R & R. It’s the first countdown after deployment. We wait for it. We envision that moment when our Soldier steps foot on U.S. soil.
I had my R & R moment recently with my Soldier son. I got the call on a Sunday at 0600 after he landed at the airport. He had been traveling for 4 days. From that moment, this burden of worry and concern that was with me for months, just disappeared. I was so happy that my son was out of the war zone (if only for awhile) and reunited with his family.
A few days and thousands of miles later, I stepped off a plane and was greeted at the airport by my son and 4 year old grandson. My grandson ran to me and I picked him up and hugged him like crazy! Then we went to my son and did a group hug. I thought I would never let go of him. There are some moments in life that you never forget and this was surely one of them.
During my 5-day visit, we had the best time ever; me, my son and his young family (wife, 2 kiddos). It was truly a special time for me.
When it was time for me to go, I hugged my son tight and told him I loved him. I did not want to let go. I cried in the airport. After pulling myself together, I broke down sobbing again on the plane sitting inbetween 2 strangers for over 4 hours. Luckily, the woman to my left asked what was wrong and tried to comfort me.
My son still had another week before he had to return to the war zone. The morning he left, I woke up early to call him due to the 3-hour time difference. At 0530, I called to say “see ya later”. I tried hard not to cry but I was so broken up, I couldn’t stop it. He understood.
My son’s R & R is over now and he is back in the war zone. We are now on our second countdown after deployment. I already sent 2 care packages. I pray daily.
“Lord, as he makes his way through his days and through his nights, please let his guardian angel protect his flight.”
Mary Gunter says
I am so glad that you got to spend time with your son. My son will be home on r & r at the end of this month. We cant wait to see him.
I will keep yall in my prayers.
Nikki Kolasinski says
It is Wednesday, August 4th. As I sit here, I think about my family. I have two sons on Active Duty. One is back from Afghanistan as a wounded Soldier. One is about to deploy for the 3rd time to Afghanistan with the 101st Screamin Eagles. I can’t begin to describe the range of feelings and emotions that rage through my veins at any given minute. His deployment is to happen sometime soon. I can’t seem to stop holding my breath. I hold my breath to pray, I hold my breath to think….well, maybe something will change and he won’t have to leave, I hold my breath until I hear a report from my son who is seeing many doctors…..it seems I hold my breath often….. We have a younger son who is almost fifteen and who wants to follow in his brothers’ footsteps….I hold my breath….. I have a 20 year old daughter who has been speaking with a Navy Recruiter, wanting to become a Medic….I hold my breath…. My husband (a retired Police Lt.) and I speak often about how we have wonderful children who want to serve and give back. We are very, very Proud Army/Military Parents and we want to send out our appreciation of the sacrifice that every family endures to have their loved one serve. God Speed…..and I will continue to hold my breath for every single on of our Soldiers. With great love to all!
Brenda Madriz says
My son was home for 2 weeks from his tour in Afghanistan. Yesterday I put him on a plane in San Diego for his return to Afghanistan. It was worse than the first time and I can’t shake the feeling that I said goodbye for the last time. I hope and pray that isn’t true. Maybe it’s because I undeerstand more now than I did before. I know what his job is, the area he’s going to and what he’s already endured.
I hope there is another mom out there who can tell me how to get through the days.
It is more difficult to send them back, isn’t it? I found this to be true.
When they first deploy, it’s all new to us, we don’t know much. After learning more about their experiences and what they do there, we now know exactly what we are sending them back into. I believe this is what makes it so difficult after R&R. It’s easy for our minds to go places they should not. Have faith in God Brenda. They are all in God’s loving hands. Have confidence in your son’s training and abilities. If you have a support group in your area, seek it out and meet other Military Moms for support.
It is difficult. Start crossing the days off the calendar and give thanks daily for your son’s safety and protection. I hope this helps in some small way. You are not alone.
God Bless. Stay Army Mom Strong.
COMCAM Mom says
My son will deploy to Afghanistan on November 4, 2010; his first deployment. Thank you for sharing this information. It’s comforting to hear from other mothers with active duty soldiers. I was a young wife when my husband went to Vietnam as a helicopter pilot in 1970. I never dreamed I’d be sending a son to a war . . . my emotions are spilling over.
Love and prayers to all . . .