The Crucible

October 11, 2016



My youngest brother Cam is currently in San Diego, CA at the United States Marine Corps. He is training to become a US Marine. Over the 13 weeks of boot camp he will have under gone very few hours of sleep, intense training, combat conditioning, physical strength tests, written examinations, rifle range training, gas chambers, and being screamed at 24/7 by Drill Instructors, the list goes on and on. 


My family and I have only been able to communicate to Cam via letters. It has been a long 12 weeks thus far (he is so close!) with little communication especially in this crazy technological, easy access, talk to somebody in three seconds world we live in. 


Cam is en route to graduate as a US Marine the 21st of October that is only if he completes the hardest task of all - The Crucible.



The Crucible is 54 hours of hell. It consists of trekking 48 miles on only 6-8 hours of sleep, 2 MRE’s (meals ready to eat), while carrying 45lbs of gear, completing 36 warrior stations and 29 team building exercises. Phew I am exhausted just thinking about it. The recruits are pushed to their limit both physically and mentally. The Crucible tests the recruits on the knowledge, skills and values they have been taught throughout training. Those who complete the final challenge are awarded their Eagle, Globe and Anchors, symbolizing their transformation from recruits to Marines.



My Mom feels as if he is being tortured at boot camp haha but Cam signed himself up for this. He wanted to  become a US Marine. He is putting his life on the line to protect this country, to protect me and to protect you. I am so very proud of him my heart could just explode. I cannot wait to watch him go from Recruit to United States Marine. 



There is another man who put his life on the line for you and me and his name is Jesus. While Cam is facing the crucible, Jesus faced the crucifixion on the cross many years ago. 



Jesus was whipped, beaten, tortured and nailed a cross to save you and me. He did not have to do that but he wanted  to so you and I could spent eternity with Him in Heaven. Jesus paid the ultimate price on the cross. 


Just like Cam’s letters, Jesus also wrote us letters and all His letters are in one big book - The Bible. The Bible tells us in Luke 19:10 


“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”


We are all lost. We are all sinners in need of a Savior, a protector, a hero. While the men and women in the Marines and all of the armed forces put on their gear, grab their rifles, and slip on their boots each day and to protect us, we need to put on the armor of God. 


“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  — Ephesians 6:13-17



Did you put your armor on today? Are you solider in God’s Army? Can I spoil the ending for you? The devil may be winning the battles but God wins the war! I pray that you have trusted Him with your life and are fighting the good fight!  


Christ is the ultimate hero. He sacrificed His life for YOU so you could spend eternity with Him! 


Pray for our country. Pray for our soldiers. Pray for their families back home. Pray for the young recruits as they face the crucible and become Marines! 




Thank you to the soldiers who fought, are currently fighting and who lost their lives protecting this country. We are forever grateful for you.   




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©2017 by Carley Cottingham.