CLICK HERE - Page 2 of  Private Blake Ruggles. Another update as of 2/1/03 is posted there also.
CLICK HERE for new pictures from Iraq
This patriotic graphic and others very thoughtfully provided by FUZZYFACES.COM

Blake has worn many uniforms in his short lifetime. . .
Blake has also enjoyed many different activities and hobbies. ..
And worn the latest fashions. . .
Then, as a senior in high school, he decided to pick the best uniform of them all. . .and the best activity of them all. . .and still wears the latest fashions. . .

Blake graduated from Marine Corps boot camp on September 14, 2001, in spite of what had just occurred on September 11.

Fortunately, his mom, stepdad and sister had flown to San Diego the Sunday before, so he was able to have some family there to see him graduate.  His dad and stepmom were scheduled to fly out the morning of September 12.  Since  President Bush had closed all the airports, they were unable to attend.

Thanks to Dan and Diane for the following pictures.

This is as close as anyone was allowed to get to the new Marines due to the tightened security.
The new Marine, ready to go out and see a few sites in San Diego.
Blake with his proud mom and sister shortly after the graduation ceremony
Blake and his sister Jenny lit candles in memory of the September 11th victims.
Blake flew home after the airports opened back up and spent some time with his dad, Bob, and wicked stepmom, Bethy.

His mom arranged to throw him a graduation/welcome home party at Washington Park Pavillion
Blake, the proud new Marine.

(It did Bethy's heart good to see him IRONING his uniform!  Heh heh!)
Blake with his stepdad Dan, sister Jenny, and mom Diane
Blake with his proud pappy Bob, sister Jenny, and wicked stepmom Bethy.
Blake with the aunt and uncles on his mom's side of the family.
Blake is now stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Headquarters Division.
Some of Blake's favorite activities now are digging foxholes, washing dishes, and pulling guard duty.
When Blake was home for Christmas this year, he informed us that the chances of him getting shipped to Iraq in January 2003 were 95%.

While this isn't the kind of news any family wants to hear about their children, this is the job of the Marines and all the armed forces of our great country.

Blake, we want you to know that we are so proud of you we could nearly burst, and we will always be with you, no matter where you are.

We wish you and all the other service men and women of the United States well.

Godspeed, kiddo, and watch your ass!

UPDATE AS OF JANUARY 14, 2003:  Private Ruggles is now aboard the USS Gunston Hall, an amphibious dock landing ship headed for the Persian Gulf.  Bob found an article in our area newspaper about it yesterday, and we also saw on the news that around 7,000 Marines from Camp Lejeune were shipping out as of this past weekend.  We will try to keep this site updated as much as possible, and in the meantime:

Please keep all of our service men and women in your thoughts and prayers! 

This patriotic graphic and others very thoughtfully provided by FUZZYFACES.COM
I pledge allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of America
And to the republic for which it stands
One nation
Under God
With liberty and justice for all!
Blake and his sister relaxing on the Current River while he was on leave in August 2002
CLICK HERE for new pictures from Iraq
UPDATE JANUARY 18, 2003 - Blake called last night from somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  He is one of 850 fellow soldiers aboard ship and has been keeping busy with "mess" duty, sometimes for 16 plus hours a day.  He said that they are allowed to receive mail, so his address is below for anyone interested in dropping him a line.  Other items he can use are Marlboro Lights, disposable cameras, stamps, and toiletries (nothing containing white powder please!)

If you would like to drop him a line or send a care package, please email me and I'll send you his address.  Thanks!
CLICK HERE - Page 2 of  Private Blake Ruggles. Another update as of 2/1/03 is posted there also.