Today is 5 days to my son’s deployment day. My emotions run wild as I prepare for entry into the unfamiliar world of Mom of a deployed soldier. I don’t know what to expect and maybe I think too much about it.
I trust that my son is a well-trained helicopter pilot who is confident in his mission. But stuff happens doesn’t it? Sending him off to the one of the most dangerous places in the world is beyond what my mind can handle at the moment – but I am trying.
I have concerns.
I want to believe in our great country’s leadership but question whether our President takes his job as a WARTIME President seriously. His actions and priorities over the last few months cause me to question that. Even recently, when President Obama held a press conference about the Fort Hood tragedy, where over a dozen lives were claimed, our President began his remarks with:
“I want to thank my Cabinet members and senior administration officials who participated today. I hear that Dr. Joe Medicine Crow (ph) was around, and so I want to give a shout out to that Congressional Medal of Honor winner. It’s good to see you.”
How inappropriate of President Obama to preface such a grave incident with something so glib. But that’s another story.
Our soldiers are fighting an enemy with radical beliefs and a deep hatred for Americans. The dangers are too much for me to even wrap my mind around for now.
What about my 1 and 3 year old grandchildren? How do you begin to get them to understand that Daddy won’t be home for a year?
No amount of preparation can really prepare a family for deployment. We are all in this together. Soldiers over there supporting each other. Families here support the soldiers and each other. Deployment day is coming. I must “lean into it” with open arms and keep moving forward.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings. Army Mom Strong (I am getting there).
Hello from another Blue Star Army Mom! AND… from another mother of a helicopter pilot! Is your son deploying to Afghanistan or Iraq? What airframe does he fly? Which unit is he with?
My son is with the 7-101st Aviation from Ft Campbell KY. He pilots a Chinook out of Bagram, Afghanistan and has been there almost a year! It has been a fascinating, often terrifying time. This is my first deployment for any of my family and the unknowns just about drove me nuts sometimes. But you must realize: These are MEN. Highly trained men. And, if your son is anything like my son, He too is raring to go do the hard stuff, live in the moment, ride the excitement, face the challenge, embrace the adventure. These qualities are exactly what make our guys dang good soldiers: they have heart, integrity, grit, determination, a sense of duty and responsibility, a can-do attitude, and a remarkable joy for life.
Be sure and impress upon your son how important updates are… even if it is just a quick check in. I lived for my emails, and I have never laughed so hard, thrilled so deeply nor prayed so fervently as this past year. Some of my son’s emails are just priceless!
While he has been over there, I created a cause called Operation Hooah! We send care packages to the soldiers deployed to the FOBs in the rugged outer reaches of Afghanistan, where they have no access to facilities. For the past year, every package sent through Operation Hooah was delivered by my son personally, so he saw to it that our pkgs got clear out to heck and gone. I am hoping to be able to continue this when his deployment ends, but will need pilots to be our Santa Claus(s) for us. Let me tell you, getting our packages and flying them out truly enriched my son’s time in Afghanistan, and he was an awfully popular guy with the soldiers out there.
Hang in there Army Mom… and this year will fly by… at first it just D R A G G E D by, but it is so odd… one day i was missing my boy, sad, worried, anxious, and the next — it was time for us to make plans to welcome him home!
Army Mom says
Thank you so much for your comment. You really inspired me today! I love what you are doing with Operation Hooah! and would like to write a blog post about it. Hope this is OK with you.
My son is leaving this week and flies a Kiowa Warrior.
Your blog about Operation Hooah! was great Lisa. Thanks! Prayers and positive thoughts to you and to your son. He is going to have some amazing adventures. My family thank him for his service!
Army Mom says
Thank you Rebecca. You have no idea how much you helped me be strong this week. Your positive attitude and the attention you put on our son’s adventure, excitement, and the fact they are “dang good soldiers” certainly helped me to look at things differently. Yes, I still will miss him. Yes, I am still concerned. But now I can see this other perspective that you have given me. So, thank you!
You are doing such an amazing job with Operation Hooah!
Best to you! Thank YOUR son for a job well done!
Sharon Harris says
My son is an Apache pilot and will soon be deployed to Afghanistan. A friend told me he has to take everything with him—sheets, toothpaste, etc. Is that true? If so, what do we need to be collecting? What little extras will make his stay more comfortable?
Yes, my son brought everything with him that was needed including sheets. I also sent him a lot of stuff. Once he got there and discovered other needs. It depends on the time of year etc.. For ex. in winter, I sent my son a twin size comforter and flannel sheets, wool socks, and warm underclothes. I also sent him a comfy mattress topper (I know it seems like a bit much but hey, he was there for a year!).
Hope that helps 🙂
Sharon Harris says
Lisa, Good grief! I am stunned that the Army doesn’t provide for our guys! Is there a place to go online that tells what they need for “care packages?” Josh is going in the spring, so we have a little time—thanks for answering my query. Will pray for your son’s safekeeping.
Sharon Harris says
Never mind, I see the list at the bottom of this page! Merry Christmas to you and yours.
My son is an Army medic and he will be deploying to Afghanistan for the first time in six weeks or so. I’m a nervous wreck. My husband is an Army Brat – his Dad served over 20 years – so he’s not as freaked out as I am. But on the other hand, my son LOVES what he is doing and I am so proud of him. I feel emotionally split in half. How do you make it through?
P.S. I too am disgusted about how much our soldiers have to spend of their own money to upgrade their equipment or just buy it in general. For Christmas we gave our son money so he could purchase decent equipment. Has anyone thought about banding together and making a public stink about this. If so – I’m in!