Among the days a mother never forgets, Homecoming Day, the moment her sons’ feet touch native soil again ranks at the top of the list.
I deeply appreciate the comments and private messages to my One Unforgettable Day post, especially those from people who are only getting to know me. I sometimes wonder if today’s American culture overlooks the genuine sacrifices the entire families of our Military Personnel, Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders and their Technical Support Teams (the most unsung, every day heroes) make on behalf of the common good.
I barely mentioned the rest of the story that began with One Unforgettable Day in a recent exchange:
Michelle Malone dot org: “The connection a mother has to her children can’t be aptly described in words. I offer you my heartfelt prayers, and I applaud your transparency.”
What’s Next.Wordpress.org: “Thank you. …My first son shipped out for the gulf coast as Nathan arrived at Fort Sam Houston for orthopedic reconstruction. [About eleven months later], Nate redeployed to Iraq to finish that tour. He’ll tell you he had to try to find the half of his foot he lost there. Nathan and Iain criss-crossed again; returning stateside unharmed. Since then, Nate served another tour in Iraq, came home to marry. Weeks after the wedding he deployed on another tour of duty in Korea. With 2014 came another tour in Afghanistan. Still in active duty, Nathan now trains our men and women <strong>stateside</strong> so he and is wife (retired, Army 2010) are raising their two children together. Iain recently retired from the Navy [so he’s no longer subject to recall]. He is a firefighter/paramedic, married to a firefighter/paramedic, they have two children together.”
Neither Iain nor Nathan consider themselves heroes, although throughout their military careers their jobs frequently put them in harm’s way. Iain continues the work he trained for in the Navy and obtained his paramedic credentials in the private sector. Despite tours of duty in several hostile environments, they both sincerely believe they’re “just doin’ their jobs.”
The Army moved Nathan around in different specialties, thoroughly training him in each capacity, so that he likely has the combined education equivalent of a doctorate degree. Having completed two bachelor degrees, he’s literally too busy doing his job and supporting his family to continue formal education.
My sons come from a long line of military, law enforcement and technical services. I wish I had access to compile an album of my family’s service-related photos today. Prints of my grandfathers, my father, uncles and most of my brothers are literally out of my reach. Even if I come across as a bumptious old pest, I think we earned our bragging rights.