TMac is what his friends and family call him and he is one brave son-of-a-gun. Tristan McCormick is a 19-year-old Marine recruit from Quincy and right now he is in basic training.

“Basic training”! If you ask me, “basic training” sounds like what an employee goes through to learn about the operation of a company, the rules and regulations and how to get in the front door.

In this case, “basic training” is 13 grueling weeks of physical and mental training at Parris Island, South Carolina. If you complete the three month challenge successfully, you become a United States Marine, an elite group of the very best men and women in the world!

TMac’s Dad, Steven McCormick, is one of my best friends in the world. We met when we were about 13-years-old. Playing baseball. He was on the Phillies and I was on the Red Sox. When we got to high school and played on the same high school and summer league teams, we became fast friends. Now, we’re 52! Well, Steve Mac is 52 tomorrow, Monday, July 16th, so I’m still older, as I type. He is the most loyal friend  you could ever have, craves fun and laughter and is a very successful IT Engineer in the banking industry.

TMac was a great athlete at Quincy High School, the captain of the soccer team, and has the infectious laugh just like his Dad, who was a three sport standout at Medford High School. They’re always smiling and laughing, something that endears both of them to lots of people. People like to be around them! They also both love 105.7 WROR! My co-workers all know and love Steve Mac, who has been to many station events over the years. In fact, Steve Mac brought TMac to the Granny Grand Prix we did one year and the then seven-year old-has loved our music ever since. When you are around TMac and music is playing, he’s listening to WROR! He and Taylor used to listen to Loren and Wally every morning on the way to school! Who says young people don’t have good taste in music? :):) On his way to be sworn in to the United States Marine Corps a few months ago at Faneuil Hall, USMC veteran Loren Owens gave him a proud send off on the air! It meant a lot to both TMac and his Dad!

Well, TMac is more than midway through his “Basic Training” and sent me a letter the other day. It was funny, upbeat and a bit emotional at the end. Like many young men entering the military, he left behind a lovely girlfriend, Taylor, who is a sweet young lady. They miss each other. I will let you read the letter he sent me and make sure you pay attention to the part where he mentions the rifle he was issued! It turns out, the first four numbers of his rifle’s serial number are 1057!

So, for this fine Marine recruit who has loved the early stages of  Marine “Basic Training” and whose lifelong goal has been to protect and represent the United States of America, here is your request, TMac. For Taylor!

“Tie A Yellow Ribbon” – Tony Orlando and Dawn

Godspeed, God Bless, thank you for your service, Tristan, and Semper Fi!!!