color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: A First Letter

Saturday, February 26, 2005

A First Letter

Decided to begin sharing a few of the letters I have written to our son...
January 16, 2005 (the day before he deployed)

Dearest Son,

I don’t know where to begin this first letter to you. I am so conflicted on your departure. On the one hand, I know you have trained very hard for this – everything you have done for the past 15 months was leading to this day. I know that you want and need to be there for your brothers. Not something I will ever fully understand or appreciate because I have never been or will ever go to war. So that intensifies my fears. Dad understands and fears all the more for you.

And he and I are indescribably proud of you for all you have endured and achieved. I know at times you don’t understand why people thank you for your service, but I think some day you will. More than pride, however, is our love for you. You are the single most precious thing in our lives (as is each of our children.) So, of course, we have spent our lives leading you, teaching you and protecting you. These fuel our fear. We have faith in you, your abilities, your skills – but there is nothing you can say or do that will alleviate that fear -- a parent's fear -- until you are home with us again. It is the law of nature and God’s Law.

While I am a pretty non‑violent person, I discovered long ago that my love for my children is so fierce – so deep and overwhelming – that if I were asked to kill to protect you, I not only could kill – but I would actually enjoy it if it meant your or any of your brothers' or sister’s safety. That’s Mom’s Law!

I know that our country has a mission in Iraq; I know that the Army and your unit also have their missions… Just don’t confuse those missions with YOUR principle mission – which is to come home safe to us. Your job is to do whatever it takes to accomplish YOUR mission. If it's you or them -- make it them.

I know that you will, in the next year or so, experience many, many things you have only heard about or imagined (and about which I am already having nightmares!) When you think you’ll be overwhelmed by any of it, just bring it back to a manageable chunk – TODAY I WILL DO WHAT I CAN DO TODAY. This moment only… the rest later.

We will think of you many, many times every day you are in harm’s way. We will pray for your safety and your return. Remember how much you are loved by all your family and friends. And remember that if you want to GET mail, you gotta GIVE mail! :-D

Write and call often. If you email me, I will send it on to your aunts, uncles and your buds! Lots of people will be sending you and your “crew” things – so be sure to send thank you notes or emails (however brief they may be) and they’ll keep sending stuff! :-D

I believe your Dad and I love you more than you will ever know… but I also know we get that back from you ten-fold! Keep your eyes open and your head and ass down! Remember that alert today = alive tomorrow!
All my love – always… until we are together again. Mom


At 3/02/2005 8:26 AM , Blogger Velveeta5 said...

I have been reading your posts for a few weeks now. I do not have a family member in Iraq, but a long-time buddy is there who we love dearly. Combine that with my being a mom of a 20-month old and your posts are so near to my heart. I find myself wanting to mother even those who aren't my own. It's just an instinct. Your words are exactly what I would say if I wrote so eloquently. Thank you so much for your posts. Actually my friend shipped out with the Army about the same time as your son so who knows, they may be near one another. Many prayers for your son and all those in harms way.

At 3/06/2005 9:19 AM , Blogger Papa Ray said...


I have been meaning to get back to this post of yours for a few days. The reason I didn't is I had to go out to the storeroom and find the old letters that my Mama sent me while I was in Nam. They were not there. I knew that I had saved them. I finally found them,in my closet, under some old records (music), squashed flat,but ok.

I wanted to share with you my Mama's first letter to me after I went "overseas". I am going to correct her spelling, as she only had a fourth grade education.


Feb 4 1968

Darling Son,

I will keep this short, cause I don't know how is these stamps are enough to get this all the way to you.

I just wanted to tell you how much we miss you and pray that you will be safe and do good in your new place.

Candy does miss you so, she goes to the driveway and lays there waiting for you every evening. She don't give up until I call her to to the back to go to sleep. She is old as you know I hope she will be able to last until you come home at last.

Daddy has had some work, been gone most of two weeks. He called to say he was ok. I miss him and hope he gets home soon.

I have finished getting the garden ready. I will start planting next week, hoping we will have rain soon.

You be good and pay attention to yourself and you stay safe. Pay attention to the older men so as to learn from them.

I miss and love you so much. All my kisses and hugs.

Your Mama


Candy died many months before I came back home. One of the many things that weighed on me in the years that followed.

I think she thought I had forgotten her and just left her. Mama said she just stopped eating and wasted away.

Papa Ray
West Texas

At 3/08/2005 4:28 AM , Blogger Bruce Wiseley said...

Hi Soldier's Mom, Armydoc here

The letter to your Son was moving and a great comment on both your attitude and support for the work these young Men and Women do on behalf of the rest of us who enjoy the freedoms that they insure. During my 24 years in the Army, I never received a letter from my Father regarding my military service. He felt that the job was below my alleged potential, as he defined it, even though he had been a Naval Aviator during WW2.
Of course, those years were a little different, as your Husband probably remembers, so it is heart-warming to see how most of the American people support the Soldiers now, instead of the way us "Old Soldiers" were treated back in the 60's, 70's, and 80's.

Hang in there Mom, he will be home soon.

At 3/12/2005 6:03 PM , Blogger Squid no more said...

Ok . . its been a few weeks.
I'm starting to miss your blog :)

At 3/12/2005 6:05 PM , Blogger Paula said...

Thanks for sharing such a private and intimate letter. I will be praying for your son.

At 3/14/2005 12:39 AM , Blogger Some Soldier's Mom said...

Thanks to all who have put up comments... Your support means a lot to me. We have been traveling (a wedding, new grandnieces, a sister and a son to visit!) We're staying put a while so I'll post more regularly.

Papa Ray, I can't believe your mama and I wrote identical letters! She just needed fewer words...


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