I am a very proud Navy Mom. I was blessed with 3 beautiful children inside and out. My oldest son Travis, enlisted last year, and was in boot camp a month later. It was hard not being able to sit on the patio with him and chat about his day. He's always liked to be home and surrounded by family, I was surprised by his decision. He did "ask" me, I already knew he'd made up his mind and was just seeking my approval.
When he said the recruiter was going to come over, I told him just let the recruiter know I don't want smoke blown up my ***. I support the decision I don't need to be "sold". He'd already warned the recruiter so that was nice. Thank you Chief Malinowsky for being honest and direct. My grandfather was career Navy, my father was law enforcement, I was federal Homeland Security for awhile. I guess it's in the blood, protecting others.
December 2009 was his Naval Bootcamp graduation, he got to come home for 5 days before heading to Pensicola, FL for A-school. He was next able to come home on liberty for what ended up being a day and half because storms cancelled flights in. He was supposed to be coming home in September for 2 weeks leave before they deployed. His birthday is the 24th of this month, we'd be celebrating 21 years.
The ship he is on, USS Kearsarge LHD-3 deployed early to give aid in Pakistan on a humanitarian mission. This is our first deployment. We didn't have time to go out to visit him in Norfolk nor was he able to come home prior. A week later I couldn't sleep and a text message arrived around 5am...Mom I didn't want to wake you up so I'm sending this, we're leaving port in the next couple hours, tell everyone I love them and see you when I get back... I called him immediately to let him know how proud I was, how much we loved him and how much we'd miss him.
I Love my children to no end. They changed my life forever in so many good ways. It was so hard to not be able to hug him and say goodbye in person. It's been difficult to know he'd be heading to the Middle East but now that he's actually over where so many families have lost loved ones it's even more difficult.
When the ship went into River City, I, the family, his fiance' nearly lost our minds. Not knowing the Navy's lingo for the operation status and knowing what we did about it our hearts sank. I didn't sleep for 2 days, and sadly was between thoughts of he's just fine and maybe I should mentally prepare for the worst. I fully supported his decision to join, he'd thought about it for a long time. He didn't just jump in. My second son is wanting to enlist, and I'll support his decision as well.
It's funny how your heart can be so full of pride but at the same time worry and terror. It's a real war, our children, our husbands, wives, fathers, daughters, sisters, brothers are dying over there still. We lost a nephew to the war in March of 2007, Staff Sergeant Dustin M. Gould combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. My heart breaks when I hear friends who's children who are serving are under attack or haven't heard from them, I never fully understood that initial panic, that is until we had no contact with our son and no idea if he was ok or not.
I'm proud of all the men and women serving our country, they weren't drafted. These heroes enlisted on their own. While many of us may not agree with what's going on in the east, most can agree being attacked on American land on 9/11 and trying to stop terrorists from doing something like that again is a worthy cause and reason. They aren't dying in vain, they are dying for our country, for a reason they believe in...to end terrorism. For the families behind these heroes I am grateful for the support you gave them and that we have such fine people serving our Country.
God Bless America politics aside, and those who have and continue to fight to protect her. Travis, wherever you are, we love and miss you and hope to see you home very soon. I know it's a few days away but Happy Birthday, 21 years ago you changed my life and perspectives for the better and 21 years later your still changing my life. I worry but you know me, I love you!
Fair Seas and Following Winds, come back home safe Sailor! That's an order :D
Bless those I know over as well and their families...The Csordas, The Johnson's, The Wynn's, The Krieger's, The Thompson's, The Godsey's, The Schildman's. My thoughts, prayers and gratitude are with all of you and your sons & daughters serving.