color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: He Is A Soldier Part 2

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

He Is A Soldier Part 2

Have I mentioned that Noah has always wanted to be a soldier?




Since Noah returned to the U.S. after his wounding, he and I have talked on many occasions about his plans for the future.
He considered getting out at the end of his contract (19 months from now), finishing his college degree and then re-enlisting if he still wanted to be in the Army because, frankly, the Army isn’t going anywhere.. it will still be there when he graduates.
He considered a limited re-enlistment to do recruiting duty. I told him to go read “Jack Army” and “Confessions of a Military Recruiter” and see if he’d think differently about such an assignment.
He considered re-enlisting and doing the “Green to Gold” (enlisted to officer college program).
He considered applying to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
He considered just plain old re-enlisting.
His Dad and I joked, “If it’s Monday, there’s a new plan.” It was usually left that he still had plenty of time to consider what he wanted to do and where he wanted to be.
So the day before yesterday (a Monday) he calls and says he’s decided to re-enlist. He tells me the size of the substantial re-enlistment bonus they’re offering him.
As I usually do, I say, “Don’t do it for the money. If they were offering you no money, would you do it?”
“Well, the money is nice, Ma… but yes, I would do it if there was no money. I love my job. And didn’t you and Dad always say find something you like… something you love and do that?” Yes. Yes, we did.


After I hang up and tell the Dear Husband the gist of the conversation, the DH says, “Well, how do you feel about that?”

Of course, I am OK with Noah’s decision to re-enlist. Military service is honest, noble and honorable. And a military career is an honest and honorable calling. However, just thinking about another deployment (and there will be another deployment) makes me want to breathe deeply into a brown paper bag. It makes my heart beat faster… but I’m trying not to put the cart in front of the horse.




When Noah received his orders for Iraq, of course, we began to worry. We’re parents. And then he actually deployed and the worry was worse. But when he deployed, I didn’t quite know what to expect. And because (at least at first) the communications were pretty regular, we were lulled into a routine where things felt pretty “safe”. It wasn’t that I thought that our son was invincible or indestructible, but the optimistic part of my brain – the one that says, “not my child” – led my daily thoughts. As a parent… as a mother… you can’t ever let your thoughts go to the dark side.

Then he was wounded. I have a different mindset about deployment now. I know what can happen. I’ve been to the dark side. I have been “there”. I know the sheer terror of that phone call. I know the hell of waiting for word.

I have attended the memorials and the funerals of his friends. I have corresponded with the young widows of those with whom Noah served. We have personally observed the grief and sorrow. So another deployment will be different. Not just for me, but also for his Dad, his brothers, sister, his friends, the rest of the family… and I’m sure for Noah, too.

I joked before his first deployment that I would need a mainline IV of Valium to get through the deployment. Next time it won’t be a joke.

All our fears aside, we are tremendously proud of Noah and his choice to re-enlist. As I discussed early on in my writing, Noah has always wanted to be a soldier. He didn’t enlist the first time because we were at war. He enlisted in spite of it. And he has re-enlisted knowing that he will probably deploy again… somewhere in the world. After all, the United States has approximately 370,000 troops deployed to 120 countries worldwide (can you even name 120 countries??) [click here for a graphic]

I‘m sure that any new deployment for Noah is a ways off. Gives me plenty of time to worry about it.

HOOAH, Noah!!

13 Comments:

At 2/01/2006 11:33 AM , Blogger Melinda said...

He's a good guy & for that, well, you have to shoulder a large percetage of the credit (blame?) because you certainly raised him correctly.

You know we're here no matter what.

Give Noah a hug & a "thanks" from me. Although I'd hug him & tell him thanks even if he decided to forego any other kind of military service for the rest of his days.

 
At 2/01/2006 12:04 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

Give him a hug from me also. We will definately be right here for you on that next deployment also.

 
At 2/01/2006 12:19 PM , Blogger Suzi said...

Thanks for being Noah's mom, the kind of mother who not only raised a son like Noah, but the kind who, knowing what is coming, is still glad.

God bless you.

 
At 2/01/2006 12:30 PM , Blogger Some Soldier's Mom said...

well, Suzi... thank you (I know what you meant)... but I wouldn't say I am "glad" knowing what's ahead, but I am nonetheless proud that our son has weighed the risks and still has the courage to sign on the dotted line...

 
At 2/01/2006 1:44 PM , Blogger MarineMom said...

Thanks for leaving me that comment SS mom. I don't have much time for reading blogs (not as much as I would LIKE) but when I run across a great one and link it .. then I can visit on a regular basis and make new friends and allies :).

Noah sounds like a great guy, but I am right there with you on the redeployment, I don't know how I would live with it if Eric is hurt while in Iraq and then would go back again. I don't take a lot of tranqualizers .. but I do on occasion have to imbibe now. And I hate doing that but I know that when I start to snap at every living thing within my reach that is it time to 'trank'!

Thank Noah for me from the bottom of my heart, I know that he did his duty with honor and commitment (as evidenced by his desire to return to it) and it takes a special person to do that. And thank you for raising such an honorable young man. The world needs more people like this.

hugs
Tami aka Marine mom

 
At 2/01/2006 2:25 PM , Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

Here's wishing Noah the best. He knows what the army is all about this time. Unfortunatly so does his mom...But there is danger everywhere, even in civilain jobs.
God is always the one in control of our lives. Noah will be what he is meant to be.
Listen to me trying to give you a wise word of advise. Me, being the mother of all worries. LOL
Tell Noah thanks for serving our country, and may God be with him where ever he goes.

 
At 2/01/2006 9:12 PM , Anonymous MissBirdlegs in AL said...

Here's another thanks to Noah...and to his parents. Seems to me that in the long run, if he's doing what he loves you'll be a happier mother, in spite of your fears. Just my $.02.

 
At 2/01/2006 10:41 PM , Blogger S said...

Just wanted to pass on a "thank you" to Noah for his dedication and also a thank you to you for your pride and support for your son. The world is a better place becaue of people like your son.

--Samantha

 
At 2/02/2006 6:56 AM , Blogger BetsyB. said...

God Bless You and God Bless Noah.
My prayers are with you both now and always.

Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.
Protect them, as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need.
I as this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
Amen

 
At 2/02/2006 9:35 AM , Blogger barb pfister said...

I know exactly how you feel, including the dreaded phone call and the waiting and the worrying, but I have had this conversation with many people, our soldiers just think differently then we do. Michelle would go back to Iraq in a second, if they wanted her to. So we are sitting here waiting to hear when she goes back to drill what will be happening with her future. God Bless our Soldiers.

Barb

 
At 2/02/2006 1:05 PM , Blogger DaddysGirl said...

Tell Noah thank you for me. I really do have the highest respect for him, both for doing what he's doing and WANTING to continue after his hardships. Thank you Noah. Soon you'll see my worring posts once my fiance redeploys to Iraq. God Bless you and your family.

 
At 2/02/2006 3:50 PM , Anonymous Andi said...

We are so lucky to have such great young men and women, such as Noah, serving our nation. HOOAH, Noah. God Bless You.

 
At 2/03/2006 8:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

MA'AM,

IAM A SOLDIER WHO HAS HAD A FEW COMBAT DEPLOYMENTS IN MY SHORT 3 YEARS IN THE ARMY. I TOO HAVE LOST BROTHERS IN OIF AND OEF DEPLOYMENTS. IAM TRULLY THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE IN WITH YOUR BLOGS. THE LAST TIME I STOOD INSIDE A CHAPEL WAS AT THE FUNERAL OF MY BEST FRIEND WHO DIED IN IRAQ. I REMEMBER TELLING MYSELF I WILL NEVER FORGET HIM BECAUSE IN A FEW MONTHS MOST PEOPLE WOULD HAVE. BACK THEN I THOUGH NOT MANY CARED. BUT NOW YOU HAVE PROOVEN TO ME THAT THERE ARE THOSE WHO STILL CARE. IREAD YOUR BLOGS ABOUT THE CEREMONIES FOR YOUR SONS BATTLE BUDDIES AND THOUGH I DO NOT KNOW THEM, TEARS CAME TO MY EYES. I APPLAUDE YOUR SONS COURAGE AND YOUR FAMILY'S AS WELL. IF ONLY THERE WHERE MORE OF YOU AND LESS OF PEOPLE LIKE PHELPS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

 

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