Sunday, December 6, 2009

Leaving Home

Very often American soldiers leave their home, sometimes quietly in the night, other times with a little fan-fare, but always with family and fellow Americans foremost in their thoughts and courage and sacrifice in their hearts. Today my son-in-law and his comrades marched a little closer to their destiny, Iraq. We were there to say goodbye and wish him well.
Before he left, I asked him if he would write a few words on how it feels to be leaving home and family to serve his country. And this is what he said.
"Leaving for Iraq is a terribly complicated situation that invokes a wide range of feelings. First and foremost I feel SADNESS for leaving my precious family behind. My son is beautiful and full of life and energy. It is so fun to just watch him figure things out, run wild, and aggravate the dogs.

My beautiful wife inspires me with her caring and compassion as a mother. I am a better person in so many ways because of her. I love to look at her, after 9 yrs together I still find her beauty striking. I will sadly miss some firsts for my son like when he starts talking, doing math, and mowing grass. Ok, maybe I am expecting too much from a 2 year old, but I am sure he will at least talk.

Soon to be boy #2, who will arrive shortly, leaves me ANXIOUS. What will he look like? What kind of baby will he be? How will the oldest receive him? I will miss all those times when I can sit on the couch and watch football with a sleeping baby on my chest. I really love that. He should be crawling if not walking by the time I get back. I am also anxious about how my wife will be able to handle, physically and mentally, an espresso crazed toddler and a new baby that demands constant attention and feeding.

This brings me to feeling enormous GRATITUDE for my in-laws. What a sacrifice they have accepted by letting their daughter, her 100mph son, a soon to be new born, and two bad little dogs into their picture perfect home that is far from baby proof. Not only that, they will be so instrumental to my wife’s sanity by providing additional help and wisdom during the tough times that are soon to come. I cannot thank them enough for what this does for my family but also the peace of mind it gives me while I am gone.

My next feeling is FEAR. I am so afraid that when I arrive back home, the boys will treat me like a stranger. I am afraid my oldest will hide behind his Mama’s leg when I try to hug him and the youngest will cry when I hold him. At a moment when I want nothing more than to hold my babies as close to me as I possibly can, they will reject me as if I was some crazy dude walking by trying to kidnap them. It will break my heart into a thousand pieces. I hope Skype minimizes this issue and allows my sons to immediately recognize Daddy when they see me.
Lastly, I feel EXCITEMENT. I have trained for 7 years, missed all but 2 of my anniversaries, countless weddings and other important events, for what? To walk around the mall knowing that I can enter and clear a building, that I don’t miss what I shoot at, and that I can lead men in combat. No. I sacrificed that time away from my wife, my family, and away from comfort and the civilian world because if the time came I wanted to contribute to the protection of the freedoms that we all experience in this country. I have a wonderful life and I am thankful for every little bit of it.
Furthermore, there is this bond that develops between soldiers that no one but other soldiers can understand. In a manner of speaking, you feel an obligation to protecting your band of brothers much the same as you would protecting your own family. So, I am excited to do my job, to accomplish our mission with honor, to bring everyone home, and to get back to my precious family as soon as possible."
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf” ~George Orwell

Contributing to Mosaic Monday.

42 comments:

Marsha (Sassy Mini Dolls) said...

May God bless you and watch over you. Thank you for serving and protecting us.

Blessings,
Marsha

Jenglamgirl said...

I should of grabbed a box of tissues before a I blubbered over this post.

ALL I CAN SAY TO your SIL IS THANK YOU! thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I also am sending my thanks!!!

RCUBEs said...

I pray that the Lord will always protect him and others serving to preserve the freedom we all enjoy, along with their families left behind. It's never easy and to them, I'm grateful for the sacrifices they do. God bless.

podso said...

Thank you for such moving words and pictures. And thank you to your SIL, his family and all of you for your sacrifice for our freedom.

Millie said...

Such moving words...I wish your family all the best...

Really Rainey said...

Marsha... Such an emotional post... I read every word and let it sink in before I made my comment... I pray for his safe return... I of course am grateful to him and the others that keep our country FREE. And I am grateful to you for contributing to keeping family together.
Love and Light to you and your family...
~Really Rainey~

Lavender Cottage said...

A very moving post. Thanks for sharing your son-in-laws thoughts.
Hugs from Ontario.

Shelia said...

What a very moving post! Your son in law's words have really touched my heart! My thanks and prayers go out to him as he goes off to serve our country and us.
Bless his heart!
Shelia ;)

Kathy said...

Marsha I echo everything that has been said and would just like to add that I think this has been the most heartfelt post I have ever read, I feel that this post should be seen by everyone. Kathy.

Sarah Stephens said...

I never comment on blogs that I secretly stalk. ;) I love your blog by the way. But I couldn't let go what I was feeling when I read your son in laws words.

Please tell him "thank you". Thank you for serving our wonderful country. He is our hero. Our country would be a better place if there were more fathers, husbands, citizens and service men that were like him.

erin said...

oh what a touching post...i don't know how you are handling such a bittersweet situation? you should be very proud of your son in law indeed and we are all very grateful to him!! also grateful to your brave daughter and her wonderful supportive parents....god bless all of you, many will be praying for you......
take care my dear,
erin

Dragonfly Treasure said...

May God whatch over him and bring him home safely. As the wife of a Career Military Man, I know what your family is going thru. My husband was never sent into combat, Thank God. But several of our friends have. I've been with their families while they are gone, providing what support I could. I pray he has a safe deployment and returns homes soon.
*hugs*deb

Foley said...

How very proud you must be.. your SIL's comments were so touching and you could tell from the heart!

All my thoughts and prayers to him, your daughter and their family!

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

This was one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. Thank you to your wonderful son-in-law for serving all of us. Your family is blessed.
Blessings,
Marcia

Jackie said...

Marsha, what a thought provoking and tearful post. What sincere words full of love for his family from your son in law.

We live near Aldershot, which is the home of the British Army so we see and hear about our soldiers going out to Afghanistan.

Prince Charles was there last week presenting medals to a regiment that have just returned home.

I pray for the safe return of all our soldiers and for all the families like yours that are supporting each other while they are away and on their return.

God Bless , Jackie.

eileeninmd said...

A big thanks to your SIL for serving and protecting us. May God bless and protect him.

Carol said...

I'm sending my thanks and my blessings.

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Dear Marsha
It was difficult reading this beautiful post, through the tears.

These are powerful words! My gratitude and prayers go with your son in law.

My admiration and prayers go to, his wife (your brave daughter) and her parents.

Prayers and sweet thoughts for your grandchildren.

Blessings to all!

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Marsha, you've done an excellent job with this post...your son-in-law's words should be read by everyone in this great country. Only by the good men and women who feel like he does do exist in a free country. I'll stand up for our soldiers any time because they have given all they can possibly give. My husband is a retired submarine sailor and his experiences have given me a depth of appreciation that only true heroes like him and your son-in-law can. Thank you Marsha.

♥Mimi♥ said...

I am holding your family close to my heart and in prayer as they - all of them - face such a daunting task - at home and abroad.

Please, if you will, keep sharing your son-in-laws experiences with us. I, for one, will never tire of reading about our heroes - our American treasures.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Marsha, what a sweet post.

And all your Christmas decor looks SO pretty and festive! Thanks for coming by & hope you'll join my party on Thursday!

marmielu said...

Marsha, thanks for posting this. It is so important to know these things. I am so grateful for those who give of themselves so that we can remain safe. My SIL is in the Navy, and it has given me a whole new perspective on these things.
Mary Lou

bBchronicles said...

This totally made me cry - I am SO THANKFUL for those who sacrifice SO MUCH for our freedom. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICE - I thank you, my family thanks you! Awesome post! You're in my prayers - really ! ! !

Deanna said...

Dearest Marsha,
This is a very moving post. I am in awe of our military troops and their families. This post is very sobering to read. Very eye opening what is thought, done, and said.

I live near Ft. Riley in Kansas. Often the news broadcast those leaving and those returning.

I pray that God comforts you all and protects our troops. Truly, truly this is not an easy thing for our troops to go through as well as the family they leave behind.

Our freedoms are not to be taken for granted. Many have fought for our precious freedoms. I will pray everyday for our troops, their families and our blessed country that has freedoms because of our military laying their lives down to protect us.

May you have a Merry Christmas and God richly bless you all,
d

Mary said...

Bless him and your family. Tell I said "thank you!"

Aunt Judy said...

I will keep John(Jon-Jon) and Leslie in my prayers every day. He is a courageous and brave man who is giving up all that he loves to keep us safe. There is no greater love than this. I am extremely proud of my nephew for doing this unselfish act and I am just as proud of Leslie who is doing her difficult part to support John. May God keep you safe all the days of your journey. John has a lot of angels that will be standing by his side until he returns.

Thank you, my dear one.

Inspired Comblogulations said...

Marsha,
I am deeply moved and so glad I stopped by to read this...God's protection, on these young men, bring each one home safe, whole, and put a sense of knowing in these children to recognize and embrace their dad when he returns. Let Your peace which pass all understanding rest on our troops especially this family from the top to the bottom. Thank you, from my family to yours.
Abundant blessings.
Lee

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

I often times think most about families such as yours. Holidays are hard enough with other relatives are not with one another... but when our loved ones are off protecting our country for some reason really touches my heart.

What a lovely post... like so many others brought me to tears. (kind of embarrassing seeings I am at work :) but sincerely one of the nicest post i have read in a while.

Thanks so much to your SIL -- but also-- thank you so much to you and your family for your sacrifice and love of your country. I am in awe of you all.

If you get a moment-- stop by and say hi!

TTFN~~ Claudia ♥ ♥

sissie said...

May God bless your family. Your SIL sounds like a wonderful man, husband and Father. Thank him for me and my family for his protection. I pray that he returns safely to the arms of his loved ones.

Inspired Comblogulations said...

I hope you don't mind but I linked you to my last post. This was so deeply moving I wanted others to see it.
Lee

Kaci Mexic said...

This is so sweet and touching. I am very teary after reading that. We miss you John and Lesli!! I didn't even know you were expecting again!! Congrats!!!! Love, Kaci and Drew

Lindsay said...

Very touching!

Double M said...

Marsha ~ Mindy and I were touched with your post, and the comments made by your son-in-law. He did a magnificent job honoring his family, his in-laws, and his country. You did an awesome job with the entire post.

God bless this PATRIOT and his wonderful family,

Double M

LDH said...

Wow, what a wonderful post. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for men and woman like your son-in-law. His words gave great insight as to what a soldier feels about leaving his dear family.

I am so happy you left a comment on my blog so I could track back and meet you.
Kindly, ldh

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Oh My Gosh! I am in tears. What a beautiful post, and what a beautiful family. Please send my gratitude to your son-in-law and to your daughter. What sacrifices they are making for us and for our country. I will keep add them to my prayer list. laurie

Kammy said...

Beautiful post and my heart goes out the men who serve...may God be with them and their families...
Kammy

SharDon Exclusives said...

God bless America through men and women who honor freedom! I will be praying for all of you during this time. Blessings to his wife and babies and may the Lord bring her peace, love and security through family ties.
Blessings and Merry Christmas to each one of you,
Sharon
p.s. Tell him and her "THANK YOU" from all Americans Thank you so much.

Lou Cinda said...

What a beautiful and inspiring post. It touched my heart in so many ways. I will add each of you to my prayers each and every night!

What a tribute! Thank you!

Lou Cinda :)

Mary said...

Oh Marsha, what a beautiful post. I'm in tears, like so many others who have read this. I will hold your beautiful family in my heart this Christmas and throughout the coming year. Thank you, bless you!

racheld said...

You tell that little fellow that his Daddy is MY Hero, too!!

rachel

Anonymous said...

Marsha,
I will be praying for your son-in-law and your precious family. My thanks to them for the many sacrifices they are making. I about had a big cry at work because I feel so strongly about the men and women fighting for our freedom. Bless you all. Laura