You see me every day going about life as usual – or so it appears. I
rub shoulders with you at work. I shop at Wal-Mart and the grocery store.
I fill my car at the corner gas station. You might see me anywhere.
Don’t be deceived: My life has not been “normal” for months. I am the
mother of an American soldier.
Although I continue the routines of life, I do so with a burdened
heart and distracted mind. There are some tell-tale signs of who I
I’m the one with the frayed yellow ribbon pinned on my clothing. It
was fresh and new when my son first deployed months ago. Even though
the war is supposedly over, my son is in a place where bullets and
grenades are still killing our soldiers. I am determined to wear my
ribbon until he comes home, because it reminds me to pray for him
every minute. When you see me wearing that ribbon, please stop and
whisper a prayer for him and all the others still there.
My house is the one with the faded yellow ribbons the tree in the
yard and one on the mail post. There is an American flag on a pole
attached to the front porch, and a small red-and-white banner with a
blue star in the middle in my window. When my son gave this to me
before he left, I told him that I never wanted to cover the blue star
with a gold one. Gold Star Mothers are the ones whose sons come home
in body bags.
When you drive by a house of this description, please pray for the
son or daughter overseas and for the parents waiting inside for their
child to come home.
To those of you who have posted yellow ribbons at your house or in
the windows of your schools, thank you. It warms my heart every time
I see your expressions of support for our troops.
One of the hardest things about being the mother of an American
soldier is living 1,500 miles (how bout 2600 miles!) away from the
post of my son’s unit. Wives usually live on or near the fort, where
they can glean support from others in the same situation. But a
mother may live across the nation, so she feels totally alone.
Letters rarely make their way home, and if they do, it is weeks after
they were written. We go more than a month without hearing anything;
then we might get a short phone call. E-mail is out of the question
most of the time.
Every week is like a rollercoaster ride that I want to get off. When
I read a soldier has been killed and his name has not been released
pending notification of kin, restlessness, depression and insomnia
rule my life until 24 hours have passed and the men in dress uniforms
have not appeared at my door. I pray constantly they will never come.
When you hold your baby close, remember we mothers of American
soldiers held our babies, too. Now our “babies” are putting
themselves in harm’s way for your babies.
And if you see a woman at the store buying tuna and crackers, beef
jerky, powdered Gatorade, baby wipes and potted meat, check to see if
she is wearing a yellow ribbon. If so, stop and pray for her. She is
probably the mother of an American soldier, getting ready to send her
child another “care package.” You may see tears in her eyes or dark circles under them.
I am there among you, trying to carry on some semblance of a normal
life. Like so many others,
I am the mother of an American soldier.