She knows all the words to the Army, Marine, Navy, or Air Force fight song. She knows how to put together a care-package better than Fed-EX. She knows how to use Skype and FaceTime like a pro. She knows the desperation of stalking her child’s journey through boot camp on the official company Facebook page. It’s the only line of communication between her and her child and she doesn’t mind sifting through thousands of pictures of other kids at the chance of seeing a picture of her Soldier in training. She knows the joy of seeing her child travel the world: Germany, Korea, the UK, or maybe even the highly coveted Italy or Hawaii. She’s happy her child can see things she hasn’t seen, visit places she hasn’t been, and live dreams she’s only imagined for her child. She’s even more excited when her child returns back to the continental U.S. and she can conveniently text or call without having to deal with different time zones, international phone plans, calling cards, or scheduling conflicts.
She’s got a sacrificial heart, willing to give her child up to her country. She sees the greater good. Even if she doesn’t understand what’s happening immediately. She trusts, she supports, she loves. Seeing her child experience the loss or injury of a comrade, she also knows the pain of seeing her child hurt. Thinking of the lost and injured comrade’s family, friends, and parents, her heart grows bigger, with more compassion. Hearing about her own child’s war stories, her heart grows anxious, yet patient. A daily reminder of the love and sacrifice of military moms of children who serve.
She’s married to a Soldier. Sometimes he’s home for Mother’s Day and sometimes he’s not. Therefore, sometimes, she plans her own Mother’s Day, by herself (not unlike many civilian moms). On Sunday, she might not be pampered. She might not wake to breakfast in bed. But, she will be joyful knowing her children are a gift she shares with her husband. A daily reminder of the love and sacrifice of military moms who are married to service members.
She wears the uniform with pride and strength. She’s spent many Mother’s Days with her family and many far away. If away from home, she might call or Skype with her child. Then again, she might spend Mother’s Day working through the night without any special meal, without the technological capability to talk to her family. She might remove a picture of her child from her uniform pocket and smile. A daily reminder of the love and sacrifice of military moms who also serve our country.
She’s spent Mother’s Day thinking about the dreaded call telling her that her child was hurt while overseas. Heart racing, she is thankful her child is alive and here for another day. She hurts for her injured child, but she is proud, she is strong, and she will be her child’s rock through his/her recovery. She will help her child heal mentally and physically. She will watch her child grow, again. A daily reminder of the love and sacrifice of military moms of children who were injured while serving.
She’s spent Mother’s Day grieving the unbearable loss of a child as a result of service to their country. Her pain cannot be erased. Her child cannot be brought back. She feels alone in her day, even though she’s surrounded by those who love her. She is reminded not only of her loss, but of all the wonderful things about her child. She thinks of her child gallantly fighting for his/her country, and the heroic life her child so selflessly sacrificed out of love, too. A daily reminder of the love and sacrifice of military moms who have received a folded flag.
To all military moms, we thank you. Happy Mother’s Day.