On a sleepy Sunday morning, there weren't any balloons, grand speeches or grand gestures.
Just simple goodbyes.
"Today is the last time they'll see their families so that is why it was pretty emotional," said Staff Sgt. Morgan Squire. "It'll be the last time they'll see them for 13 weeks."
Let's rewind to the day before.
October 13th, 0800 hours, Sunset Park
While many Marine recruits still fought back sleep, this Saturday morning brought the last poolee function for Justin Peter and Matthew Duckworth. That's where the goodbyes first started. But this day too lacked celebration.
Just hard work.
For Staff Sgt. Morgan Squire, it's another day leading delayed entry.
"If they're not ready, we make them ready so they can be Marines," said SSgt. Squire. "It really is a revolving door. It's great watching them grow. It's great to see them start going down that path to becoming a Marine."
There will be hiccups along the way. There will be missed commands and drills that lack precision.
And that's the point.
"It's what we use to prepare people physically and mentally for boot camp. We found the more time someone spends in the delayed entry program, the more successful they are at boot camp."
There's a certain camaraderie in the marine corps and it starts at the earliest of stages, well before the rigors of boot camp.
"I could talk all day, show every video I've got, you're never going to understand it until you experience it," said SSgt. Squire. "The best way I could describe it is chaos."
"The people that don't make it through boot camp, it's a low number now because of the delayed entry program. I view myself as a gatekeeper as anything else because I won't send someone to boot camp if i don't think they'll be successful."
That brings us back to Peter and Duckworth. They passed every test over and over again. Now comes the 13 week final exam at Parris Island, South Carolina.
"Them going to boot camp is bitter sweet," said SSgt. Squire. "It's good they are going to boot camp and starting their careers. I'm excited about that. We're sad we're losing our two good poolees, the ones who lead the other poolees."
Do Justin Peter and Matthew Duckworth really know what boot camp will be like?
Maybe that's why their send off lacks ribbons or celebration because where they're going only a goodbye will do.
"Someone who just refuses to accept failure, that's the key," said SSgt. Squire. "Refusing to accept failure because Marines don't accept failure."
Coming up in February, we'll catch back up with them as they graduate. We've seen them go from boys to men. In a couple months, we'll see them go from men to Marines.