I went back through my blogs to see what I wrote for Veterans Day, and I had to go back to 2017 to find one. I am a little surprised and embarrassed by this. I thought I had a blog post for every year. There are a lot of veterans in our family, as noted in "Baby Boomers" below. After reading this, I didn't think I could add much more to the post. But it was worth reviving.
A Marine Mother's Perspective
My children were born during peacetime in the 1970s, and I never thought one of them would say that he wanted to join the military. But one did!
I Thought It Was A Phase
My son Ryan spent a year out of high school studying every aspect of the service and decided to join the Marines.
A Young Boy Leaves... And Returns A Marine
I was unprepared for my son to leave for a 13-week boot camp that did not allow us any contact with him. Other than him going overseas, this was the most excruciating time a parent must endure.
The Middle East Before 9/11/2001
Ryan became part of the elite Marine Security Guard and went overseas to protect the Bahrain School in the Middle East. At the time, Bahrain was considered the third highest worldwide threat to our troops... Iran was visible across the Persian Gulf.
Attack of the USS Cole
While Ryan was in Bahrain, the USS Cole was bombed, and he volunteered to guard it. He was on duty and was turned down. Marines were pulled from Bahrain because it was the closest point to the terrorist attack in Aden, Yemen.
You Lose A Piece Of Your Heart
When your children go overseas to protect our nation's interests, a piece of your heart goes with them. Every night and every morning, you pray for their safe return. As a mother, you are helpless to protect them. You put their safety in your country's hands. There was no Skype or FaceTime to communicate with him. After securing leave at Thanksgiving in 2000, his Papa passed away on the day he was to return to active duty. It took some doing, but he could get emergency leave to attend the funeral. We were so happy and full of gratitude that he could be here for this sad occasion. Ryan had an extraordinary military bond with his Papa.
So, I deeply understand what it is like to be a military mother. I know what these families feel when their loved ones serve our country at significant risk. My gratitude for our military is unending. Thank you for being the Heroes you are. I also know the trauma some of our loved ones face when they leave the Service and return to civilian life...
A Tribute To Honor Our Veterans and Military
We Are All Connected!
I think everyone in our country is connected to our military and veterans in one way or another. Many of us have relatives who serve or have served. These veterans may have fought in wars as well as served in peacetime. But they all served our country knowing they could give the ultimate sacrifice protecting us...and many have.
Baby Boomers and the Greatest Generation
As "Baby Boomers," our fathers and mothers returned from WWII and the Korean War and settled down to have families. About 3.5 to 4 million babies were born annually from 1946 to 1964 before the "boom" tapered off. This was 20% more babies born than in 1945! It stands to reason that many of our parents had served in the military! Rick's father, my father, our eight uncles, and others of my age had family who served in WWII and the Korean War. One of my uncles was a Japanese POW. Rick's father was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism in battle, recapturing an American machine gun nest that had fallen into German hands.
Most older "Boomers" either served in Vietnam or knew people who did. Many of us have heard the horror stories of what happened in Nam and saw how the veterans were treated upon their return to the States. I went to college with many of these Heroes, and you could see the pain on their faces when the subject came up.
Have a tissue ready as you watch the video below...
By Lizzy Palmer
God Bless Our Veterans...