I was 18 when I entered Marine Corps Boot Camp at San Diego. My uncles and my dad were marines during WWII and there is a family history of being a Marine. Dad served in the Pacific in communications and as a gunner on a torpedo plane in various pacific island battles.
Dad told me how the experience would be life changing. When the platoon was finally able to hit the rack for the first time we were told to sleep at attention which I did. That next morning I found out the Marine Corps likes to use metal garbage cans as alarm clocks and I, with some terror in my thoughts, wondered "what the hell have I done?"
I made it through the next 13+ weeks of Marine Corps Boot Camp keeping a low profile and doing what I had to do to make it through, remembering my dad told me it would be life changing.
My parents made the trip from Montana to San Diego for my graduation from boot camp. I was now a Marine and my life had changed.
As I walked out to the visiting area I saw my dad standing on a curb almost on his tip toes looking for me. I watched him briefly and decided I would walk over to him. I walked up, stood next to him and asked who he was looking for. He said, "my son, he's graduating tomorrow", so I asked him what he looked like & he gave me a brief description.
Finally I confess and told Dad it was me. Boot camp was life changing!