Thursday, April 7, 2011

Military Mom, Part Six: Up, Up and Away

Note: This is the sixh in a series of sporadic posts about this military thing happening in our family (one son in the Army; one joining the Marines). How many Military Mom posts will there be? No idea. But more than six.

I've been trying for several days to put into words our experience of watching our soldier leave.  I can't.  I decided to show pictures instead.

The day before he left.  This soldier was exhausted emotionally and physically.  He had to be exhausted to take a nap.  He never napped as a child. Never.  When I took this picture, I stood there for a few moments and just looked at this boy who is a man on the outside but will always be a little boy in my heart.

This was just a few moments before they lined up in formation.  It was a sea of camo and civilian clothes, plus lots of Kleenex and American flags.  If you get discouraged about your life, stand around a group of soldiers for awhile.  They are people, just like you, with families and problems and dreams.  And they are willing to defend not only their rights, but yours as well.

For some reason, I get to be the mom of three amazing young men.  I have no idea why I am so blessed, but I am incredibly thankful. 

There are two boys who are missing their big brother right now.  And a big brother who is missing them.

You know that saying about good friends are always there for you, and REALLY good friends are the ones who help you hide the body?   These two are REALLY good friends.  Though there haven't been any bodies to hide, other than their own when one or the other set of parents was looking for them, these two are as close as can be.  They have made me laugh so hard my sides hurt.  They've made me cry a little, too.

This is the bird that took my boy away.

Before they circled around for one last flyby.

If you look closely, you can see a soldier standing on the ramp at the back.  Wonder whose daredevil that one is?

The three specks in the sky are the first wave of soldiers taking off on their big adventure.  The pics are a lot clearer than I remember.  Maybe it was the tears.

This precious little girl carried a flag and followed her dad around.  It seems to sum up how I felt:

So proud to be an American.  So sad to see my soldier go.  

Please pray for our troops, all of our troops, and for the families they leave behind.  No matter what you believe about why we are where we are, or why we aren't where we should be, at least be thankful there have been and continue to be those who answer the call to protect and defend the United States of America.