Moms Columns & Blogs

Freedom

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Something about his eyes caused me to pause and pay attention; they reminded me of Brian’s…  His smile genuinely reached them…

He apologized for my wait, and asked how my day was going…

“Quite well, thanks for asking; how about yours?”

“Good; I went to the gym before coming to work.  I’m trying to get in better shape for basic training.”  He looked like he had been working out for a while…

“Which branch of the service are you going into?”

“The best…Air Force!” His pride was evident in his voice…

I left Sam’s Club with my random purchases, thinking what a nice young man he was: pleasant, friendly and clearly excited about his future.  I feel for his mom; she must be proud and petrified at the same time…  I saw glimpses of this terrible turmoil when my friend’s son was deployed for a year to Iraq.  She was thrilled he had gotten his dream job flying Apache helicopters but scared stiff by the dangerous possibilities…

Still pondering this five minute encounter, I stopped at the mailbox when I got home…  At the top of the pile was an invitation addressed to Brian…from the Marines.  I must admit, it hurt.  It’s still hard to see any kind of mail bearing his name; I’ve called several recruiting offices, mailed information cards back, completed his selective service follow-up form, visited the DMV and the Social Security office.  I don’t know what else to do to get his name off the military mailing lists…so I guess I’ll work on my reaction instead…

Brian had started to consider his options after high school…  I’ve no idea what he would have ultimately done or where he would have ended up; I don’t allow myself to give it much thought.  But I know joining the armed forces was certainly a possibility…

Had he done so, I wonder if I would have had the courage and strength to bear it?  To push my worries aside and let him go?  Maybe to become one of the few, the proud?  Our family has a history in the service: my great-grandfather, both grandfathers, my father, father-in-law, and several cousins…  I believe I would have…  Countless families bravely battle this fear every day; unfortunately some end up members of this horrible, unwanted club. 

The 4th of July was B’s favorite holiday…not just the celebrating, the food and the fireworks, but the why behind it…  Every soldier out there is someone’s son or daughter; I wish I could thank them all for the sacrifices the willingly make, the risks they take.  I’m going to say an extra prayer of protection for them, of thanksgiving for those lost, and for all of their families.  Freedom surely isn’t free… 

Wishing you many blessings and always, hope…tg

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator  

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