color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: Dear Alex's Mom

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dear Alex's Mom

I suppose by now most of you have seen this truly stupid ad from -- funded by the financial speculator (wonder if he's making any money these days on gasoline and oil futures??) and stock investor, George Soros... in which the "mom" says to John McCain that if he plans to stay in Iraq for 100 years was he counting on Alex 'cause he can't have him...

As I have said before and on a number of occasions to mothers and fathers who think only they can know what their children want or what is best for them when they are grown: It's not about you... and it's not (or won't be) your decision.

I'd also like to tell and those idiots who buy into that crap that as a Blue Star Mom AND as the mother of two veterans (one combat wounded) AND as the wife of a retired career military man, I am heartily offended that you believe that somehow Alex's mom -- as a mother who would do everything to keep her child from military service -- loves her child more than I do. I have news for all of you: BECAUSE my children serve, I love them MORE! As I have also said many, many times: you will find no one who hates war or armed conflict more than the parents of those who serve... or a group who wishes for peace more than we do.

I have to wonder: can anyone be so politically and geopolitically naive to believe that her child has been born into a world without enemies and despots and fanatics so that we won't need a military by the time her son is grown? That type of attitude would certainly make me vote for the OTHER candidate 'cause that type of naiveté will get little Alex blown to smithereens in his own home (or office).

Next, I suppose it's OK for Alex to be living in a world where he can try all the new foods he wants and chase the family dog but someone else defends it for him?? Yeah, I know your type.

Now, let's correct the record on what John McCain actually said: He said an American presence in Iraq could last 100 years -- just as we have been in Korea for 50 years, Japan and Germany for 60 years -- he said "so long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed." He did not say we would be at war for 100 years... he said it would be OK if we had a presence in the volatile region for 50 or 100 years.

As for me, I think that's right -- the need for a presence in the area -- 'cause if we leave, and Iran continues its designs on empire or other violent and insane groups get control, little Alex won't have a choice but to "go back"... that is, if some fanatic hasn't already taken care of Alex's choices for him (I mean, other than his mom.)

Next, this woman and the brain trust at MoveOn have forgotten: we have an ALL VOLUNTEER military. If Alex doesn't want to serve (or is too whipped by his mommy to raise his hand) when he turns 18 (or later in life if he so desires), so be it. Right now, seven out of ten Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 can't even qualify for enlistment in the services -- and I suspect that Alex's mother will be sure he is one of them.

We have three sons... all of whom chose -- VOLUNTEERED -- to serve. We couldn't be one bit prouder of their decisions. But let's be clear: it was their decision. We spoke at length with each of our sons when they talked of enlisting (two during high school and one during college). We suggested to each that if they were serious about a career in the military that they consider attending one of the military academies... go ROTC... get their college degree first... but we failed to convince any of them. Unlike Alex's mom (and the jokers at MoveOn) who apparently objects to military service in general, it wasn't that we objected to a military career or service, but we didn't want them to exclude other options. We saw it as our duty as parents to help them explore ALL their options -- not just the ones we would choose. We raised thinking, caring individuals and we made sure they had all the information they needed to decide. We let them make up their own minds... something little Alex isn't apparently going to get the chance to do. As for us, we hope our first grandchild (who looks to be about the same age as Alex) doesn't "have to go" either, but we'll let him decide.

So, to Alex's mom (and those who promote that ad and its ideology and those who think it's "hard hitting"), I suggest you read for a while at Why We Serve. And pull that ad... it only makes me feel sorry for little Alex.

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At 6/23/2008 2:54 PM , Anonymous Amanda said...

I know the woman in the ad is only an actress but I know women like that in real life. Women who say it is their greatest fear that their poor infant son would grow up and join. Greatest fear! Infant son!?! I can't fathom their selfishness. I also can't fathom why they think it's okay to say things like that in front of mil people.

Like I said, most of them have really young sons but I know one woman who has an 18 year old. An 18 year old Marine. Bless him. His mom is livid and (well, for lack of a better word) hysterical but he knows what he wants and he's getting it.

You could always point out the ad's sexism. None of these women freak out over their daughters.

At 6/23/2008 8:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point they are trying to make is that no one wants to be losing our children in Iraq 100 years from now. I am active duty USAF (headed to Afghanistan with the Army this month) and I have children. I want leaders who are committed to getting us out and keeping us out. What's wrong with that?

At 6/24/2008 10:36 AM , Blogger Buck said...

Hear, hear, SSM! Well-said.

Anon said: I want leaders who are committed to getting us out and keeping us out. What's wrong with that?

Not a thing, as long as said leaders are equally committed to finishing the job, i.e., winning. Cut and run ain't an option, and you...of all people... should know that, Anon.

Just sayin'.

At 6/24/2008 11:24 AM , Blogger Some Soldier's Mom said...

Anon -- nothing wrong with leaders who aren't just spoiling for a fight... but I also want leaders who aren't afraid of the fight either.

as my post indicates, my problems with the ad (and the attitude) are multiple, not the least of which is that it mischaracterizes McCain's remarks... and you make the same mistake: McCain objects to our presence in Iraq if Americans are being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.

and I object to any leader who is a "peace at any cost" politician with no experience in governance, international affairs, business or leadership...

At 6/24/2008 5:51 PM , Anonymous yankeemom said...

Definitely another cheap shot from MoveOn who have proven time and time again that they have no understanding or respect of anything Military, so easily to be just used for political fodder.
That was my biggest problem with my former place of residence in CA ~ the ones who were so anti-war didn't even want to get past their politics to see why I would be proud that my child decided (key word here) to enlist or her reasons for enlisting.
All we had to do was to understand why the poor misunderstood 'freedom fighters' hated us so and stop doing whatever it was that we were doing and all would be rosy.
And then there wouldn't be any need for a military at all!

Noah looks wonderful, Carla!! And that granbaby of yours is just getting cuter and cuter!
Glad to hear everyone is doing okay.

At 6/24/2008 9:08 PM , Anonymous onesoldiersmom said...

Like we, as mothers, have ANYTHING to do with what our children CHOOSE to pursue as an adult.

PS: You rock!

At 6/25/2008 9:19 AM , Anonymous Sheila said...

I am not a mother, but I think that I would be blessed to have a son who serves his country. When I write a letter or send a care package to troops, I think that I would want someone to do the same if I had a son (or daughter!) in Iraq or Afghanistan. I am grateful to you ladies who have raised fine people who serve. Any mother who feels angry with or ashamed of her military child seems ungrateful to me. Who wouldn't want their child to be a strong, brave young lady or young man?

At 6/25/2008 1:11 PM , Blogger lela said...

Carla, agree with you 100%! So much so that I linked to this post over at my blog. Thanks for saying it so well!

At 6/26/2008 7:47 AM , Blogger kbug said...

There are, indeed, mothers like the one in the commercial...the "not my child" kind. A very good friend of mine has two sons about the same ages as my sons...they grew up together. She has told me many times that when recruiters called her house when her boys were about to graduate from high school, she cussed them out and hung up on them. She said she wasn't about to let the military take the two boys she had worked so hard to raise. I, on the other hand, encouraged my boys to make their own decision when it came to joining the military. Maybe it was different for me because I was so proud of my Dad having served in the Marines in WWII. Anyway, when Seth deployed the first time, she was so sympathetic and felt so sorry for me...and went on and on again about how she hung up on recruiters. There was no way that she could come close to understanding that, even though I was concerned for my son's well-being, I was also as proud as hell. I actually feel sorry for her because she'll never understand. We remain good friends, though, I just make concessions for her lack of understanding...but that's the general public for you anyway. They don't get it and never will.

At 6/29/2008 1:29 PM , Anonymous Claire said...

I found the ad very offensive as well and for the same reasons. I have raised three young men and my youngest son has also decided to join. I am proud of them and very proud of myself for raising young men who are hard workers, moral, and good citizens!

At 7/12/2008 1:06 AM , Anonymous Becky Krizan said...

From another Soldier's mom: (and daughter, and aunt, and wife)..
My husband came home from Viet Nam with a patch sewn on his duffel:
"If there must be War, let it be now, so that my children can live in Peace". Well, it didn't happen that way, but the sentiment very much reflects the truth of your words - and all of us military families feelings. Let us all hope that someday our dreams WILL come true. Meanwhile, we love deeply, and are very proud of, our soldiers. Thanks. Becky in Alaska.

At 7/12/2008 1:20 AM , Anonymous Becky Krizan said...

5 years ago, I got a call from my sister: freaking out because her son had decided to join the military - the Marines. Our dad was military, Uncles, my husband, my two sons..... I was not very sympathetic. What is he supposed to do? Sit on his cute butt here in the States, go to Yale, and let some other mom's son die for him? How about my son, sis? How many priveleges, at the cost of my son's life, are you allowed to demand for your son? After we calmeddown, I also pointed out to her - he will be eating (usually) three squares a day, he will be in the greatest shape and health of his life, he will be a trained, disciplined USEFUL member of his society, he will NOT be doing drugs, riding to beach parties with drunk-driving friends, and has a 60% better chance of surviving later teen/early twenties years than a kid in DC, LA, or Wa DC. So, bottoms up, moms.... keep your boys out of the military, please! That gives our boys and girls a 60% better chance of being the next generation's leaders!!!! Cold, yes. Truth, yes. But, that commercial is about as nasty and cold as it gets, too. Thanks, Mr. Soros....NOT.

At 7/20/2008 12:20 PM , Blogger Politics of a Patriot said...

Wonderful post. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

At 8/27/2008 5:35 AM , Blogger Just a Girl in a Port said...

I imagine that ad had to be pretty bad from your post and the responses here. I tried to view it, but it was removed from YouTube, probably for the better.

I definitely like what you said in this post. It's part of the reason I'm okay with my kids joining someday. After all, as you said, our military is not mandatory. To me, it's amazing to watch kids (even in these scary days) decide to enlist. What an honorable thing to do! I know that, and I appreciate that, but sometimes it can be scary too.

I can't believe this part, "as a mother who would do everything to keep her child from military service -- loves her child more than I do." Seriously? That was said/written? That is utterly ridiculous. A mother who loves their child will also respect their child and strive to be supportive of their decisions. That, I know for sure.

Thanks for sharing this post with me. I really think you offer some insightful stuff here.

Thanks for your family's service, including yours as a devoted spouse and military mom.


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