When my son left for boot camp, I didn’t think I was going to survive it. Not being able to see him or talk to him was hard. It was even harder knowing he was going through hell and there was nothing I could do to help. All I could do was hope and pray that everything I’d done as a mother was enough to make him into the man who could successfully be a U.S. Marine.
I survived boot camp and so did he. He came out a Marine and I came out the mother of a Marine. Since then, things have been mostly easier. There have been times that were challenging, though. MCT was difficult since he’d had 30 days of leave before going back to California. I cried like a baby dropping him off at the airport. When he left for North Carolina was also a tough time. But nothing was as tough as him going to Afghanistan.
Marine is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in May. I’ve known this since November. I chose to not think about it until now. I guess that was my way of dealing with it. Since yesterday, I’ve thought of little else. I just don’t want him to go. Period. I know he has to. I know he wants to. But, knowing these things doesn’t make it any easier.
His wife, Feather, is planning to stay in North Carolina during his deployment. I’ve made sure she is aware she can come stay with us (we live in Illinois – and so does all her family). I’m worried about her being all alone, 1000 miles from friends and family, especially with Marine in Afghanistan.
While Marine was in boot camp, I participated in forums with other parents whose children were also in boot camp. It was even set up so that you could talk with the parents of other Marines that were in his battalion/platoon. The site, RecruitParents.com, was my lifesaver. I was on it daily, learning about what he was doing, what would happen next, what Family Day would be like, what Graduation would be like, and on and on. I’ve decided I need to find something like that again to help me through this deployment.
Maybe I’m making a bigger deal out of this than I should. But, damn, I don’t want him to go. Right now, he’s in California doing his last training for deployment. It’s all becoming so real. He is going to Afghanistan in May. At least I’m planning to drive to North Carolina at the end of March to spend a week with him. I can’t wait to see him.
Any words of advice for me? Any parents/spouses of deployed military survived this? I’d love to hear from you!