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Thursday - Family Day - Finally!

Note: Anyone, not just the immediate family of a recruit, can attend Recruit Graduation and Family Day. There is also no limit to the number of people who can attend. If you did not receive a pass in the mail please visit the PI Depot page for more information.

There are activities on Wednesday but they are strictly optional and you will not be able to see your Marine until Thursday morning. For those who have a tight budget or have to take off work with no pay, please understand you will not get to see your Marine until Thursday so a Wednesday evening arrival to the area is more than acceptable.

NOTICE: Schedules are subject to change. Please check the PI Site for updated schedules.
One more time...SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Please check the PI Site for updated schedules.

Also: Please read the email I received November 14, 2007 before leaving this page. You'll find it at the bottom or Click Here.

It's Thursday! The day you've been waiting for. You finally get to see your Recruit! Don't feel bad if you don't recognize your own son or daughter. The Marines are notorious for disguising your loved ones as lean, mean, fighting machines. You'll find them eventually. Once you find them, have a great time and enjoy the day!

Note about Family Day Wear: You might want to wear a shirt representative of your Marine's Battalion colors. Here are the Battalion colors:

1st Recruit Training Battalion   Red
2nd Recruit Training Battalion   Gold
3rd Recruit Training Battalion   Navy Blue
4th Recruit Training Battalion   Maroon


Family Day

Please register at the Douglas Visitor Center.

6:30 am - Java Café open in Visitor Center
7 am - Motivational Run
7 am - 7 pm Marine Corps Exchange open
8 am- Museum opens
9:30 am - Family Day brief about recruit training in the All-Weather Training Facility
10 am Liberty Ceremony
10:30 am - 2:30 pm Barracks Open House
10:30 am - 2:30 pm Static weapons display at Weapons and Field Training Battalion ISMT. (Rifle Range)
10:30 - 2:30 Buffet luncheon available at Traditions and Brig-n-Brew
3 pm Family Day ends
Thursday night dinner (optional) with the drill instructors: You need to make reservations and you will NOT be joined by your Marine.

The Motivational Run begins at 7:00 a.m. but check your paperwork or call 1-800-826-7503 or (843) 228-3650 for more information. Times are subject to change. It's a good idea to visit the Parris Island Depot Information Page for the latest schedules as well.

The run starts on the Parade deck. This is your first opportunity to get a glimpse of your son or daughter. It's a 4-mile run. The Recruits will be grouped by platoons in formation so keep a look out for your son or daughter's platoon number. You will not get to talk to your Recruit at this time but nevertheless, it's really something to see. The first time you'll make personal contact with them is at 10:00 when they're released for on-base liberty.

Note: You may think you know your Recruits platoon number by heart with all the letters sent and received during their stay at Parris Island. It is still a good idea to take that address with you to Parris Island. Mom, put it in your purse. or Dad, put it in your wallet. It doesn't take up that much space and there is a good chance you're not going to remember that platoon number once you get to the base.

Also, as Max suggests for the San Diego female family members also holds true at Parris Island: "Here is something I am TELLING you. When you go to the base, do NOT take Kleenex with you. That's correct, NO Kleenex. Here's what you Moms, Grandmas, Aunts, all female family members, need to take. Get the large size roll of Bounty, the 'quicker - picker - upper'. This is not per family, it is a roll PER FEMALE. You've got the Motivational Run and the "On Base Liberty" for today. Tomorrow is the Graduation to go through also. Just a thought, keep a sheet or two of Bounty available for Dad, Grandpa, or any of the guys that will be with you. It is an emotional two days for EVERYONE".

Absolutely do not take your Marine off the base on Thursday. They will not graduate.

You'll find plenty of things to do on the base during Family Day. If you plan to go eat, be prepared for long lines. It might be smart to immediately go to the restaurant after the ceremony since about 2,000 other people (or more) are going to eat also. There are several different eateries so you're bound to find something to please everyone.

If you would like to picnic, there is a family picnic area at Elliot's Beach and historic places to see and a snack bar at the golf course. NOTE: Your paperwork will say that no coolers are allowed. This means they are not allowed in the stands or at the events but you can leave the cooler in your car and take it out when you eat your picnic lunch.

A picnic is a great plan if weather permits and there are picnic areas available for use at the base. There are a lot of people at Family Day. The lines to get something to eat are typically long and you haven’t seen your Marine for months! A picnic will get you away from the crowd to spend some quality time together.

If you’re going to picnic, there is a service called ToGo Dish that picks up food for you at various restaurants in Beaufort and delivers it to you at the Douglas Visitors Center on the base right by the parade deck. They take orders on Wednesday until 9 p.m. Visit their site at Be sure and read the FAQ page and you'll know they really go the extra mile. You can also purchase a picnic lunch directly from the base and pickup at the Douglas Visitors Center. Information should be included in the packet you receive.

If you care to shop, you can go to the Marine Corps Exchange (department store), which is on the right going in, you can't miss it, its before you get to the Peatross Parade Deck and the family parking; but families can only purchase items in the souvenier section of the exchange without a Military ID. You can also patronize the 7-Day Store, which is a gas station and convenience store. Civilians can shop there but can't purchase alcohol or tobacco products. You can shop at the Commissary but can't make a purchase without a Military ID. There is also a gift shop inside the museum and they now accept credit cards.

As for other entertainment, there is a bowling alley on base if you care to try your luck. Don't forget to stop at the Travel Agency! If you don't know why yet, be sure and read the Airlines page! You might also want to make time to just drive around the base and let your Marine tell you about some of his or her experiences. They should have plenty to share and it's nice to hear all about it while it's fresh in their minds. If they have a problem recalling any stories, perhaps a trip by the yellow footprints might spark some fond memories. Priceless!

Time will go way too fast no matter what you do. Tomorrow you get to take your new Marine home!


Email received November 14 from a very proud mother, Barb. Thank you very much!

Just had my daughter graduate last Friday-Nov 9, 2007 from Parris Island.

Thought some of this would have helped if I would have read it on your site, which by the way was a huge help because the Marines don't tell anything really........

One - The Motivational Run. The run starts on the Parade deck, and I didn't know that and then moves to lining up in the street after. (It might be a new thing?!?!?)

Two - The Bleachers for the Parade Deck. On the street side of the Bleachers the Platoon Numbers are posted for what section your Marines Platoon will be at on the Parade deck for the Motivational Run and Graduation. For the Run she was at the opposite end I was, so by the time I ran down there I almost missed her.. So for graduation I had it figured out, that was a good thing to know. Also for the liberty ceremony the numbers are posted for the guys and the girls in the two different buildings.

Third - Backyard is open for Breakfast and coffee at 7 am so if all you want is coffee, since it was only 37 degrees on Family Day lots of coffee was needed, the visitors center wasn't the only place to get it, but the line took 1 hour to get through after the run was over at 1 1/2 before that, and across the street from the visitors center was the food court by the exchange and they had coffee early too.

Fourth - Picnicking instead of waiting in line for food was an awesome tip.........however if you are aware of where there is picnic areas you will just eat by your car. So.........besides the ones by the parade deck, you can go over by the shooting range and as you are coming in the dark you pass a very shaded area by the water that is nice too......but in the dark you don't see or know anything.

Fifth - Souvenirs and Such. The exchange had some and where they can get their clothing on base. But we found the Museum late in the day, and it had some of the best t-shirts. Like My (Sister, daughter, granddaughter) Wears Combat Boot and she is a US Marine. Lot of yellow foot step stuff. The Museum was really cool, but we lost time to do it. And you can not chew gum in the museum.

Sixth - The Boot (Newspaper) comes out late Thursday night and it has the names of the graduates. You can get early on Friday too!

Thanks so much for this website!

Barb Emert
Proud mom of Marine Kline

Email Submitted by: Cecelia Nosel - Jamestown, NY 12/4/07

My son Graduated from Parris Island Nov 16th 2007. Your tips and info helped us to thoroughly enjoy our 2 days there. How surreal the experience was cannot be expressed in words, feeling that history while there and knowing that these "new" Marines are part of it and we are witnessing it!.....I packed lots of food (good thing as my son ate non stop) and we sat at picnic tables for lunch, there was lots of room as families all went about their own schedules. There is alot of walking be prepared, we were because of this website. we actually drove a lot too as my son showed us around the entire base. I felt so good knowing I was prepared. Parents should know though, that you will have all morning on family day to keep busy before getting your Marine...tour some of the buildings like Museum so that you don't have to cram a lot into your time with your Marine. But don't skip family day or the Motivational run...(you'll only know what we mean when you experience it!) My son couldn't stop talking all afternoon.. and the next he said.."I have so much to say..!" What an incredible experience! Thanks again for your website.



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