical unit. It was the official, scripted call letting us know that he had arrived safely, that his graduation date would be changed, and that we needed to stop sending mail until further notice. Much easier to understand him this time since there weren't 80 people yelling in the background!! He and I did have a few minutes to chat, which was nice. The thing both Jim and I noticed when we talked to him is that while he sounded disappointed and discouraged, he did not sound particularly ill. That's a good thing.
After much thought and research, I have decided it's entirely possible that he hit a wall. From the schedule we have, it shows that both Tuesday and Thursday this week were immunization days. They give those guys DPT, Polio, MMR, Influenza, and Yellow Fever shots! Brent did not handle immunizations well as a small child, almost always ending up with a fever, but the MMR and the DPT both knocked him for a loop. And when Jim had a DPT in college (after a run-in with a metal lathe...) he ran a temp in the 103-104 range for several days. The next time he needed a tetanus shot (after a run-in with a circular saw) he asked them to only give the tetanus portion. No reaction. The doctor told Jim that many people have trouble with the DP part of the shot, and in adults the reaction can be a high fever.
Add to the immunizations this week some intense martial arts training in heavy gear, the heat in San Diego, and the fact that these guys are probably beyond exhausted and you have a recipe for physical breakdown. It is our hope and prayer that 24 to 36 hours in the medical unit will have him feeling well enough to be cleared for camp, and that he will be able to head out to Camp Pendleton with his platoon tomorrow. We'll see...at some point they'll let us know.
Oh! And you know what God did last week? It's pretty fun. On Christmas Eve, we sat in front of a young couple and their children at the service at church. We didn't have an opportunity to introduce ourselves, but Jim indicated that he wanted to the next time we saw them. They sat behind us again on Sunday morning, so after the service we chatted a bit. And guess what? The young man is a Marine! He's stationed here in the local area, working as a recruiter right now. His wife is a former Marine, and she works with a gal we know whose daughter attends school with our girls. We don't know Brent's recruiter because he's in Boise, so we really haven't had anyone to contact with questions. Until now--just days before we might really need it. As always, God provides what we need when we need it. Parents are told to contact their Marine's recruiter if the recruit gets sick at boot camp, because he/she can help you navigate the MRP process. Now we have someone we can contact! He's not Brent's recruiter, but I know he'd help us out. It's fun to see God's provision.
Thanks for praying with us! Your comments and emails have meant a lot. We are blessed beyond measure, and you are appreciated!!