Wednesday night, my son drove his best friend to the Armory here in Jersey. He’s heading to Fort Bliss for training and then onto Iraq in the very near future.
After all this time, C is the first person we’ve known personally BEFORE they were deployed. We’ve “met” the warriors after they’ve deployed when we “adopted” them through Soldiers’ Angels; we’ve met them when they’ve come home and are in the hospital.
It was with heavy hearts we said farewell to C. The young man who I watched grow up and ride bicycles with my son; who was just as much at home here as he was at his house, was getting ready to deploy. He was holding back his tears, just hugging on us for such a long time. I held back the tears as I hugged him, this big 6’4” young man and told him that we are there for him. I hugged him and told him everything would be alright and immediately started praying that God keeps his hands on C’s shoulders. It hurts.
Saying “farewell” to C has caused me to reflect and admire upon the strength of our warriors and their families even more than I did. Many have said “farewell” multiple times. How heart wrenching. How strong they are.
Since the GWOT began, we have heard about so many heroes, but we don’t hear too much about the families of our warriors and the sacrifices they are making while their loved one is fighting the fight. The families of our warriors are the “quiet heroes” who send their loved one off to war and quietly keep the home-life running. We see the families of the wounded who arrive at the hospital and become advocates for their warrior, leading them through the maze of the military medical system. All this is done with strength and courage.
At the request of a couple of warriors at WRAMC, I recently posted about saying thanks to our warriors when we see them. I’d like to take that one step further and ask that we remember the families of our warriors. Say thank you to them as well. Ask how they are doing. Ask if they need anything. They are giving so much more than we will ever know.
Thank you all…….
(Yes, Patti, I will submit him to Soldiers' Angels when he is deployed and will have some "Angel Friends" reach out their wings to him as well)