Deployment Day

deployment daySURREAL – marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream.

That sums up deployment day. We rose early to get to the Army airfield. We loaded the car with the carefully packed Army issued bags, got the kids fed and dressed, and piled in the car for the short – but long drive to the Army airfield.

I promised myself I would “smile” and work hard to hold back the tears if only to stay strong for my 1 and 3 year old grandchildren. But my tears got the best of me when I thought about the reality of the next year.

It broke my heart to see my son explain again to the 3 year old why he needed to go away for awhile and the 3 year old saying, “but why Daddy?”

We all gathered in the office area where all the soldiers were getting their equipment tagged properly and organized. There were Moms, Dads, wives, husbands, and children, all there just like us…to say  “see ya later”, or to be more exact, December 2010. There were tears and hugs all around us.

We had 90 minutes of family time. Upon leaving, I hugged my son tighter than I ever did before, I just did not want to let go. We hugged for a long time and I told him the only words I could get out as this intense sadness welled up inside me, “stay safe – I love you”.

I cried as I watched him say a long goodbye to his wife.

I would not have chosen this path for my son. But I raised him with this in mind: “”This above all: to thine ownself be true.” A familiar quote. And that is exactly what my son is doing. Being true to himself. Following his passion – serving our great country. Doing a job he loves.

I am a PROUD ARMY MOM. I am the Mother of an America Soldier. Life is changed now. I will lean into it and am there to support my son 100% in his chosen life path. I will pray for his safety and the safety of all our Military that are in harms way.

Thank you for listening. God bless all of you and thank you for being strong with me.

Comments

  1. says

    Just reading this flooded me with memories. Although my goodbye was over 6 years ago, the memory of that day will stay with me forever, as will the moment I was able to hug him in a “welcome home” hug 10 months later…and then to do it again with another deployment.

    This is just how I feel/felt:
    I would not have chosen this path for my son. But I raised him with this in mind: “”This above all: to thine ownself be true.” A familiar quote. And that is exactly what my son is doing. Being true to himself. Following his passion – serving our great country. Doing a job he loves.

    Now I am the PROUD mother of an American Veteran..who now serves our community with the many skills he learned while serving this country. It has been a long and winding road, but I salute him on veterans day and each day and I am forever proud and honored to call this fine young man my son.

    Hang in there mama…he is held in the hand of God.

  2. Audrey says

    I am just a few months away from this, but each and every day my heart breaks knowing that my precious son is deploying to Afghanistan! I would give the world for this to be just a nitemare, but then I realize it is actually happening and there is nothing I can do about it but pray for his safety and ask God to wrap His loving arms around him while he is away. As a mother, my heart is so crushed, but as an American I am so very proud of him serving our country so bravely and with great enthusiasm! God bless all our troops and God bless all of us Army Moms, who have to remain strong, here on the homefront.

  3. Autumn Cooley says

    As I read these, my mind wandered back to the time we had to say goodbye to my son, this was his first deployment, and I was really struggling to stay strong, my heart was breaking in a million pieces, at the same time trying to be strong for him, it didn’t come easy, I’m too much of an “emotional” person, and like an open book, my son could read my thoughts just by looking at me…this in all honesty was the worst day of my life, I kept holding on to him, trying to get as much of him as I could, not knowing if I would ever see my son alive again was incomprehensble to me, it was a a great big fear that was eating away at me, I felt sick to my stomach, couldn’t eat, sleep, or hardly think for myself, as the time drew near, all I wanted to do was take my son home with me and keep him safe, I realize that might sound a bit ridiculous to some, but those thoughts ran through my mind often…but knowing there was nothing I could do to protect him, or keep him safe hit me hard, I had done my part in doing the best to raise him up right, and now he is a young man, a very brave young man, so the least I could do was to put on my best brave mom face, which wasn’t easy….when the time came for them to line up to leave, my heart shattered into a million pieces, as he was standing there in line, he would look over at us, and I could just see the fear in his face, the fear in all those young men’s faces, some were pacing back and forth, others were acting silly, I believe in order to hide their fear, but all I know is that the look on my sons’ face will be forever etched in my mind…I have a picture of that look, and it haunts me to this day, and when they started filing out, I lost it, I just couldn’t hold back any longer…it was all I could do not to run after him, and beg him not to go, but I knew all too well that I couldn’t do that, and I wouldn’t do that to my son, it was a time of letting go, and trusting in the Lord’s protection, as we went around to the other side of the building, I could see them filing into the bus, I had lost sight of my son, and again I had to fight the urge to run over and try to find him, for just one more hug, one more look, one more I love you my son, but instead I stood there, tears streaming down my face, my heart broken in a million pieces, and the fear almost choked the life out of me, but I stood there, waved, and did my best not to lose it, for fear he might be watching….so I wiped the tears from my face, and attempted to get a grip on myself, that last goodbye was the hardest of all…as I watched the buses leave, I watched my son become a man, a brave young man, a soldier, standing proud and tall, ready to fight for our freedom at any cost, it was a tough year for me, but I firmly believe it was the hand of God that carried me through that year, when the time came for him to come home, it was the happiest, most joyous day of my life, and now to hear he will be deploying to Afghanistan next year, well I just hope and pray that I can hold it together a little better than I did with my first deployment, may God Bless all our troops and their families, and keep them safe!

  4. Army Mom says

    Hello Autumn

    Thank you for sharing your story here. Although we don’t know each other, we do share a common bond and common feelings when we send our children into harms ways. My heart goes out to you as you prepare for a second deployment. You are so right, there is nothing we can do to protect them. You raised a strong, confident, and dedicated young man. Be proud of your son. Will keep you and your son in my thoughts and prayers.

    Best always
    Lisa

  5. Army Mom says

    Hello Audrey

    Thank you for sharing. We have to remain strong, together for ourselves and for our children. I understand and am right there with you. What is your son leaving? Will you be there when he leaves? We will be praying for his safety while he is in harms way. Stay strong Audrey – we are ALL in this together and must support each other so we can support our children. Bless you and your son.

    Best always
    Lisa

  6. Army Mom says

    Hi Lisa

    Amazing how even though time passes, these feelings and thoughts are forever etched in your heart and mind. Thank you for this touching post and sharing your thoughts. Your story will certainly help other parents who are just starting their deployment journey with their children.

    Best always
    Lisa

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