Thursday, October 22, 2009

All I can say is WOW!

I'm kinda stunned and at the same time I have to laugh.  Several weeks ago I had a dream that my son was deploying back to war.  All the fears and anxieties were all there in my dream.  I woke up and thought, thank goodness it was just a dream, he's not going to deploy again.  I thought I would mention it to a friend of mine for some sense of documentation just in case but I said nothing else to the others....Well my son called me yesterday to ask my opinion or at least thoughts about him re-enlisting in Active Duty.  Wow, what do I say?  All I could really muster up was make sure the decision you make you can live with.  I just want him to be happy.  Of course and then I said, you know you'll probably deploy again.  Sigh, I don't really know what to say.  The economy is in the tank, he has no job, he's in school but that's no guarantee of getting a job, not anymore.  I guess really all I can do is wait and see what he decides to do.  He wants to talk to a recruiter before making his final decision, so I will wait...

...and try to remain calm. ohmmmmmm, ohmmmmmmm...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Once an Army Mom always an Army Mom

I know I brushed on this topic before, but it never ceases to amaze me the bond between a mother and her child and the bond of the military mothers as well.

The soldiers have their fraternal brotherhood, but let me tell you, the military moms have their own and it extends to the other mothers' soldier as well. It's not just about our own kids, it's about everyone else that touches the lives of our children within the military. We all grieve together, and we all rejoice together. Now I thought that now my son is serving in the National Guard and the possibility of him going back to Iraq had dimished greatly and the resemblence to a "normal" life would resume. However, that's not so, that is I still think about the Soldiers still fighting and are about to fight. I still say prayers for them and my heart goes out to the ones who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. I still think about JD's mother who is now a Gold Star Mother.

When I see a soldier, during my everyday life, I think of his mother, of him and all that he has gone through. He may or may not have been through war, but he has still made sacrifices for the sake of our country. It humbles me to think of all they have been through. I think of my life when my son was deployed both times. In fact I had a dream not too long ago about my son. He was redeployed. All the feelings I had back way when came rushing back. It actually shook me up a bit. Now don't get me wrong, I'm truly proud of my son, it was that fear that came back of having a child deployed in harms way. I don't miss that part of his Active Duty.
My heart still goes out to all of the mothers with current Active Duty Soldiers. God bless them all.

However, I know there are a lot of you out there who have not gotten to the stage of their child finishing up his/her contract or for those whose child will be a lifer. For you, how are you doing? How are you coping? If you ever need an ear, please drop me a line. I'm here for you.

Until next time, Army Mom Out

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

California: Boring would be good

I just don't know what to say except for boring would be good. I'm already hating the move because well, quite simply it's a lot of work to do on your own, that is no help from a moving company. My knees hurt, back hurts, feet hurts you name it, it hurts. So yesterday rolls around and about 2/3 of our stuff has been moved. Smaller items and the bed are pretty much all that is left. I arranged to have the utility companies and DirecTV to come out and do their do. I'm excited, we're almost done. I'm unpacking boxes now, got all the books back on the bookshelfs, need to unpack the kitchen, but got the bathroom all done, I'm on a roll and loving it. Soon I'll have TV. Yippee DirecTV is here to install the dish and get us rolling. Life is good.

What's that I hear outside? Damn. Mr. Deputy Sheriff, you say I'm in a mandatory evacuation zone now, and I have to grab what I can and flee my house? But, but, but, fine.....So my husband and I grabbed what was irreplaceable and left. Funny what goes through your mind though. I've always wondered why people want to stay when brush fires threaten their homes. I mean really, your life or your home. Ok, the first thing I thought of was, I"m not going to be one of those people who need to be rescued because they didn't leave when they were told. Then I thought, but I just moved all my stuff, we can't possibly take it all out. Grab the tv, grab the photos. No we'll be fine, I'm not leaving. I can't see any flames, we'll be fine, but as soon as we can see the flames, we'll leave. Ok, act like you've got some sense, get your shit and leave. And so we did. I now have a different perspective on why people stick around. I still don't think they should but I understand the thought process better. Even the little things such as books you don't want to leave behind, actually none of your stuff you wish to leave behind. In fact, I chose photos over clothes, so most of my clothes are still in the house. Now we wait and see what happens and say a lot of prayers.

Boring would be good.

Friday, August 28, 2009

So much to do so little time to do it

Ok, I know I've been sparse on here, but I've been soooo busy. I'm in the process of moving so it's been packing, packing and more packing. Did I mention packing? Then today we took my son's dog to the vet to be spayed. Poor girl, just a drugged dog wanting to just lie on the floor.

Well I have to make this short, got more packing to do. Where did all this stuff come from?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Just not a good day for me

So I come home and wonder where everyone is. The dogs are locked up in the kitchen, the tv is on in the livingroom but no son in sight. I walk back to the bedroom, the door is shut, I go in no sign of my husband but his tv is on too. I so walk past the dogs and walk outside being careful not to let them out. I assume there's a reason why they can't get out. I see my husband and son kneeling over a box seemingly petting whatever is in the box. I think, did they bring home another pet? Then my son looks up at me and shakes his head. I realized I was wrong. I walk closer to the box to discover my cat, Kismet in the box lying down. She doesn't seem to be moving. They tell me she was hit by a car about 20 minutes before I came home. I pet her as I see no sign of life to her. I cry.

RIP Kismet, you were loved and will be sorely missed.

Friday, June 5, 2009

In Memory...

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary when 3 members of my son's unit were killed in action in Iraq. June 4, 2008, Sgt. Shane Duffy, Sgt. Cody Legg and Spc. JD Emard gave there all in Iraq. Never to be forgotten and always thought of as a hero.

I wanted to call Emard's mother but I was busy worrying about my son. I came home and he was drunk, upset and crying. It doesn't seem like it was a year ago when I got that called that told me everything would be different from here on out. My heart dropped when I hear it was a soldier that I had met and spent the weekend with and his family. My son was terribly upset as he was there when the sh*t hit the fan. The stories I have heard just broke my heart and to come to the realization how easily it could have been my son and many more. I thank God for that and try to remember He had a reason and perhaps it was as simple as it was their time.

Looking back I see how this has changed so many people. Even though my son and other are no longer with this unit some of the mothers still keep in touch. This point in time has bonded many people together forever. We may never see or speak to each other again, but will always remain in our thoughts, prayers and memories.

RIP Duffy, Legg and Emard. 1-87th Inf, 10th Mountain Division, Ft. Drum, NY God Bless Them All

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ever had one of those days when all you want to do is...

...scream ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!
sigh. There's a part of me that wants to just go some place away from everyone for at least 24 hours. No husband (I love you dear, but you're on that list too), no child, no dog, no puppy, no roommate, no nothing. I should also buy a lottery ticket as well. I'm not going into details, but I just feel the need to scream and probably have a good cry and a cigarette. :) Yea I know I know, but I still want one anyway.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Happy Belated Mothers' Day to all. Military Moms are special, we must endure more and be stronger. When our child(ren) enlisted so did we but we carry that enlistment into the world of Military Moms with honor.

Army Mom Out

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Addendum

My addendum from my last post. I have a question. Many if not all of us can't wait until our child returns home from war, we truly don't want our children in harm's way. So my question is this, and maybe it's only me, then why is it that when our son/daughter returns home and maybe even gets out of the military do we still don our military "stuff". I still have my Army Mom license plate in the window of my car and I can't seem to bring myself to remove my "shrine" of my son and all military stuff from my office. I think this is the true love / hate relationship.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Love Hate Relationship between Military Moms and the Military

Where do I start. You're proud of your child joining the Military, but then you hate them because they are taking your baby away and more than likely putting them in harms way. But then you see how much your child matures, and you love (maybe a strong word) the Military for making this change.

Then deployment comes and you hate the Military again. Well maybe that's a bit of a strong word. You agonize for a year or more of your child being in imminent danger and jump and run every time the phone rings. You check your cell phone numerous times a day to make sure it's on and you have cell reception and most importantly you did not miss a call. Of course the one and only phone call that matters. You rehearse in your head how you will exit a meeting in the event your child calls. You're not happy with the Military again for taking your child from home.

You finally receive a call from your child and because the Military doesn't operate in the same time zone as you, no matter where you are located, you hate the Military for having your child call at 2:30 a.m. on a workday. You love the Military for having the facilities to allow your child to call, but hate that everything the Military does seems to be before the rooster has awaken. I do remember asking my son doesn't the Army believe in at least starting after 6 a.m? Really, even that is early, for me at least, but it would be easier to take on a workday than 3 or so in the morning.

You get the call your child is coming home soon on leave and you love the Military again. You see your child you want to hear everything that he/she has gone through, the good, the bad, and the ugly. You take your child back to the airport and you hate the Military again for taking your child.

Now when your child completes his Service Time and his coming home for good, you love the Military yet again. You still read the articles about the Troops and what they are doing and you begin to miss the Military. You remind yourself about all of the sleepless nights you had worrying about your child and scared something bad may happen. You remember how much you hated that feeling and don't necessarily want your child back in that arena, but you love the Military still and all they have done. It's a family and a wonderful family of Military Moms. You miss that. The happy medium is you don't have to have your child in the Military because once a Military Mom, always a Military Mom. You don't have to leave the forums, you don't have to stop going to the meetings, because now you're a Vet Military Mom. Take a deep breath, this is the easiest part.

Now this was kind of the ride I've been on and while I didn't enjoy the deployments, I enjoyed the stories, well the good stories and the pictures. I found it all fascinating. Do I want to go back there, not at all. In some ways, it was an interesting ride.

Army Mom Out


...ok so it's not tomorrow. I had every intention but it just didn't happen. Now the sucky part about having blogs is that I usually run through them quickly. In other words, it's not like an essay that I'm preparing for work or something and I'm checking for every grammatical and spelling error. However, I hate it when I go back and read them and think, sheesh Karen, you can write. Now I know I'm a product of the California School System but it was better back then. lol Oh well, here's my disclaimer, I'm a survivor of ADD, CA School System, can fill in the rest; I'm lucky I got this much out. lol Prime example, today, I'm at lunch and realized I never posted my follow-up blog after stating I would. So I jumped on to get something out there. It seems ok, but tomorrow when I re-read it, I'll find that my brain has once again moved faster than my typing (which isn't too bad) and my eyes aren't catching the errors. Oh well.

I'm running out of time so I think my next post will have to cover what I really intended to cover. The Love/Hate relationship between Military Moms and the Military.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Sounds of Home

I'm sitting here in bed kinda watching Richard Jeni and giggling. Then I hear loud snores, nope, they're not coming from my husband but the dog. The cat is curled up on my leg and the puppy is in the crate. sigh and best of all, I'm off tomorrow. No work for me but I still need to get up early to let the puppy out. Can't wait til she's completely potty trained. She's still too young to be really good at holding the bladder.

Somedays, a lot of day, I'm exhausted. Work can be a big drain and coming home to two dogs running around enjoying themselves and then the occasional, grab what the puppy has stolen from somewhere. But all in all, life is good. I have no restraining orders in my life, I have a job, and I have people around me that love me.

I read some of these blogs and my heart goes out to the mothers who are dealing with deployment for the first time, or the first time their child goes to basic. Yea I still remember those days well. I remember crying at times from the letters I received from my son. Basic isn't easy, and for him, it wasn't the actual physical work that made it hard. It was more of the melding of different guys, kids, put together in an environment that is scary and some just don't cope well. There are fights, arguments and bonding. It's not all bad but eventually they learn to work together. Remember that mothers out there, you're stronger than you think you are and you will get stronger. I say this out of experience. I was having pre-separation anxiety when my son was 17 1/2 years old knowing he would be moving out of the house soon, or so I kinda hoped. At this point he hadn't decided to join the Army yet. When he did leave, that was hard, my baby was gone. I still have every letter that he ever wrote while in basic because quite frankly, the moment he had access to the internet all written letters stopped. Deployment was no different. That's ok, I still have letters. Hang in there to you ladies that are now going through this. Say a lot of prayers if you're a believer, try it if you're not. It got me through along with tons of pictures. After basic, you'll have the privilege of seeing your child graduate. I wouldn't have missed that for anything.

Well my husband is yawning and giving me that look of, can we go to bed now? lol I'll have to write more tomorrow. Until then, Army Mom Out.
Hooah to you Army Moms
Semper Fi to you Marine Moms
and I"m not sure what to say to Navy Moms but good thoughts your way.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Taking a breather

I actually miss posting here but I feel a little spread thin. Still trying to play referee to the puppy and the cat and cleaning up after the little destructo. She, the puppy, seems to fancy herself by tormenting the cat, pulling dishes out of the sink and watching them crash and break on the floor or play fighting with the other dog.

Work is interesting in that karma seems to be trying to make things right amongst some. That is, reality is kicking some in the butt.

Trying to keep the peace between my husband and son and crossing my fingers that my son gets a job. I also hope and pray that my son will get the help he needs. I suspect he is having more problems coping than he led us to believe. For example, I asked him to go to bed instead on sleeping on the couch and he responded by saying, I'm trying not to sleep. Hmmmmmm. I think he's having bad dreams of his past experiences. But how do I get him to get help......

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wow....Taking Chance

On a message board I frequent for Proud Army Moms, the buzz was this movie called "Taking Chance". Some days I'm brilliant and other days well it's amazing I'm a supervisor for an office. Anyway, the Army Moms were talking about this HBO movie and suggested viewing it. It took me a while to find it but I did and watched it. Ok, I teared up through the entire movie, starring Kevin Bacon. I recorded it and debated whether or not to tell my husband. He doesn't always like watching movies such as this. So I come home from work I'm tired and I started talking to my husband about the day's events and I get that look, you are disturbing me watching this show. He then said, you walked in on an emotional part of this movie and I'm trying to be heman like and not cry and you're ruining the moment. So I said "carry on" and turned to see what movie now he's watching, and thinking he was kidding and he's watching the History Channel or something. I turned to the tv and I said, "You're watching Taking Chance? I Tivo'd this, I can't believe you're watching this." His response, "can I finish this movie now?" lmao I got quiet and watched the movie again. He liked the movie but it is heart wrenching, especially since I kept thinking is this what JD, Duffy and Legg went through? I could only hope so. Apparently it is running a few times, so if you get the chance, (no pun intended) watch. However, be prepared, have tissues handy.

Friday, February 6, 2009

No I haven't dropped off the face of the earth

It's been crazy this past month. Problems at work with employees, re-adjusting to having my son back home. You know, the phone ringing more, shoes on the floor among other assorted items. Next weekend I'm fleeing the house for the weekend. I've been kinda being a hermit of some sort. I want to spend time with my son without crowding him, however, that's not a problem, he's usually out with friends. Every once in a while we get a glimps of him telling us about his military life. Specifically when he lost 3 of his buddies in Iraq. I'm sure he hasn't told us all but the fact he was able to talk to us about makes me happy. I still worry about what's going on in his head, is he alright. He's too much like his mom, tends to stuff things...eventually that "stuff" must come out. All in good time.

Another thing that has changed around the house and probably more responsible for my lack of writing or reading is the new addition to our household. Yes, my son brought the pitter patter of little feet with him. Specifically, 4 pitter patter of little feet, German, and 3 months old. German Shepherd, named Sasha. Hmmmm. While the little dickens is as cute as a button, boy I sure forgot how much work a little un-housetrained puppy was. Because while my son, carried a big gun, could lead a platoon of soldiers into a battle, find his way home when dropped from a plane from a topo map, he can't raise a puppy. The patience, time and in my opinon the desire to do what is needed just ain't there. I figure it's just a matter of time before it become our dog as opposed to his dog. I wonder if this is payback for leaving my dog with my parents and never took him back. Probably.

Sasha, the little furball, is quite cute though. She acts like she is trying to figure out what you are saying. Follows me around, but does have a little evil side. She knows when she is doing something wrong. For instance, she'll grab my shoe, she knows the word no, but if I catch her chewing on my shoe, she'll run....with the shoe in her mouth.....outside....towards the mud. I used to train dogs, never a puppy. I thought I was pretty good, but Sasha being 4 months has the attention span of a 2 year old child, or a knat. Oh well, she's really cute and it's hard to be mad at her. She loves our Yellow Lab and he's happy he has someone to play with. It's amazing how much energy a puppy has, they're like the energizer bunny.

The other reason for not writing so often, I'm stepping up from being a tourist photographer to a hobbyist. I've been online trying to find the best camera for me and my budget. So on the 10th, my new Nikon DSLR camera should be here. No more point n shoots for me. My new camera should be here before we leave for Arizona for a good mini vacation. Tons of pictures will be coming I'm sure. Now I'm no professional but I think I do an ok job when I try. Below is a couple of pictures, I think they would have looked better if I had a better camera for what I was trying to accomplish. Believe me, I'm a believer that the camera is only a tool and only makes up part of the equation of a good shot, the rest comes from the photographer and I still have a lot to learn.