Do you have a son or daughter or husband or wife in the Military? This is what I feel as a Mom with a son in the Navy.
My youngest son decided he wanted to go into the Military. He had since a small boy wanted to go in. I always knew one day he would make the decision of a life time and join, but why now? Why when the world seems to be at war? Why couldnt'nt he have picked a better time in history to make this commitment to himself and his country?
These were just a few of the things that flooded my mind as he broke the news to me that he had joined the Navy. On one hand I was so proud knowing what our troops are going through and have been for years now and knowing now he was to be a part of that world. I had often thought about them all and also thought from a parents point of view how do they handle this? How do they go to bed each night without knowing the safety of their babies? How do they wake in the morning with the same thoughts?
Well, in June 2008 my baby went to boot camp . He hated the entire experience and was so home sick. He was never a writer but I got a few letters from him while there. The first time since his birth he celebrated his birthday without being with me and the rest of his family. It was so hard for all of us, him not being accessible, we could not call and neither could he, so far from home. A different page in the book of life. A new beginning to what was ahead, and an ending to what had been left behind. He was becoming a man.
He finished boot camp and we made the trip to Chicago for graduation. I have been to many graduations through out my life, but this one was different. This one I was watching my baby march with pride and honor for what he had accomplished. The tears they flowed from everyone in the place. Moms, daughters, sisters, brothers, husbands and wives. Everyone there was going through the same emotional roller coaster. I must say I have never in my life been so proud of him. He had completely changed, but at the same time stayed the same.
Now he is in Missouri training to be a Sea bee. He is almost finished, only a little over a week to go, before he gets to come back to where he originated from..., home, and all of the ones he left behind to become a Solider. He has gone through this school and is completing at the head of his class with High honors. He has made great strides in such a short period of time. Yes I am so very, very proud of him, but now the realization of where he will end up after school is over, also fills me with such fear, with such emotions.
I know deep down in my heart that he chose this. No one made him join, this was done by his own free will. He wanted to make himself a better life and protect our Country. I raised him to care about people and the world we live in, and guess what? He listened. Do I want him in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Pakistan or Georgia ? Nope, but I also realize that he is doing what he wants to do. He is doing something that not only matters to him, but all of us as Citizens of Mother Earth .