Sad, Scared & Proud
I have written a lot about my son and his choice to join the Army lately. Today, Satchel’s girlfriend, his father and I will be driving to Sacramento to watch him take an oath to protect this great country. I won’t lie and say this has been easy or kind on my brittle heart. As so many of you have written me, I understand that what our sons and daughters have chosen to do is selfless and valiant. Yes, I have tremendous admiration for the bravery and poise my son has displayed in his decision to serve his country - and yet, I am sad.
He had to make a few compromises, but he still ended up with the solid career of his choice. He will still go to college here in Turlock while serving in the Reserves for the next six years. He scored very highly on the placement tests and will be working for a top-security job that only 15% of soldiers are eligible for. These are the things that make me burst at the seams with happiness - his very first adult accomplishment! Sure, it may not have been what I would have chosen, but it is his life, and he has laid claim to it. I reluctantly hand over my title as ruler, and now I become his friend, his cheerleader - but alway above all, his mother.
I know many before him have given the ultimate sacrifice. It would be dishonest for me to say I don’t think about that possibility with my child. I think about it every minute of every day. I can handle the partying and irresponsibility my other two boys have thrown my way with my eyes closed, but I have not a clue of what to expect when it comes to the military. I am scared.
My mother was a military wife, and soon I will be a military mom. I wish she were here to tell me how to handle this, what to do, but she isn’t... So, it is me, Satchel’s father, and Katie. We will hold each other up when the day comes to say good-bye, and guide each other through the unknown. I am not looking forward to this, but what other choice do I have? I will support him because that is what he needs me to do.
To every soldier that has given their life in order to protect this amazing country: I salute you. Your bravery will never be forgotten. To those who have stood proudly next to a casket draped in an American flag: my heart mourns for you. Your loss is my loss. Your pain is my pain. Remember that you will always be their parent, and they are always with you.
My son’s first decision as a man has not come without controversy. I guess I just need to remember how much this young man loves his God, his family, and his country. Today, I will watch my son be sworn into the United States Army. Yes, I am scared of the unknown, but I have faith that he is making the best choice for himself as a man - for that, I am proud.
If you’re a military spouse or parent, tell me your story in the comment section below or in a personal message - I’d love to hear about it. I hope everyone has a safe weekend full of laughter and happiness. We’ll talk again on Monday, I’ll bring the coffee. -R.