color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: Ever Thought of Vacationing in Baghdad?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Ever Thought of Vacationing in Baghdad?

Well, we have been very busy lately… in a lazy kind of way. We traveled to New Mexico to witness the graduation of our son from college. Son the younger managed to check in from Iraq just minutes before the ceremony to congatulate son the eldest which was about the only time the elder was emotional. It was a great trip.

Then within days we traveled to Blacksburg, VA via Washington, DC for our daughter’s wedding. Son the younger's comment when he saw his sister's wedding pic (which through the miracle of the internet, he saw just hours after her marriage) was, "She sure was beautiful, ma." And if the groom hadn't already been a favorite in this household, his toast to his soldier brother brought sniffles and smiles from everyone... and sealed the deal.
Living in the desert southwest (although we live in a pine forest in a mountainous area) you forget just how GREEN the east coast can be in the spring! And it was a privilege to be in DC over Memorial Day weekend, visit the new WWII Memorial and some other monuments, and witness the overwhelming numbers of Rolling Thunder – a veterans’ organization whose major function is to publicize the POW-MIA issue. ( They ride motorcycles… and 400,000 of them were parked at the Pentagon for an address by Rummy. Truly awesome. After seeing the story and the pictures we sent, our sons (and the uncle and even Dad) have decided that they might like to ride in Rolling Thunder the first Memorial Day after the youngest redeploys. I'll follow in the chase mobile I guess.

Now I’m busy trolling through suitcases and duffle bags that were shipped from his stateside base and then stored in our attic when he deployed five months ago… searching for suitable civies (civilian clothes) ‘cause he’ll be home on leave in just THREE WEEKS! I’m going to get to throw my arms around our son and hug the stuffings out of him! WHOOHOOO! My only disappointment is that he is going to begin his leave in New York so that he can see one of his brothers, his girlfriend and his buds before he heads out west. The fun part is that his friends are all working to bring as many people as they can to whatever airport he’s arriving at so that they can whistle and cheer his arrival! They promise to take movies and pictures! The hard part is that he and we have no idea which of the three airports in the NYC metro area he’ll fly into… He won’t know that until his first stop outside of Iraq… but I know I'll be the first he calls (otherwise he won’t have a ride back from the airport!)

He’s a pretty funny guy… he is a clotheshorse in some respects and is very particular about the clothing he wants ready for his leave. At the moment, the only thing I haven’t located is his sneakers… I think we’ve looked through everything… Told him he’ll just have to part with some of that hard-earned cash and buy himself a pair when he gets off the plane.

And of course, he wants me to reactivate his cell phone. I think one of the hardest things for him to get accustomed to when he deployed (I mean other than the heat, the smell, people shooting at him, spiders the size of small dogs, etc.) was that he had to live without his link to the rest of “humanity” – his cell phone. And he is one of those guys that just HAVE TO ANSWER THE PHONE no matter who is calling. He will look at the screen, say “oh, man… I do not want to talk to him/her.” Then don’t answer the phone… He just can’t. He has got to answer that phone.
And, of course, besides reviewing his clothing selection, he’s reminded me a zillion times to not forget to send his credit cards, his driver’s license, his phone book, the phone, the charger… He’s a hoot!

We also spend a bit of each conversation trying to decide what he’d like to do while he’s here -- with a few of the buds who plan to tag along with him from NY (some of my other "kids" LOL). We have already put on the list a visit to his Grandfather (who had a triple bypass a few months ago and has yet to fully recover), and combine that with a visit to his cousins who live a few miles from there… He was thinking he’d like to find a way to stop in the Chicago area to visit one of the aunt/uncle combinations although they have indicated that they might come here to see him. And he’d like to drive the 9-10 hours out to California to see that aunt/godmother/uncle combo and to see their new home… but that aunt/godmother called this morning and suggested maybe we meet ½ way in VEGAS… now that could be an interesting trip (although our son and his friends are not yet old enough to drink or gamble). He says he needs to visit the closest Army base (4 hours away) to get some stuff he needs. We don’t care what he wants to do or where he wants to go – we’re there. Of course, the Mom part of me says he should rest up, eat well, relax and de-stress while he’s here… but Whatever.

We can hardly wait to see him! But I know already that his visit will be too short. When he leaves this time, it could a year or longer before we get to see him again. And just sifting through his things made me realize that saying farewell the second time may just be harder than the first…. So I casually say to the DH, “So, ever thought of vacationing in Baghdad?”

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.


At 6/06/2005 7:40 PM , Blogger StoicMom said...

It'll be good to have him home, Mom. My nephew went to Iraq in March, 2003 and when he returned, it was to a lonely apartment in Germany for about a month before he got back to the States. But boy, did we have a welcome waiting at the airport when he finally got here. Flags, signs, ballons...aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, the press...the works. There were a few tears shed, and not just by us ladies. He was the probverbial "sight for sore eyes".

Hug him real tight and tell him "thanks" from the internet.

At 6/06/2005 8:23 PM , Blogger THIRDWAVEDAVE said...

How proud you Moms must be. As Stoicmom said....thank him from the internet.

At 6/07/2005 1:15 AM , Blogger CaliValleyGirl said...

Man, that made me even more excited about my boyfriend's leave, which isn't for another 3 months at least. I am looking forward to hearing the blow by blow of his time home!

At 6/07/2005 3:38 AM , Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

Hip Hip Hurrah! So glad. Make sure you tell your soldier. I am so grateful, that we have young men like him, who are willing to serve. Tell him Thak You! May God keep him safe as he travels home.
Dan will be coming home Friday. He is going to N. Carolina first,to his girlfriends then he'll be coming here. I haven't seen hin since March. I am getting excited but then after this he is off to the bad place.

At 6/07/2005 5:55 AM , Blogger Stacy said...

I too have thought the same thing, that when they come home for R&R, it will possible be even harder to see them off. My son is scheduled to come home for R&R in August, and yes I have sifted through all the clothes already, but I have had to buy new ones, as my soldier has put on almost 30 pounds. I won't know who he is when I see him hardly.

Give him lots of hugs from all of us military moms, and tell him thanks a million.

At 6/07/2005 9:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can just hear the excitement in the way you type. It made me excited for you. My nephew has been over there for 3 months now, and I can not wait until the day he is home again. Have a good time when he is home and hug him once for me. Lori

At 6/07/2005 5:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like Christmas when you were a kid, isn't it? I was a Navy "Boomer" Mom about 25 years ago & I remember the feeling well. I'll join the others in asking you to say thanks from us all. Enjoy!

At 6/07/2005 6:52 PM , Blogger Umhakima said...

I am so happy for you. my dh gained about 35 pounds, too. We had to go shopping the day he got home. went from a 29 inch waist up to a 34. He needed to gain some though, way too skinny. Enjoy your time with him!

At 6/08/2005 6:46 AM , Blogger Mom said...

Yes, do allow your child the knowledge we all care. Hug him for me too. I also want to comment on your title. YES I have. Would go if I didn't have a 3 yr old to care for.

At 6/08/2005 10:18 AM , Blogger Some Soldier's Mom said...

To John/Anonymous...

We have all seen the pictures, dear. Yes, we are aware that both Americans and Iraqis have died and are dying. Perhaps you should consider posting up the pictures of the mass graves of Saddam... or perhaps the dead Kurds gassed by him? Maybe you should include the dead women and children and Iraqi police and soldiers murdered by terrorists with their indiscriminate VBIEDs? Why no pictures of the torture chambers?

If you're going to rail and flail, dear child, be sure to give both sides of the story, you poor misguided soul.

At 6/12/2005 3:09 PM , Blogger Jen said...

How amazing that he's old enough to fight for our country and not old enough to drink and gamble, eh? Shoot, he's seen and done things that make him more of a "man" than any 21 year old.

Anyway...I hope he enjoys his leave--sounds like he'll be pretty busy!

At 6/16/2005 11:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, There! So exciting to hear your son is returning from 'over there' for some time at home!!!
Our son is Air Force and deploy-bound early 2006. I can't even begin to THINK about that! When my Jeffrey was home for 10 days just before Memorial Day, he was in and out so much! Hardly got a chance to visit! LOL *It's alot about the friends!*
I 'found' your blog somehow and enjoy reading it occassionally. You must be a closeby neighbor! LOL
I live in Eagar/Springerville in the mountainous forest area too!
I pray God keeps your son and all military 'kids' safe and sound!
Enjoy the visit, MOM!!!!
An Arizona friend.


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