The marine — 'I love you. Be careful. Come back home. Watch your back. ... 'What can you really tell your son?' asks Robert Quiles, whose son Michael, 19, shoved off for Camp Lejeune in North Carolina on July 7. 'It's alright if you lose a leg or an arm. As long as you come back,' Quiles says he told his son, who's headed for Iraq. Michael and his longtime friend, Guillermo Ruiz, joined the Marines together. On the day of his departure, a group gathered to say goodbye. When it was time to go, Quiles brought Michael, left, and Guillermo together and said a prayer. 'I don't want to send my kid into harm's way, but I can't stop it,' Quiles says a few days later. 'It's a crushing feeling. In my heart, I'm crying, I'm hurting, I'm worried. His son joined the Marines after he graduated from Golden Gate High School last year. Quiles says he tried to talk his son out of the decision, but it was Michael's choice. 'I really didn't want him to go in, but once he made up his mind, I've got to support him.' Quiles' other son, Christopher, 18, is following in his brother's footsteps. He heads to boot camp at Parris Island in South Carolina today. Quiles' daughter, Andrea, 15, is also thinking about joining the Marines in a few years. 'I'm talking her out of it,' Quiles says. Quiles admits he's cried a few times, thinking about what could happen. He's seen the images of caskets draped with flags, and soldiers with missing limbs, and that worries him. 'I've got to believe that he knows what he's doing,' he says. 'I've got to believe that the Lord is going to watch over him, that everything is going to be OK.' Published July 17, 2006

Photo by Tracy Boulian, Daily News

The marine — "I love you. Be careful. Come back home. Watch your back. ... "What can you really tell your son?" asks Robert Quiles, whose son Michael, 19, shoved off for Camp Lejeune in North Carolina on July 7. "It's alright if you lose a leg or an arm. As long as you come back," Quiles says he told his son, who's headed for Iraq. Michael and his longtime friend, Guillermo Ruiz, joined the Marines together. On the day of his departure, a group gathered to say goodbye. When it was time to go, Quiles brought Michael, left, and Guillermo together and said a prayer. "I don't want to send my kid into harm's way, but I can't stop it," Quiles says a few days later. "It's a crushing feeling. In my heart, I'm crying, I'm hurting, I'm worried. His son joined the Marines after he graduated from Golden Gate High School last year. Quiles says he tried to talk his son out of the decision, but it was Michael's choice. "I really didn't want him to go in, but once he made up his mind, I've got to support him." Quiles' other son, Christopher, 18, is following in his brother's footsteps. He heads to boot camp at Parris Island in South Carolina today. Quiles' daughter, Andrea, 15, is also thinking about joining the Marines in a few years. "I'm talking her out of it," Quiles says. Quiles admits he's cried a few times, thinking about what could happen. He's seen the images of caskets draped with flags, and soldiers with missing limbs, and that worries him. "I've got to believe that he knows what he's doing," he says. "I've got to believe that the Lord is going to watch over him, that everything is going to be OK." Published July 17, 2006

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