You Betcha I'm a Proud Army Mom

Ramblings of an Army mom and probably some rants about the world at large. These are my ramblings and rants and no one else's. Just so you know...

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

"A Letter From Mom"

I was just reading about the The United States Army Field Band.

"...The United States Army Field Band is considered by music critics to be one of the most versatile and inspiring musical organizations in the world. Its members, selected by highly-competitive audition, represent some of the finest musical talent in America. More than five decades as the military's most traveled musicians have earned them the title, "The Musical Ambassadors of the Army."

On their site, they have a video of a performance they did in Anchorage, Alaska on May 10, 2004. I was thinking of saving it for a Mother's Day post, but with That Woman popping up again in the news with her anti-American rhetoric and shameful use of her Marine son's death, I thought I would point it out to you all now. (you might want to have a tissue or two...)

The Letter:
Read by Msg. Janet Hjelmgren

"So Often we hear "Pray for our soldiers overseas". The word "Soldier" is so generic. It does not begin to make known the person behind the title. As my son prepares to go to Afghanistan, my mission, as a mom, is to raise the awareness of each American. To make it known that these are soldiers, yes, but more importantly, someone's son or daughter. Someone's child. I wrote this to help you see MY son as more than just a faceless man in uniform. Please SEE my son, please be grateful for my son, and to please pray for my son.

21 years ago, as I began to labor with my child, I realized this was the beginning of our separation. The start of a process of growing for both of us. Never again would I be so literally between him and the world, protecting him. Early in the morning of December 10, the beautiful eyes of a precious soul looked into mine. My heart was overflowing with feelings I had never known before. Would I be a good mom? Will I always be able to keep him safe? I wanted to hold him close forever. I still do.

As he grew, I watch the first tentative steps on pudgy little feet. An unsteady gait, taking him precariously close to the danger of another bump or bruise. I would rush to catch him. Now, those feet march in military confidence. Again, marching precariously close to danger. I cannot catch him if he falls this time.

I remember a little boy standing at my door with a Bert and Ernie book bag hanging loosely off little shoulders. It is the first day of school and he doesn't want to go but knows he has to. He had tears in his eyes. "I'll miss you, mom." he whispered.

The years rush by and bring into reality the young man I want you to see. He loved dinosaurs, lasagna, Indian Jones and peanut butter cookies. He had fish (they all died!), rode a bike, got stitches and went to prom. He set an example, became a member of the National Honor Society and received a scholarship. He forgot to take out the trash, continually lost his mittens and washed his colored clothes and white clothes together. He grew up, trusted God and joined the Army. The little hands full of dirt and dandelions that gave me my first bouquet now hold a weapon that gives you freedom.

Now, there is a young man with strong broad shoulders standing at my door, holding a green duffle bag. He doesn't want to go, but it is his duty. He has tears in his eyes. "I'll miss you, mom." he whispers. I'll miss you, too my son. I'll miss you, too...

So, please when you say your prayers for the "soldiers" overseas, see my son. See someone's daughter. Pray not only for the soldier, but also for the child behind the uniform and the family that loves them."

(This performance and reading was based on a letter written by Ms. Tami M. Ketteman from Ohio whose son is currently based at Fort Richardson in Alaska and is currently deployed to Afghanistan. Through this letter she shares the anxiety, the fear, and the proud patriotic spirit of a mother, of an American soldier fighting for freedom.)