Always a Soldiers Mom…wherever we are

January 13, 2009

I recently have been reading the blogs of other mothers with sons at war. It doesn’t matter what war they are engaged in or what part of the world they are from, we share a common bond.

Mothers are not designed to send children into places that they may be hurt or killed. We learn to let go, to live in faith, and to send cookies in boxes. We share a love that pulls hard at our hearts, and occasionally thoughts of “what if…” which can only be silenced by the fact that we are not in control, but God is.

Mothers with children in a war zone, understand the cost of freedom, the agony of fighting for truth and the ugliness of evil desires that continue this battle in the physical and spiritual realm. We also know, that fight is necessary if we want real peace, and so again, we let go.

In reading the blog written by the mother of an Israeli soldier, I hear my own voice as well. There are many wars in our world, and someones children are soldiers in each one of them. Some are on the side of defending a freedom, others on the side of defending the agenda , most likely , of people they don’t even know or understand. And still there are mothers, waiting, straining for a word from a beloved child, praying for safety and a homecoming.

I am so proud of my son. I am so proud of the sons and daughters who defend of our nation. So to you out there, who are military mothers, a hug and a salute to you. Keep the faith, send the cookies and let’s pray with each other and for each other.

Heavenly Father You are the Creator of all things.

You understand the hearts of men, and the reasons that war is necessary.

We humbly acknowledge , we know not any of it.

Please Lord, Bless the mothers whose children are warriors.

Help us to trust in You, and to give over our fears to your keeping. Help us to have compassion on one another and to share our hearts before You.

Bless the ones who keep the home fires burning, the parents, wives and children of our defenders and hold them in Your Mighty Hand.


Toys Leave for Afghanistan…

December 10, 2008

As you can see from my photo, my days of magical thinking are not yet over…remember when you wondered if toys really did come alive at night? What was it like to have to hold still all day, and then play only when everyone went to sleep? As I packed up these toys to embark on an adventure that will take them across the ocean, to a place that is honestly worlds away from here, I thought it might be fun to have them wave goodbye!

What better time to play with childish thoughts than at Christmas time?!

The truth is that the children who get these little trinkets live in a war zone. They do not really get to be kids, and I hope that just the silliness of some of these will give them a few moments of being just that. My own grandchildren barely acknowledge these toys (but if they saw this box they would let out a loud cry and act as if I were sending thier only, best and most wonderful toys away…so they do not get to help with this box.) and they will never know they are gone. You do not need to feel one tiny bit bad that I actually sifted through their toybox, trust me , this is barely the tip of the iceberg!

Lets lift up prayers for our wonderful military, and their big hearts for the kids around them, and for the kids themselves. May God Bless the little ones of the world, and let them think thoughts of childhood rather than fear. May God Bless those who defend our country, and represent the best of us to the next generation.

Goodbye! Have an interesting adventure!

Christmas Poem: ponder this one

December 2, 2008

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts…

To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said, “Its really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.
“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam’,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.”
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
“I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

Written by: Michael Marks

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A special thank you to Debbi at Debbi’s Dribble for sharing this absolutely beautiful poem. Debbi has requested this poem be passed along, I could not agree more. These words are far too important; they need to be shared.

May Almighty God bless each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine.

Thanks to Debbi and Airman mom, so glad we can keep this one going!

If I Ever go to War: by PFC Johnathan W. Guffey

November 18, 2008

If I ever go to war…
If I ever go to war Mom, Please don’t be afraid.
There are some things I must do, To keep the promise that I made.
I’m sure there will be some heartache, And I know that you’ll cry tears,
But your son is a Soldier now, Mom, There is nothing you should fear.
If I ever go to war Dad, I know that you’ll be strong.
But you won’t have to worry, Cause you taught me right from wrong.
You kept me firmly on the ground, yet still taught me how to fly.
Your son is a Soldier now Dad, I love you Hooah, Even if I die.
If I ever go to war Bro, There are some things I want to say.
You’ve always had my back, and I know it’s my time to repay.
You’ll always be my daybreak, through all of life’s dark clouds,
Your brother is a Soldier now, Bro, I promise I’ll make you proud.
If I ever go to war Sis, don’t you worry bout me,
I always looked out for you, but I can’t do that anymore,
Cause I’m a big bro to all in America.
I love you so much and you know that, Your brothers a soldier now Sis,
So wipe your eyes, I’ll be fine even if I die.
If I ever go to war my Friends, We’ll never be apart,
Though we may not meet again, I’ll hold you in my heart.
Remember all the times we had, Don’t let your memories cease,
Your friend is a Soldier now, Dear Friend, And I’ll die to bring you peace.
And when I go to heaven, And see that pearly gate,
I’ll gladly decline entrance, Then stand my post and wait.
I’m sorry Sir I can’t come in, I’m sort of in a bind,
You see I’m still a Soldier Sir, So I can’t leave them behind.

By PFC Jonathan W. Guffey – Alpha Company
101st Airborne 2/506th Infantry Air Assault – Iraq 2006
10 July 2006

Dear Mr. Obama…

November 2, 2008

Many of you have already seen this one, but I had to post it. I think everyone should see it. If you want to show a child what a hero is, this is a good place to start.

Phone calls from War… instead of Letters

September 21, 2008

Finally! I finally got to talk to our son after missing his first three calls. If you are the mother, wife, grandmother, sister ,of a soldier, sailor airman or marine, you know what I am saying. Missing those calls are the worst! (men, I know you all miss your sons, but you do handle it differently)

I came home the first time from the grocery store to hear his voice on the answering machine “we’re here, doing fine, love ya all!” …I cried for an hour! I was glad he was fine, and where he needed to be, but I wanted that moment of real connection. Then it happened again! I cannot stay in the house for a whole year, but I was thinking about it! Finally he got through and I was home, Praise God! I could barely hear him for some reason, like a faint voice in the distance. He could hear us fine, but it sounded like we were talking on one of those phones we had as a kid, you know, the tin can with a string? Not that I’m complaining.

Speaking of phones, I got one this week, the ATT Go Phone, for my granddaughter and grandson. Their mom works, and I wanted my son to be able to get them if they are at daycare , with their nana, or wherever. So I got the phone, and now I don’t know if I buy the phone card for them, or for my son? The people who sold me the phone seem to need time to figure this out. If you have tried this for a deployed parent, could you let me know if it worked well? I’ll pass on the good and bad of it as we live it out so if you are having the same concerns we can figure it out together! The phone cards are only good for a limited time , 30 or 90 days depending on the amount on the card. If you buy a hundred dollar card it is good for a year, so that is the route I am going. Now I just have to hope that if it is the grandchildren that have the card, it isn’t used to call Disneyland or someone in Timbuktu.

I guess I am old fashioned, I would love letters that I could pull out and read, but that would of course be dependent on a son who would actually write one, so I need to rethink that. Writing has never been a favorite activity of his.

Families now can get a call once a week or more. This is wonderful in one way, and difficult in another. You are always in that limbo of missing calls, or wanting more. It makes me wonder about how that is for our troops too. Is it distracting to hear often from the home front about all the little trial life brings, and does it cause them to have their mind a bit more at home and less on the job at hand?

I struggle with the thought of those that get bad news, or hear complaints from home and are then left to digest that when they cannot do a thing about it. I think it is important for us at home to contemplate that.

Should we tell a deployed loved one every difficulty at home? I don’t think so. I think that we need to remember that they need to have their head in the game, and we need to help them with that.

In the old days everyone was part of it. “Loose lips sink ships” we were warned, and now the media nearly lays out our battle plans for the enemy. Children used to gather metal scraps while mom was Rosie the Riviter. Grandma tended the victory garden… and the country was at war.

Now we are here, but not as involved. Life goes forward, and short of those of us with a loved one in harms way, barely know we are at war. Kit up all of you! We are important in this fight too, send things to our troops, keep the home fires burning, pray for our service members and be proud of the United States of America, it is an extraordinary nation!

Preparation for "the day"

September 10, 2008

Tomorrow my son is leaving. So I am decorating. Decorating?

yes. I am hanging red white and blue construction paper chains (my links I told you about before) so my grandchildren can begin their writing campaign. I put a yellow ribbon and some flags on our front door, and tied a yellow ribbon on the top of the flag. Last time Justin deployed that ribbon went on, and then he came home he took it off himself. Can’t wait for that day to roll around again!

I guess it is a way to mark a beginning. The beginning of our daily prayers for safety, our awareness that our country needs to be defended, a time of pride and pain.

I think of how many moms out there get to go through this. Sarah Palin should be about to send her boy off, as are thousands of us more common folk. I love other military moms. I see them sometimes buying beef jerky and looking kind of tired ( I think alot of us are helping with the grandkids). When a woman about my age is standing in line at the post office with a box and an APO address, I wish I could hug her. There is a camaraderie of mothers who are missing a kid that used to make more trouble than she could shake a stick at, and now all she wants is for that pain of a kid to walk through the door and hug her!

Is it hard to send your son to war?

September 1, 2008

We leaned against a post, in the airport, sipping hot coffee. I asked him if I could lean against him for five minutes while we finished. I just wanted to be close, to lean against his strong shoulder, knowing that the five minutes would soon be over, and another year of waiting wold begin. He turned to me slightly amused with my request and said “sure Ma, is it hard to send you son to war?”

The answer is yes.

I am so proud of the man he is. I am proud to be the mother of a soldier. He is a defender of right and freedom. Today though, he is just my boy. I held him once, not so long ago. Back then, I knew where he was and could forbid him to do dangerous things! Hard to believe now at 6’2″, but that tow headed child, still lives in my memory, and he is very hard to let go.

The man that is leaving, has little resemblance to the little boy, but a mothers love does not get that. He knows, because he is a father and has only last night said goodbye to his own little ones. He says he felt like crying but can’t. I have no such trouble. The Bible says God counts our tears and keeps them in a bottle. Well, I hope there is an alert accountant up there today ,because I seem to be able to produce plenty!

I am thinking of a word a new friend of ours used for the military family “resiliancy”. Yep. As soon as I am done crying, it will be time to move on and get things done.

My son said he was sorry that the last time he was in Iraq he scared us so badly. We had a number of hours knowing only that he was in serious condition with a head wound of some kind. I told him ,in my most authoritative parental voice that he was NOT to do that again!

So I hugged him hard,and we went our separate ways, but our hearts are still connected.

I already bought his welcome home banner. That next hug will be so sweet!