For all the moms of servicemen/women and “Letter from a Mom”

Author Unknown

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 (I.E.D.s) 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.

“So Often we hear “Pray for our soldiers overseas”.  The word “Soldier” is so generic.  It does not begin to make known the person behind the title.  As my son prepares to go to Afghanistan, my mission, as a mom, is to raise the awareness of each American.  To make it known that these are soldiers, yes, but more importantly, someone’s son or daughter.  Someone’s child.  I wrote this to help you see MY son as more than just a faceless man in uniform.  Please SEE my son, please be grateful for my son, and to please pray for my son.

21 years ago, as I began to labor with my child, I realized this was the beginning of our separation.  The start of a process of growing for both of us.  Never again would I be so literally between him and the world, protecting him.  Early in the morning of December 10, the beautiful eyes of a precious soul looked into mine.  My heart was overflowing with feelings I had never known before.  Would I be a good mom?  Will I always be able to keep him safe?  I wanted to hold him close forever.  I still do.

As he grew, I watch the first tentative steps on pudgy little feet.  An unsteady gait, taking him precariously close to the danger of another bump or bruise.  I would rush to catch him.  Now, those feet march in military confidence. Again, marching precariously close to danger. I cannot catch him if he falls this time.

I remember a little boy standing at my door with a Bert and Ernie book bag hanging loosely off little shoulders.  It is the first day of school and he doesn’t want to go but knows he has to.  He had tears in his eyes. “I’ll miss you, mom.” he whispered.

The years rush by and bring into reality the young man I want you to see.  He loved dinosaurs, lasagna, Indian Jones and peanut butter cookies.  He had fish (they all died!), rode a bike, got stitches and went to prom.  He set an example, became a member of the National Honor Society and received a scholarship.  He forgot to take out the trash, continually lost his mittens and washed his colored clothes and white clothes together.  He grew up, trusted God and joined the Army.  The little hands full of dirt and dandelions that gave me my first bouquet now hold a weapon that gives you freedom.

Now, there is a young man with strong broad shoulders standing at my door, holding a green duffle bag.  He doesn’t want to go, but it is his duty.  He has tears in his eyes.  “I’ll miss you, mom.” he whispers.  I’ll miss you, too my son. I’ll miss you, too…

So, please when you say your prayers for the “soldiers” overseas, see my son.  See someone’s daughter.  Pray not only for the soldier, but also for the child behind the uniform and the family that loves them.

(This performance and reading was based on a letter written by Ms. Tami M. Ketteman from Ohio whose son is currently based at Fort Richardson in Alaska and is currently deployed to Afghanistan. Through this letter she shares the anxiety, the fear, and the proud patriotic spirit of a mother, of an American soldier fighting for freedom.)

Stevie Nicks:  “Soldiers Angel”

i am a soldier’s angel

Through the eyes of a soldier

Through the eyes of a soldier

I am a soldier’s mother

Through the eyes of an angel

I am a soldier myself

And no one walks away

From this battle

I’m a soldier myself

In the presence of angels

I am a soldier’s widow

In the background at night

I am a ghostly shadow

As i follow close behind them

I try to push them gently

Back into the light

I am a soldier’s angel four years later

In a war of words between worlds

About what is wrong ’bout what is righteous

I am a soldier’s girl

I am a soldier’s memory

As i write down these words

I try to write their stories

And explain them to the world

I float through the halls of the hospitals

I am a soldier’s nurse

I keep the tears inside

And put them down in verse

I’m a soldier’s angel four years later

In a war of words between worlds

About what is wrong and about what is righteous

I am a soldier’s girl

I am a soldier’s girlfriend

As i look upon their faces

They make me remember my first love

And going out to dances

They make me remember camelot

And being young and taking chances

They make me fall in love again

They give me all the answers

I’m a soldier’s angel four years later

In a war of words between worlds

About what is wrong ’bout what is righteous

I am a soldier’s girl

I’m a soldier in their army

They are the soldiers of my heart

I try to make them smile again

Though it tears me apart

Their bravery leaves me spellbound

I try to be a small part

Bringing them back again

They are the soldiers of my heart

I’m a soldier’s angel four years later

In a war of words between worlds

About what is wrong ’bout what is righteous

I am a soldier’s girl

I’m a soldier’s angel

Through the eyes of a soldier

Through the eyes of a soldier

I’m a soldier’s mother

Through the eyes of an angel

I’m a soldier myself

No one walks away

From this battle


Memorial Day

Last month my family and I observed a wreath laying/dedication at the Pacific WWII memorial in Washington D.C. We were unsuspecting tourists )

A group of WWII veterans from Ohio had gathered together and made the trip to D.C. to pay tribute to all those they had served with and to remember those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice and to acknowledge the daily passing (a rate of 1200 a day-by many accounts)of their fellow WWII Veterans.

Some walked independently, some pushed in wheel chairs, most had on Honor Flight tee-shirts near all had their military caps-noting their branch of service….This procession was profoundly moving. The lone bag pipe player in Celtic garb played “Amazing Grace” followed by the Veterans. I can say, I had tears in my eyes and my heart in my throat as I watched. It was very noble and sacred.

I thought of all the Veterans and their families and of the recent passing of my own father in law, who had served in the Navy and in the Pacific fleet during WWII and of the young men and women who are currently serving and of those who have been killed giving their lives to protect and defend– real people who gave so much of themselves for all that makes our country great.

May 08 – 10th Annual National Military Appreciation Month