The men left Clovis Sunday for boot camp. Action News was with the recruits and their families during the emotional goodbye.
Mark Alves is torn when he thinks about the weeks ahead.
He's a proud father, his son Ryan, 18, was accepted into Fresno State. Ryan turned down the opportunity to join the Marines.
Ryan will soon begin 13 weeks of boot camp, on the heels of President Obama's decision to withdraw US troops from Iraq by the end of the year.
Despite the recent announcement, his dad worries about where he'll be deployed.
Even before the sun rose, Jerry Guevara arrived to see his grandson, John, off to boot camp. Although Guevara was in Vietnam and has seen war firsthand, he supports the planned withdrawal.
John doesn't' want to serve in a combat zone. He wants to work as an electrician in the Marines.
A Marine recruiter tells us about 95 percent of new recruits make it through boot camp. On Sunday morning, right before the new recruits pulled away, Ryan left special message just for his father. "Dad I love you, I'm going to come back a Marine."
Throughout their training, they'll be allowed three phone calls, both John and Ryan say, they'll be sure to call home.