Saturday, July 30, 2011

Our Soldiers

As each of you go on about your day please dont forget about our soldiers who are currently deployed still fighting for us, those who are getting injured. I belong to an amazing Army Mom's Support Group and one of our fellow moms received that unwanted phone call - her son has been seriously injured. Please take a moment to read her story and to pray for her son Derek who is fighting for his life. This brings tears to my eyes each time I read her updates. As a Mom with my own son over there it scares me all the time. When my phone rings I am scared to answer it, when an unknown car pulls in front of my house my heart skips a beat. Living in fear is not how one wants to live their days. I cannot wait for my own son to be back on US Soil and safe. Please pray for each and every one of them

Friday, July 29, 2011

My youngest turns 16

So seriously where did the time go? My youngest just turned 16 today. It is so unreal that my baby is at driving age already ha! He is going into his Sophomore year in High School, and is already close to 6' tall too. So he is not my baby anymore ha!
He gots lots of stuff from the family today. Even though Greg is so far away in the Stan he told me what he wanted to get him and I went and picked it up. Needless to say Trevor had an AMAZING 16th Birthday. He wanted to have dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings so that is where we went. He got a Hard Drive for his new XBOX 360, XBOX Live with a nice headset, several games and of course the all time favorite - MONEY lol. All in all it was a great day for my youngest son. I am so proud of all my sons, that have all grown to be such amazing Men.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Military Mom

I wear no uniform -- no blues or greens -- but I am in the military, in the ranks rarely seen.
I have no rank upon my shoulder.
Salutes I do not give, but in the military world is where I live.
I am not in the chain of command; orders I do not get.
But my son is the one who does, this I can not forget.
I am not the one who fires a weapon, who puts his life on the line,
but my job is just as tough, I'm the one left behind.
My son is a patriot, a brave pride-filled man.
And the call to serve his country not all can understand.
Behind the lines, I see things needed to keep this country free.
My son makes the sacrifice, but so does the rest of his family and me.
I love the man I call my son. Soldiering is his life.
But I stand among the silent ranks know as ........ The Military Mom

Things You Should Not Say to the Family Member of the Deployed....and some that you should.

Some of these are my own, some are taken from others, but here are the top things that you should not say to the family member of a deployed person.

 Aren’t you afraid he may die or be injured?
This one has always really perplexed me. Of course, I’m scared. I wouldn’t be human if I wasn’t. But being reminded of the fact that something may happen to him doesn’t help me out. What kind of idiot would even ask a question like this? People die over there, often..and people are trying to kill our loved ones......of course we are scared you idiot!

I don’t know how you do it. I don’t think I could.
We don't know how we do it either, if we did know we would write a damn book about it, and we would be rich, because everyone with a loved one in harm's way would love to know exactly how to do it.....You just do it, because you have to.

I could never deal with it if my ______ was gone for that long.
Hmmm…how does hearing how someone else can’t deal with it help us to deal with it? And you do deal with it when it happens to you, what are the alternatives pray tell? Should I decide I cannot deal with it is there some magic words I can say to make it all go away or do I have to just shoot myself?

Do you miss him?
No we do not miss our sons, our daughters, our husbands, we do merry little dances all day long rejoicing, Yeh.....OF COURSE WE MISS THEM!

I know just how you feel. My husband was on a business trip last month for three days and I just thought I would die.

Were there IED's in the hallways, were they lobbing mortars at him in his bed? Did you have the opportunity to talk with him each and every night...Yeh sure your hubbies business trip is nothing like a deployment.

How can you sleep at night knowing your _____ has killed people ? Won’t you be afraid when he comes home?
This one sets me off more than any other. They are not murderes, they are warriors. Have they had to kill someone? Quite possibly. But there are a great many soldiers who never have. It’s not something they talk about in daily conversation. Regardless of what they do overseas, it does not make them a murderer. They are in a war zone and following orders. Fear them? NO if anything we sleep better knowing they are here.

I was so lost when my child went off to college; I know just how you feel.
Really? Are people trying to kill your child in college? I would have thought your biggest worry would be whether they are studying or partying. I was not aware that college was as violent and hostile as Afghanistan.

If you truly supported your loved one, you would be protesting so..he wouldn’t have to deploy again/could be brought home/the war would end.
Really? My definition of support must be much different than the definition of support by these people. Supporting my loved one means supporting him in what he does and what he believes in. It does not mean disrespecting the men and women who volunteered to defend our country and our rights. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have the right to protest in the first place. I’m certainly not putting myself in a position where it could be construed as anything other than 100% support for our troops and their families.

Well at least he won't have to go to Iraq anymore, we are all done fighting over there.
Can you tell that to the families of the 14 men killed in Iraq last month? I wonder if all those Infantrymen over in Iraq know that they are not combat troops....ever try telling an Infantryman that I guess he must be a POGUE now?

Were you excited at the Presidents recent speech about Afghanistan? Now your son will not have to go! Isn't that wonderful.
Yeh it is awesome, can someone tell the Pentagon now, as they seem to still be intent on sending him, and yeh I am thrilled, thrilled that these brave young Infantry troops will now fight in Afghanistan with less support now. I am sure the moms and wives of the ones there now, and the ones slated to go are just thrilled also. Grrrrrr

Well it is almost Christmas, they let them come home for Christmas don't they?
Yes the entire armed forces shuts down for Christmas..sheesh do you people know nothing?

How much longer does he have until he can get out?
This one is annoying to many of us whether deployed or not. Many of our loved ones aren't counting down the days until they "can" get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because (gasp!) they love what they do.

This deployment shouldn't be so bad, now that you're used to it.
Sure, we do learn coping skills. And we figure out ways to make life go smoother while the guys are gone. But it never gets easy and the bullets and bombs don't skip over our guys just because they've been there before. The worry never goes away.

If you truly want to help, some suggestions are

I know it is hard, but we are here for you, and we are praying for your loved one.
When we voice our fears, or when we are really missing them, we just want someone to listen, we do not expect you to make it better, nothing can make it better, it is what it is, so just listen, and understand, and come along side in prayer and support.

Please thank your loved one for me, I am so grateful for men (women) like them, who are willing to go in harms way on my behalf.
Let us know that you appreciate what our loved ones are doing, you do not have to support the wars in order to appreciate the men and women who volunteer to defend this nation.

You guys are on my daily prayer list, and in my thoughts.
It helps a lot to know people have not forgotten our loved ones. Most times it feels like they are forgotten as the majority of our support comes form the families of the deployed and veterans.

If I can help, please let me know.
Chances are we will never ask, but knowing you are willing to be there if we need you helps a lot.

Is there anything I can do to help make it easier?
Same as above.

Does he/she need anything? I would love to send them a package to say thank you.
Out of all the family and friends and people who said they supported my son on his deployment, only two sent him packages. The church and one of his many aunts.

He is all grown up now and you have to learn to let go.

Like that helps us cope.....yes he is grown up and we have let go, we watched him board a plane, bound for war, to a place where people want to kill him, for a cause he believes in........Can you let go of yours like we let go of ours?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Prayers for Derek McConnell

Please pray for our fellow soldier who was injured yesterday

Prayers for Derek and his family

A Mother and her Soldier

If every single soldier

took his Mother off to war,

it would be the quickest battle

that was ever fought before…

the kindest sweetest Mother

would turn into something wild

should any sort of danger

pose a threat to her dear child.

There’s something in a Mother

that clicks in when baby’s born -

that tells her to protect him

and keep him safe from harm…

the female of the species

is the fiercest, so they say -

So take the Mothers with you -

you’ll be home within the day…

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Preparing for our European Cruise

So now that things are going very well for my family we are planning our 14 day European Cruise. This is going to be a blast for all of us. We cant wait to see Italy, France, Monaco and so many other places. After this trip is our family trip to Ireland. Being able to travel again is such a great feeling.  It has taken some time but by February 2012 I will be 100% debt free. I do not rely on credit cards to get those things I need, nope...if I want something I save and pay for it out right. Such a great feeling to OWN everything and not still owe the bank. Making my way up the Corporate ladder is such an amazing feeling.

We will be paying for this cruise with CASH, not putting it on a credit card and dreading when the bill comes in. Each year I take my sons on a 10 day vacation and it feels great to be able to do that for my family. This years vacation was to Colorado to see my Second to the oldest deploy to Afghanistan, not the vacation we really wanted but my sons know that I will be there for them ALWAYS. My sons mean everything to me.

My older 3 have all graduated from High School and on the own now so only having 1 son at home allows us the freedom to do more. I sometimes had a hard time knowing that in just 3 years my youngest will be graduating High School as well and I wont have any kids at home anymore - YEAH!!! Dont get me wrong I love my sons but it is time for me to enjoy life and not continually raise children. I am almost 43 and so thankful that I will be done raising kids before I am 46. Who wants to be so old when their kids are done with school that they themselves cant enjoy retirement. Thankful I had my kids when I was younger. I have 1 granddaughter that is such a joy to have around from time to time. My oldest son has full custody of his daughter and I am so proud of him for stepping up and being such an amazing Father to her.