When my son joined the Military I knew it would be a plethora of new emotions. Each and everyday of my sons life I tell him I love him and I am proud of him. I truly had no idea what the Military would bring for me. I don’t know how it is possible for someone like me to feel more than I already do. But, since he joined less than a year ago. It is abundantly clear to me that I am experiencing more than I imagined emotionally.
There are a few things I have come to realize with my son being in the Military. It is, “ALWAYS hurry up and wait”. You learn to love strangers. You bond with people you may never get to meet in person. You don’t get to share all you want with your friends and loved ones. I get to see things that continue to amaze me! My emotions and pride grow stronger and stronger daily.
Since I can’t share videos/photos all the time. I will share my stories and feelings instead. Once he was deployed, I wasn’t sure how I would handle it. The first day, I was distant to others and sat beside my phone waiting for him to keep me posted. As he called me, text or factimed me with his arrival and departure(s). I became a little comfortable and settled in knowing he was doing all he could to keep me informed. Once he arrived, knowing he was “bored” makes me feel so thankful – for it means he is safe. During deployment, he had arrived at one airport and I made contact with volunteers. I was shocked by the events that unfolded in front of my eyes when the cd arrived in the mail.
I watched as all of the Soldiers – my son were welcomed to the airport with love and pride by complete strangers. Decorations all over with flags from the fallen, group photos from others previous deployments and returns. A communication center with phones for Soldiers to use and books to read. Signs hung everywhere. YOU MAKE US PROUD with pictures from Elementary age students. WE SUPPORT OUR TROUPS with each Military Branch. A HEROS WALK where each Soldier walked through. A quilt made in memory of the 13 soldiers killed at Ft. Hood November 5, 2009. A miniature display of the Greetors station. Franklin D. Roosevelts Bible, & many awards on display. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, WELCOME HOME TROOPS. They had an amazing program put together with shirts, stars, food, sundaes and photography for our Soldiers. They sang the National Anthem with our Soldiers. They had prayer with our Soldiers. Veterans were there sharing their pride and love for our country with the new Soldiers. They meet and greet them, HUG them, thank them and take the time to share the moments with us – me!! I watched each and every video. The video of how it started, how long it has been taking place, how much work goes into it, who assists in the donations. The video of the FLAG. Describing what our flag means to them – the Soliders. As I watched the videos and looked through the pictures of all the Soldiers – I saw all of their smiles. The emotions overwhelmed me!!! The love that I have for these strangers is indescribable. They are there, somewhere I can’t be, supporting people they don’t even know. It absolutely solidifies my PRIDE to be an American. A Mother to a Soldier.
So, here is what I can share from the CD and I hope you all find it as moving as I do.
It Is the Soldier
by: Father Dennis Edward O’Brien United States Marine Corps
It is the Soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us freedom to demonstrate. It is the Soldier, not the lawyer, Who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the Soldier, who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
What is a Greeter? Someone who greets a stranger as if they were a member of their family, someone with unconditional love for their country and those who fight for it. A selfless and generous human being. From the bottom of my heart – thank you to each and everyone of you that volunteer and or donate to such a program. For those who have served and sacrificed and keep on giving. This mother is eternally grateful.