Jan Wesner wrote about me in her blog for the St. Pete Times today (TampaBay.com/Standingby). Thanks so much Jan -- I really do appreciate you and what you are doing for all of us.
An aside--don't let the St. Pete Times and the Tampa Bay thing confuse you --- the Tampa Bay Lightning play hockey in the St. Pete Times Forum in TAMPA and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays play baseball at Tropicana Field in ST PETE.
Liberal Army Wife posted an amazing comment on Jan's blog that more accurately described how I feel about "my baby" going off to war than even I could have done myself. She and I have e-mailed each other a few times and our sons seem to be cut from the same jello mold.
Jan... honest, it's different. I waved my one and only baby boy off to Iraq in 2003, and my husband is there now. The gut check when there are wounded or KIA, is the same. But I know my husband is sensible and can take of himself and his troops. But that child??? the one that painted his room black, cut his own hair when he was 5 the later buzz cut was not unattractive) the baby who needed his blankie at ALL times. nd who kept Wicket The Ewok on the bed for a long long time... that's my Baby. I need to help him cross the street, teach him to sort his socks... You are going to give him a gun??? are you NUTS??? someone is shooting at him>??? Hey, stop picking on my boy....You get the picture. yes, he was 24, almost 6 foot tall, has a better aim than anyone else I know, but hey... that's my baby.
My baby is 22, 6'3" around 220, earned his EIB on his first try straight out of boot camp. But how much time do we spend looking for his wallet? keys? shoes? He had Ruffy the talking dog in his bed for years and I'd still have Ruffy if his iguana hadn't pooped all over him -- never let them have the run of the house!
Out of desperation I e-mailed my DIL to ask her if there was anything I could possibly do to keep my #2 son from going to Iraq. She didn't say no, but she said I should not even think of doing anything b/c my son would feel that he'd let his buddies down and didn't do his part for his country, etc. The more I thought about it I had to CALL her and ask again -- "Did you say that I COULD do something but I just shouldn't?" It never hurts to ask -- twice. Again, the sensible officer in her tells me that while it is a lot to ask of a mother, to even try to keep him here would be wrong. Then she asks, "why didn't you act like this when (#1) was going?" Big difference between the two sons. If #1 had any idea I was doing all this whining about #2 he'd be furious with me; if I'd done it about him he would have not sent me flowers for my birthday.