Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day

Today is the day we Americans take to honor our Vetrans, past and present.

I am proud to take part in this celebration.
I have a son who is serving this country on the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy today.
It is with immense pride that I honor him as well as all the Veterans I personally have known and those I haven't.

This country is what is today because of the selfless service all those men and women have given since its inception.
From the Revolutionary War up to todays' War in Iraq many average, everyday people have stepped up to the plate and put on a uniform in defense of our freedoms.

Tonight I sit here and think of the families who have given service by standing alongside their family member and sacrificed peace of mind, time at family gatherings, a hug and kiss at night, a wink at an inside joke, and many more everyday feeling too numerous to mention in support of their loved one.

At this moment I don't know exactly where in the world my own son is. I know he would much rather be home in Texas raiding the refrigerator, playing with his dog, getting ready for a date with his fiancee, talking to his sister, taking a nap, being told to take out the trash, having to report tomorrow for a civilian job.

I remember the first time I saw him in uniform.
I was awestruck. He was my personal hero. I knew what it took for him to wear that uniform.
He had not had it easy those few years previous to enlisting.
We had watched the events of 9/11 and knew the graphic reality of what wearing that uniform meant.

And my next feeling seeing him in that uniform was trepidation. he was my baby; my last born.
His whole life up to that moment flashed before me.
I saw the tiny infant that fought to be grown up even at one day old. I saw the little baby crawling around who chipped his first tooth on the bathtub.
I saw the 2 yr. old who went down in my driveway and his heart stopped and his Dad had to give him CPR.
I saw the little boy who loved his doll, Lester.
I saw the little skinny legged tyke wearing the red boots and making up the most awesome stories.
I saw the little guy that would sneak his finger into the chocoalte cake icing thinking he wasn't caught.
I saw the older boy who was so interested in what everyone else did for a job and curious to know if he could grow up to do the same thing.

I saw the scared 6 yr. old who accidentally set fire to my bedroom playing with a lighter and I later took to the Fire Marshall to put the fear of God in him.

I saw the 8 yr. old boy in a Cub Scout uniform having his first and only birthday party in our humble home.
I saw the 10 yr. old who had an accident on his bike when the handlebar and front wheel came off and we had to rush him to the hospital.

I saw the 12 yr. old trying to tell me a yarn when i found a Playboy magazine hidden in his pillowcase!
I saw the 14 yr. old taken away in handcuffs because he had been accused of something another family did but wouldn't take responsibility for.

I saw the young man who assisted his family through their personal tradegy because of a flood.
I saw the young man who thought I didn't know was drinking and cussing and thought he was all grown up.

I saw the young man who got in trouble because the "friends" he chose were the wrong crowd.
I saw the uninspired, depressed, wandering young male with no sense of direction in his late teens and early 20's.

I saw the compassion he had for others in times of need. the desperation and hopelesness he had when too many school friends died through drunk driving and suicide.

I saw the battles a young man and his mother went through.
I saw the love he had for the first girl he was ever really serious about and watched it unfold.

And that day I saw in him a fear deep inside because he knew in a matter of days he was being sent off to a farawy place without family or friends nearby and the unknown before him. That place was called Afganisistan. We were looking for some lunatic we really didn't know much about named Osama Bin Laden. And his ship was going to support that mission.

I also saw a pride he hadn't known up to that point as neighbors and friends gave him the recognition due him for donning that uniform.

Today I am proud of him for his service as an American yet as his Mother I am scared, uneasy and anxious and miss him tremendously.

My story is one of thousands. my story is not unique.
Mothers all across this country have their own story to tell.
Iam proud to be an American and PJ, I am proud of you.

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