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March 29th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

A Soldier's Story: Will learns where he'll be stationed

Editor's Note: From the home front to the front lines, we're following one recruit's journey in our American Morning original series "A Soldier's Story." Today, in part six, Jason Carroll shows us what happens to a private when his or her basic training is complete. Tomorrow, we're with Will as he graduates, but his battle buddy is nowhere to be found. Find out why, tomorrow on American Morning.

Filed under: A Soldier's Story • Military
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. FLW Alumni

    To answer the Angry Army Mother. Depending on your MOS and how other BCT's companies graduated. You may go to Basic in one state and have to get on a bus and go to another state to attend AIT. which leaves no time in between for graduation. Alot of PVT's have to do this. This does happen often.

    April 4, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  2. Patti Marleau

    My son, Michael Marleau, graduated with PVT McClain- and I drove from New York to see him sing with another PVT the National Anthem at this graduation! Mike has overcome huge obstacles to reach this point in his goals. As a Mom, I can't express the joy & fear & pride that wells up inside me. My son holds each Drill Instructor in high regard & appreciation. Mike will be heading to Ft. Hood in Texas in the morning, and I won't see him again for a long time – and my heart & prayers will be constantly with him. I applaud Jason Carrol for showing the 'true' side of the journey of a soldier. There were several young men at that graduation that did not have family present – and they accepted it (although I am sure that their hearts were aching to hug a family member). Our sons have stepped from childhood into adulthood – and there is nothing but applaus from this very proud mother. May the Lord bless & guard each and every one of them!!

    April 2, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  3. angry army mom

    Just for the record my son did not fail...he graduated and went on the his new base. Please get it strait.
    I do understand what you are saying. It is still no excuse for the Armys communication with famlies and the lies.

    March 31, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  4. Olivera, David

    This is a reality check(cherry popper...excuse my French) that came in too soon about things to come. The Army preaches about community and's all a figure of speech, literally. I been in service now for 4 years, and have yet too see all the things that they preach about. They talk the talk, but don't walk it...AT ALL!!! . And for CNN too have such a bogus excuse for not facilitating a parent a plane ticket to see her son graduate(this could make you guys seem like savours) it is the same kind of B.S. that I see everyday in my duty station and in my branch of service.

    March 31, 2010 at 12:03 am |
  5. 0311

    Angry Army Mother,

    Calm down. Your "Son" is a man. Many people fail in boot camp and wait to pick up with another platoon. You could fail rifle qual. and get kicked back. You could fail a run and get held back. These are all "little things" too you but they are large in Battle you keep you alive.

    It's the DI'S job to shape him up. Would you rather have you son killed in battle? If you say "no" then that's why he's held back. They dont pass everyone through like it's a drive through. We would have more killed that way.

    I'm a Infantry Marine that was over in Aghan. so I know what I'm talking about. Your son is in good hands. Let him grow up. You cant protect him when and if he's over there. It will be up to him and his buddies!!

    March 30, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  6. Angry Army Mother

    I can not even comprehend that CNN did not help Wills family make it to his graduation.
    My heart goes out to you and the other parents that did not see there sons gradutate that day. There were some parents that had money to go and see the graduation but were told there would not be one . That information came from some Drill Sargent that wanted to give one more dig to our boys before they left.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  7. Grant

    CNN's excuse for not flying the family....Wanted to make it a real experience of what the families of solders go through...that has to be the lamest thing I've heard all week..........would they sit back and watch a child drown to make it real?....I'm rapidly losing respect for CNN

    March 30, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  8. Grant

    Considering all the expense CNN is going through with this story, why couldn't they at least cough up the price of a couple plane tickets for his family to attend as he graduates?

    March 30, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  9. Judd Fuller

    I think CNN should have financed mother's trip to the graduation!

    March 30, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  10. Janet Lou

    My grandson was born in a military hospital at Ft. Rucker, Alabama in November of 1991. There was another little boy born the same day and his name was Damitrius. Is it possible that Damitrius Daniels (mentioned in this piece) is the same baby/young man?

    March 30, 2010 at 7:39 am |
  11. Dawn Fuentes

    CNN, Thank you for this wonderful coverage. Congratuations to all of the young men that have voluntarily given you life for our safety. You guys looked sharp. My son was part of this unit. his name is PVT Richard Duarte. My brother Sgt Major Fuentes from Fort Hood has been in the Army forever, we have all heard horrific stories about basis training given the fact that my brother was also a former drill instructor but, this wonderful piece has finally allowed us the opportunity to be able to see and experience what my son and the other brave young men actually experienced through out this 13 weeks of training. I would have given up with the first snow storm. I am so proud of all of them to have battled through it all and emerge as a solid, strong, proud unit. To all of the drill instructors, thank you. My brother drove up from Fort Hood to witness my son following in his footsteps. We had the opportunity to attend this graduation which was an awesome experience, especially the opening and ending piece. Very well done. Thank you again for what you do for us. God bless you all. I will continue to pray for each each and everyone of you and your family in my prayers.

    March 30, 2010 at 12:22 am |
  12. Angry Army Mother

    Please tell me if will Mclains Parents were called and told not to come to his graduation?
    We recieved a call from our son telling us that he had a bus to catch and could not graduate. I understand that DI s have to mess with these young men when they are in boot camp. When they are finnished with boot and AIT and you call your parents the night before they fly half way across the US to see there only son graduate and he tells you he is not. You have gone to far and messed with the wrong mother. I know that many parents did not see there sons graduated due to some DI being a Jerk and being way out of line. All of these young men worked hard and did not deserve the way Fort Leonardwood treated them on March 19th 2010. My son lost over 40 lbs looked like Hell when I saw him. You did your job and made him Army Strong but this is the worst camp as far as communication with famlies NONE. NO INFORMATION FROM THEM AT ALL. Just another number. I would not wish any mothers son to go to this place.
    I will not give you my name due to fear of retaliation against my son.

    March 29, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
  13. ronvandm

    These are the type of groups that could care less who they hurt or killed in the name of, "religion"?. More than likely a bunch of nut cases that if found guilty should be locked up and throw the key away!
    EVERY "group" in this country should be investigated totally! If found that they are doing wrong, jail em! For those groups that are OK then just monitor. There are goups out there that intend no harm other than to help others and to, in their views, protect our country. This country has to many idiot, nut cases, to count, but I would bet that this one will have attorney's, civil rights groups, etc., jump on THEIR band wagon to protect them. BALONEY!!

    March 29, 2010 at 11:10 am |