This story is about the accomplishments of a young woman who happens to be a huntress, and my Daughter. As a Proud Father, I feel a need to share it, so please bear with me.

My Wife and I returned a couple weeks ago from Parris Island, South Carolina, where we had the privelege of seeing our daughter Holli graduate from Marine Basic Training.

We arrived very early in the AM, and we were able to grab about 3 hours sleep before the Batallion did a run-by on the street. We were unable to pick her out in her platoon…they all looked like dudes!

marine banner

Then, a few hours later, we watched them march into the large indoor facility in formation, and after a short ceremony, they finally released her to us for a few hours. I swear she grew two inches (posture is everything)!

Everywhere we went, it was “Yes, Sir…No, Maam, How are You Today, Sir”…what a transformation! From a child to a respectful adult, in just 13 weeks!

hollitall

After hanging out with us for a few hours, we had to give her back. We watched them in formation as they did a rehearsal drill on the parade field. The snap and focus was quite impressive! Who’s kid is that???

eyes front

Next Day was the formal Graduation Ceremony. Just so impressive all the way around, every platoon was tight and snappy!  Finally, we were able to get her for 10 days!

attention

Instead of going straight home…we headed up into Northern SC to a buddy’s hunting lease. The only rental car available when we got there was a Suburban…here’s a pic of my Wife driving “the Beast”!

pattybeast

Got there just in time for a night pig hunt from some baited stands (I brought our bows/ arrows from California, and I had made some 200 lumen red lights for our stabilizers). It was all of 18 degrees… a miserable four hour sit with just a couple of corn stealing coons showing up the first night…but my daughter toughed it out with me.

When we met at the trailhead, I was whining and jumping around like a little pup…she just stood there swaggering and laughing at me! (I remember not long ago when the shoe would have been on the other foot)!

Turns out these pigs were leading a charmed life. We went in the next day to check the cornpiles, and the ground was littered with pig tracks. They had eaten hundreds of pounds of corn over the last month, but they avoided the cornpile with the trail cam on it!

pig

Pigs were a no show the second night…but I got to see a herd of Whitetail come into bow range right before dusk, with two bucks in tow. An awesome experience for me, having only hunted out West!
We finished off our trip with the rifle range the next morning, my daughter got to show off her skills with my buddy’s AR…she was like a kid in a candy store!

holligun

Holli is not just any chick Marine…she has a very specialized skillset…she will be attending the Navy School of Music to become a Marine Musician.

hollicollage

We flew her home with us to NorCal. She had several things she wanted to cross off her bucket list on her 10 Day leave…a quick trip to L.A. to see Family, and a drop-in soccer game on Super Bowl Sunday when she got back to Redding.

soccer

And of course…music!

She was able to join in a performance with the Shasta College Jazz Band

band

Holli told me that backcountry hunting really helped her get through basic. The qualifying march with the 60 pound pack was killer for some of those girls.

Holli told me “they do not know how to wear their packs correctly”, and “this was nothing compared to the hikes we did, Dad…it’s all flat ground out here”!
Out of 88 recruits in Holli’s platoon…only 55 were able to complete Basic

hollistalk

So, Holli flew back to Camp Geiger in North Carolina yesterday.
Now comes the really amazing part of the story:

She not only got through Marine Basic…she beasted it!

She qualified for an experimental program, where girls are attempting to complete Infantry Training. So far, 88 girls have tried, and only 18 have successfully made it through.

No Women Officers have been able to complete this training…they are making no concessions…they will train as men for the next 59 days (see link for the story):
http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/arti…antry-training

We initially tried to talk her out of this, because we feared it would interfere with her Music School. But, it appears to have been run up the chain, and the music school is backing her 100%. She will be the first Marine Musician to attempt this training, male or female. So win or lose, she has already made History!

She volunteered for this because she truly believes Women should be allowed to fight. I told her “never volunteer for anything”…you can see how well she listens to me¬†

There are 7 tough young ladies there including Holli, I pray every day that they draw strength from eachother, and kick this thing’s butt!

Sorry for the long rant, I’m just so pumped up about my little girl. Thanks for reading!

airport