Saturday, September 29, 2007

Not much to say

There's not much to say today. I haven't heard from my son in about 3 weeks and I'm bummed. I got spoiled on his last deployment; I heard from him at least once a week. I used to hear other moms say that it had been over a month and I was thankful I heard from my son more often. No such luck this time, however, I do know, that no news is good news. I pop in on his blog site from time to time to see if he's posted anything and to check his email as he asked. Sigh. I still haven't been able to bring myself to actually call some of the other moms yet. Not that I don't want to talk to them, but it's their first deployment and they are not handling it well. I know that's no excuse and I should call since I'm the veteran but I'm trying to get myself together and I'm afraid that if they start crying it will bring me more into reality than I care to be right now. I'll call them, but I'm just not ready for it yet. I miss him dearly.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Soldier's Mother Creed

"I am the mother of an American Soldier"

I give my complete and unwavering support to my soldier.
As my son serves the people of the United States, so I
humbly offer up my prayers for his safety and the safety
and health of those he serves beside.

I respect his choice to adhere to a strict moral code
and system of values that has preserved our great
country for over two centuries.
I accept that my soldier's first duty is to his country
and I understand that this sacrifice he willingly makes
is what keeps our nation great.

I will never expect anything but the best from my soldier
for I know he is capable. I know that a soldier's heart is
true and strong, and that my soldier will endure.

I will never abandon my soldier, my son, my love.
I will love him unconditionally. he will know I am
there for him, even when he is alone.

I am disciplined, emotionally and mentally tough,
learning to wait for phone calls and letters or
emails home. I, like my soldier, am an expert.

I stand ready to do what ever I can do to let my
son, my soldier, know that we are here for him
beside him, we love him and I will pray for swift
destruction of the enemies of our country.
I am the person who stood guardian of this man
who has become my soldier, now our guardian of
freedom and the American way of life.


author unknown

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Tribute to Military Moms


See I didn't want to be here at work. I don't want to sound or be bitter (which is a new one for me)about this deployment but to hear someone say, I'm having a stressful day with all this work was enough to make me want to scream. You wanna talk about stress? How about having your son or daughter in another country at war? A country that doesn't seem to value life the same way we do and your child may or may not come home alive. As I roll my eyes, yeah, I work with a lot of pansies. Now isn't that something, wasn't I the one earlier who said I'm able to cry at the drop of a dime? Perhaps they shouldn't allow children off to war when there mother is PMSing. lmao Funny, now that I've put it into print I feel much better now. So much for quiting smoking, I tried. Maybe I should send a letter to my son's commander explaining that my son being in a war is hard on my lungs. Ok, I know, now I'm just being plain silly.

My son is doing a very honorable thing along with his brothers and sisters in arms. I'm proud of the job he is doing and how much he has grown. Now if I can just get him to address me like he does the rest of the civilian world (yes maam, sir etc) yeah right, I only want him to call me mom or his newest title, mamas.

So I have this child who is able and does shoot a .50 cal and other assorted weaponry and by all means is a grown man. Yes, no matter how old he gets he is my child, and my baby. So anyway, we were taking the bus back to the airport (it's so much easier than trying to fight the traffic) and my son puts his head on my lap. Ok, so I thought to myself, "my baby still needs me". I know this sounds stupid, but I know there's another mother out there going, nope, I know what your talking about. It's that weird feeling of your kids not needing you anymore, kinda like you ran out of you usefullness. So it's these little things that tell you, you're still mom and are needed, loved and still wanted as a mom. The odd thing for me was that I actually started going through separation anxiety 6 months before my son turned 18. I couldn't believe it, then he turned 18 and I was thinking what am I going to do. When the word came down that he was accepted by the Army, I was kind of lost. Keep in mind, I raised an independent son and considered myself hard headed and independent but by no means one of those clingy moms but here I was thinking my baby is leaving? I wanted my son to be able to stand on his own two feet, for the summer I use to send him to Oregon to visit the grandparents on their ranch. But that'll be for another story later.

Proud Army Mom...out

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Rollercoaster Ride Begins

It's taken me a bit to post again as my son has officially deployed. Crying is an easy thing now for me and I fight to keep the ill thoughts at bay. I try to remember that I must always think positive. I heard from my son briefly and he seems to be doing well. He told me to stay strong. I will do my best. I now must remember to not watch the news and to also remember no news is good news. I've been in touch with the FRG (Family Readiness Group) which act as a liaison between the families and the soldiers. It warms my heart to have them. I know some parents complain that they didn't hear from them much, but I know for me this wasn't the case. My son's first deployment they called and kept me in touch and I'm confident this will be no different. My husband keeps reasuring me all will be well, but I know he is worried too.

What has also helped me is meeting, even if by telephone, other mothers in my son's unit or Battallion. It's nice to have others to talk to that truly understand what you are going through. I also belong to my city's Blue Star Mothers' group. They've also helped in the past. Do I want to go to work tomorrow, nope, but it is best, it'll keep me busy and hopefully keep my mind off of things.

Today I saw my friend's pictures of her baby, now 3, and I thought about my son. How much he has grown up and how no matter how hard it was being a single parent back then, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love my son sooo much and he has brought a lot of joy to my life. And now I share him with my husband. How he has taught my husband a lot as well. Funny how kids do that. He's brought a lot of joy to both of us and I look forward to our son bringing many more years of joy to us.

Friday, August 31, 2007

God give me strength

His deployment date is closer than ever and it takes nothing now to get me crying. How I miss him, how proud of him I am, how I love my son. I can't protect him now so I give this job to God. Please protect my son as I can only protect him through you. I'm scared, I miss him, I want him to return to me safe and sound, with all body parts, alive and well with his mind intack and his sense of humor and spirit as well.

I wish I could hold him and fight his battle for him, for I am his mom. I know I can't and he's a grown man doing an honorable duty, but I am his mom. I love him, for I am his mom.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm back...

and had a wonderful time with my son. I had a chance to meet some of his buddies and see the barracks both new and old. He is scheduled to fly out soon but he seems to be in good spirits. A little stressed but doing well. Don't get me wrong, he's not happy about going, I don't think anyone is but he has a job to do and is ready to do the job at hand.

I have always enjoyed visiting the various bases as they're all different. Some are older than others and are quite interesting. Most have some type of display and the barracks are interesting to see, the old and the new. It has always impressed me how bases are like a city within a city, pretty much self contained. My son seemed to take some enjoyment of showing us around. The town he's in, well, not condusive to young adults but perhaps it keeps them out of trouble. lol

We did our best not to cry when we said our good-byes but gave each other a big hug. He asked me if I was crying after he said stop, I told him, I won't until he's gone. This good-bye was easier being that we weren't at the airport. For some reason, it just didn't seem as bad. Are eyes were watery but we were good. He said I'll see you soon, well some months down the road. He's hoping he won't have to take leave so soon after deployment but he doesn't have much of a say in that. Last deployment, he was only there for about 2.5 months before he had to take leave. That sucked because when he went back, he had 10 months left. So hopefully this time since he has a higher rank and one tour under his belt he'll have more say in it this time. We'll just have to wait and see.

Proud Army Mom Out

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

This sucks!!!!

This sucks!!!!!!! I'm sooo looking forward to see my son but dread the fact that when we do he'll be deploying shortly there after. You know you have a child and all you want to do is to raise and protect him/her. I'm so proud of him for serving his country but damn, I can't protect him overseas. Not like I could protect him so far away normally but at least ied's and bullet weren't wizzing towards him. I wish I could shake this fear and worry. This is supposed to be easier on me, I've been through one deployment but I'm more scared this time than before. God please protect my only child, I love him dearly and want him to come home safely and sound alive and well.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

It's getting closer

Well in a few days I'll be off to see my son before deployment. I look forward to seeing where he sleeps, his base, his friends and the surrounding area. Just like to see the part of his life that is so far from home.

How I'm going to miss him. He seems in good spirits, he got a chance to go to New York City which is something he had been wanting to do. He's been there before (sort of) but it really doesn't count when you're there for a flight layover for a couple of hours. I can't wait to see the pictures, assuming he took some.

I'm starting to pack to be ready. Trying to pack lightly but I still need my computer, camera etc. Oh well, it'll be fun, I just don't want to have to check luggage in if I don't have to.

Something I did find odd even for me, I'm actually enjoying the show Army Wives. Interesting, I always wanted to live on a base, but my father was out of the service by the time I was around. I just think bases are really cool. Some are old and the building reflect the time period (for some) and it's just neat. I did a USO show at Camp Roberts once, that was pretty cool too. To think that I'm singing on the same stage that Bob Hope once performed on.

Well back to packing for me.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mother's Anthem

If every single Soldier took his Mother off to war...
It would be the quickest battle that was ever fought before...
The kindest, sweetest Mother would turn into something wild
should any sort of danger pose a threat to her dear child...
There's something in a Mother that kicks in when baby's born
that tells her to protect them and keep them safe from harm....
The female of the species is the fiercest so they say...
So take the Mothers with you
you'll be home within the day....

( Christina January 1995)

I got a kick out of that one.

The Countdown Starts

Well the countdown has started. I won't say how many days until but it is less than 30. Our journey to see him will be bittersweet. For I know it will end too soon for me but I can't wait to see him. I have not been to this particular base but I've always enjoyed the bases. I look forward to seeing this one.

My son still seems pretty upbeat the few times I've spoken to him over the past week. I'm really looking forward to seeing how he lives out there. I wish he was stationed closer to home but then at least he's stateside. I feel for the mothers whose child is in another country. That's tough for visiting.

This past week I had a mother (non-military mom) telling me how she told her son that he was dead to her. What did he do that warranted that? Be a teenager. Nothing out of the mainstream norm of being a teen. I think the kid is 18 or 19. Definitely old enough to follow rules, but to have your mother tell you you're dead to her. I thought that was pretty harsh. The punishment didn't fit the crime. I'm not one to tell someone how to raise his/her child. I made my own mistakes, but I did make sure my son always knew how much I loved him, no matter what. I had my fair share of screaming and even threw some things and slammed a few doors, but my son alway knew I loved him. It really bothered me to hear this, I just wanted to smack her and say this is you own damn fault and quit trying to be such a control freak. If he can't follow the rules, throw his butt out, but you don't tell your child he/she is dead to you just because he/she doesn't spend money the way you would or is a lazy bum, or can't pay back money you seem to keep loaning to him in spite of the track record. My son is about to go off to war and God willing will return to me safe and sound and alive. Here, because she's trying to make a cat into a dog is mentally jacking up her child. I've never told my son he was a loser, I may have said I was disappointed in him but never a loser. Children if told enough, will become what you say they will. He's a teen for crying out loud, how many teens are good with money? Not many.

Ok off my soapbox. I'm waiting for my extra memory card for my camera to come in the mail. I plan on taking a ton of pictures and video. I've got the iPod for the flight, got the room booked already (thanks son, since mom forgot about that) and all we have to do now is get the rental car. Once I get paid, I need to grab a few bucks...afterall, there's a PX awaiting me. lol I love PXs. I can add more to my "shrine" at work and at home of military stuff. New deployment means new stuff. Bless my husband's heart, he just steps back. I guess there's no sense in arguing this one. He knows when to pick his battles, and fighting with mom on military son matters, he'll lose. lol Honestly, I'm not over the top, too much. Can't help it, I'm just a proud army mom.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Sgt. Underhill, May God Bless You

My God bless the family of Sgt. G. Underhill as he has been called home. My prayers and thoughts are with the family, friends and brethern soldiers of his base. I know they speak highly of him. My heart breaks for them. God Bless them all.

Signing off,
K. Proud Mother of an American Soldier

Friday, August 3, 2007

Time is drawing near

Wow, "bad military day", I haven't had one of these things in a while. So I'm locked up in my office with the blinds drawn closed, a note is written on my dry erase board that hangs on my closed door. The note reads, "Gone to lunch...". I have my newly purchased ipod playing with my headphones on. Then a song comes on, "God Give Me Strength". I like that song by Bette Midler, it may not be my scenario, but I start to think about my son going off to war again. I start watching an old commercial that I love from Budweiser of the soldier getting off the airplane and coming through the airport and everyone in the airport stands up and applauds as the soldiers walk through. At the end, the words "Thank you" are shown. How that gives me chills, so I saved it. I'm still listening to Bette and start thinking about how close my son is to redeploying again. sigh I try to fight the tears. Afterall, the last thing I need is to have my office see me cry. On my wall I have my son's battallion's calendar. August happens to be my birth month and it also happens to be the month my son's Company is showing. My son's picture is on it. I cry. Then I hear the words, "God Give Me Strength", and I think "please, I think I'm going to need it this deployment". I really thought the second would be much easier, I think it's harder. I've been doing my best not to really think about his deployment, but I know down inside, the time is being watched and felt. I still remember how I felt when I got the phone call from his base saying that his plane had landed on base, he had truly returned. I cried in the aisle of Vons. lol The grocery checkout clerk, asked what was wrong and I told her, she gave me a hug and said congratulations.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I am the mother of an American Soldier

I don't know who wrote this but it sums it up quite well. Kuddos to whomever wrote it!

You see me every day going about life as usual - or so it appears. I
rub shoulders with you at work. I shop at Wal-Mart and the grocery store.
I fill my car at the corner gas station. You might see me anywhere.
Don't be deceived: My life has not been "normal" for months. I am the
mother of an American soldier.

Although I continue the routines of life, I do so with a burdened
heart and distracted mind. There are some tell-tale signs of who I

I'm the one with the frayed yellow ribbon pinned on my clothing. It
was fresh and new when my son first deployed months ago. Even though
the war is supposedly over, my son is in a place where bullets and
grenades are still killing our soldiers. I am determined to wear my
ribbon until he comes home, because it reminds me to pray for him
every minute. When you see me wearing that ribbon, please stop and
whisper a prayer for him and all the others still there.

My house is the one with the faded yellow ribbons on the tree in the
yard and one on the mail post. There is an American flag on a pole
attached to the front porch, and a small red-and-white banner with a
blue star in the middle in my window. When my son gave this to me
before he left, I told him that I never wanted to cover the blue star
with a gold one. Gold Star Mothers are the ones whose sons come home
in body bags.

When you drive by a house of this description, please pray for the
son or daughter overseas and for the parents waiting inside for their
child to come home.

To those of you who have posted yellow ribbons at your house or in
the windows of your schools, thank you. It warms my heart every time
I see your expressions of support for our troops.

One of the hardest things about being the mother of an American
soldier is living 1,500 miles (how bout 2600 miles!) away from the
post of my son's unit. Wives usually live on or near the fort, where
they can glean support from others in the same situation. But a
mother may live across the nation, so she feels totally alone.

Letters rarely make their way home, and if they do, it is weeks after
they were written. We go more than a month without hearing anything;
then we might get a short phone call. E-mail is out of the question
most of the time.

Every week is like a rollercoaster ride that I want to get off. When
I read a soldier has been killed and his name has not been released
pending notification of kin, restlessness, depression and insomnia
rule my life until 24 hours have passed and the men in dress uniforms
have not appeared at my door. I pray constantly they will never come.

When you hold your baby close, remember we mothers of American
soldiers held our babies, too. Now our "babies" are putting
themselves in harm's way for your babies.

And if you see a woman at the store buying tuna and crackers, beef
jerky, powdered Gatorade, baby wipes and potted meat, check to see if
she is wearing a yellow ribbon. If so, stop and pray for her. She is
probably the mother of an American soldier, getting ready to send her
child another "care package." You may see tears in her eyes or dark circles under them.

I am there among you, trying to carry on some semblance of a normal
life. Like so many others, I am the mother of an American soldier.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Quick and not necessarily a legit rant

Hmmm, have you ever noticed that no matter how old your "child" is they still want or need money from you? I can't b*^ch too much, I did the same. Love him dearly, but "mom, I need some money". lol Yeah, but you know what? When he gets to Iraq, you think I'll care, nope, cause in the big grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Keep good thoughts

As deployment draws near I find my thoughts drifting to where it shouldn't be. Not to long ago, a fellow Blue Star Mother became a Gold Star Mother. Not a position anyone wants. As a Blue Star Mother, you are a member of a national organization that supports the troops and each other as we all have children in the military. As a Gold Star Mother, you are a member of a national organization that has a child in the military that gave his or her life for this country. This mother was saying how much she appreciated all the support she has received. She buried her son the other day. I can only imagine the pain and utter dispair she must feel, as I would be completely lost.

The other morning I could hear the local clubhouse hosting the annual Championship Swimmeet. I too once had participated in, many years ago and so did my son. I could hear the announcer, the starting gun, the "swimmers up, take your marks, bang" and it brought back memories. Memories of me as a child, memories of my son in similar situations and present day. He's not my little baby anymore. He's a grown man. lol He's still my baby. I still remember changing his diapers, soothing a skinned knee, comforting his tears and picking him up from the hospital after he wiped out going down a steep hill on rollerblades. I remember him telling me with tears streamming down his face, "I love you mom" and "this is weird, this may be the last time I see you again" as I said goodbye to him as he boarded the plane back to base to deploy, the first time.

From the time my son was born I have always taken the stand, that no matter what, how old or young you are, it is the mother's responsibility to protect and take care of her children. Not saying that the husband isn't but when a mother carries a child, gives birth and raises, it's her duty to protect and care for her young. That's why you always hear, don't stand between a mother and her young in the animal world, mothers will kill to protect their young. Well the same goes for the human species. So just because the child is now considered a legal adult (and it doesn't matter if he or she is 40) that maternal instinct does not go away. Now I'm not the type of mom who mothers her child, but if he needs me I'm there. If I feel this is something he should handle as a man, I tell him so. I also feel it's my job to raise him to be a productive member of society and to be able to stand on his own two feet. I'll help him out if I can, but even birds push the young out of the nest to teach them to fly on their own.

I joined a group called the Patriot Guard Riders. If you have never heard of this group, it's a group of motorcycle riders, however, anyone can join, that support fallen soldiers and shield the families from protesters that do not have the families in their best interest. I have a motorcycle but have not attended any funerals, too close to home. They do make other appearances not funeral related but I have passed on attending. I can barely stand to hear of troops dying and don't think I could handle going to a funeral and seeing the family without thinking of my son.

I think my son and I have had a typical relationship growing up. When my son was a tot, I was everything to him. As he became a teen, I was merely an atm machine and a source of embarrassment to him. As he enlisted, I became a source of information and support. We are very close and we have been through hell and highwater together. I love him dearly and miss him. I just have to remember to think positive. No bad thoughts, no thinking about his funeral and the notification or even what would I do if I got a call he got injured. I have to remember to think positive. Damn, he hasn't even left yet and I'm already having these thoughts. I'm proud of my soldier, but I'm scared too.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Thinking outloud

So I'm driving down the street and I was thinking about my son deploying again and some of the comments some have said to me. Such as, why does your son have to go back, didn't he already do a year tour. All I can say is yes and because his boss is sending them back. I have to agree, back in the day, if you served a tour you were done, not nowadays.

I wish my son didn't have to go back, but it is his job. He is a Soldier. I have many mixed emotions about him being in the Service. I mean, I think it's done him a lot of good, he's grown up a lot and in a short amount of time. He's more responsible, he has a better self worth and has a great appreciation for home, lol. I miss him, and I love him. The things he's learned are invaluable. He's turned into a fine young man, I just wish we weren't at war.

Side note: I know this may not be the most impressive reading but it'll get better once he deploys. Until then, you get the ramblings of an ADD mother. lol

So what do I do to help get me through this? I find Army stuff to build my "shrine". I have bears, figurines, lapel pins whatever I can find that moves me. I can't explain it but it just makes me feel closer to him. We are close but it helps me stay sane. Afterall, the last thing he needs is to worry about me when he needs to focus on the mission at hand. I encourage him to be open with me and sometimes he tells me more than a mother really wants to hear, but if it makes him feel better, then I'm ok with it. I have to tell ya though, it sure puts a lot of things into perspective. Don't sweat the small stuff, it's not worth it. And I let him know how much he is loved. It's really neat to see friends and family and perfect strangers lend an encouraging comment and support. He needs to hear it and so do I. I have the upmost respect for our men and women of the Armed Forces. It doesn't matter what my political views are, because no matter what they may or may not be, he'll still be deployed. I will support my son, my soldier my hero.

Until next time...from a Proud Army Mom HOOAH!

Friday, July 6, 2007

July 4, 2007

Well, saw fireworks! lol I forgot to ask my son if he had a chance to see some. When I spoke to him tonight all we talked about was his 12-mile march. He had to do it in 3 hours, the first time he missed the target by 22 mins, this time he got it with 10 mins to spare. Better him than me, they would have to scrape me off the pavement.
Right now he is making preparations for our arrival. That is, he's trying to plan his social life around our arrival. It's funny, he has grown up so much since enlisting, but there's still a boyish charm about him. That's ok, that makes him, him. Besides, I'll savor every moment that I have with him. My husband teases me about the "shrine" I have in my office of my son. Ok, it's a little extensive, make no mistake about it, by the looks, you know someone close to me is in the military. I took most of it down, now. I've decided for this second tour I'll add new items and pictures to it. I found a cute little figurine the other day, I'm trying to find out if they make one for soldiers. So far, I've only been able to find one for Marines. It has crystal looking hands around a Marine with the written words, "Lord, bless this Marine..." I can't explain why these little things give me comfort, because I know it's just an item, but they do. sigh I'm missing him already.

Anyway, there's not alot to report at the moment, just this picture of the fireworks I watched from a boat. I enjoyed myself and I was surprised to be able to get this picture from a camera phone. I don't need no stinkin' expensive camera setup, lol. Timing was hard but I got the picture.

Til next time...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The introduction

I've decided for those who care to take this journey with me, to give you a look of what it's like to be a military mom. No disrespect to the military wives but the perspectives are different. Not insinuating better or worse, just different.

Today is July 1, 2007 and my son has received his official orders of deployment. This will be his second tour to Iraq. His first tour was 12 months, this next tour will be longer.

My son is in the 1-87th 10th Mountain, light infantry, he's 21 years old and about to take another journey to Iraq; and this will be my story.

My name is Karen and my soldier is my only son. I was a single parent for 15 years before marrying a wonderful man willing to take on a woman with a teenage son. God bless him. I remember the first deployment and being such a newbie to it all. I have a friend whose son was a Marine. She gave me pointers, don't watch the news, remember no news is good news and keep yourself busy. I fought day in and day out to keep my fears and worries in check. I drove down a street and burst into tears when I saw numerous Blue Star Banners aligning the middle of the street with the names of the servicemen and women serving from that city. Trying to remember to think positive. How those days seem like yesterday, but yet it was a year ago; and now I'm about to go down this road again. Sigh, I don't want to but I will for my son, in support of him.

Over the years I've met some military moms, nice to know I'm not the only one going through this, but there a lot of those out there that have no idea. Sometimes I want to yell, "don't tell me he's going to be alright, you don't know that!" But I must be strong and then there are times I'll just cry. I worry about my soldier, I miss him and love him dearly. I'll be seeing him shortly before he deploys. I look forward to seeing his smiling face. I'll be praying for him.

That's all for now.