Much is said about the role that mothers play in the lives of us service members. Here are 3 of the most unspoken truths for all of us to recognize and appreciate about our mothers as we continue to serve our country.
1. When you’re deployed, your mother can’t sleep at night.
It’s often said that mothers share such a deep connection with their children that they can actually feel the emotions they’re feeling – perhaps fear and danger – from across the globe. While your mother is trying to sleep at night, you’re 8-10 hours ahead of her and it’s the start of your day – and you’re just leaving for your first combat patrol. Your mother doesn't have to know you’re in a maneuver unit on the ground to know that you can be in serious danger at the most unexpected moment when you’re down range. Imagine what it’s like for your mother to have this be her last thought as she is falling asleep.
2. The first time you put on the uniform, your mother’s heart starts preparing for the day you will deploy.
The wars in Iraq (now effectively done) and Afghanistan have been going on now for 10+ years. For those serving in units where deploying to combat is fully expected, it’s not a matter of whether you’ll deploy – but when you’ll deploy, and how long you’ll be home before you deploy again. Early on in these wars – and prior to the institution’s recognition of the importance of Dwell Time – guys I knew in the Army would deploy for 12 months (the standard Army deployment), come home for 4 months, and then deploy for 12 more months.
The reality of deployment is especially heavy for your mother – and always has been – ever since you first swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Mothers of military personnel tend to keep these emotions to themselves, rather than communicate them to their child, perhaps to avoid causing the service member to feel guilt or apprehension for the calling they have chosen in life.
3. Your mother cherishes every phone call and letter as if it’s the last.
Military moms can go days and even months without hearing form their child during a deployment. Sometimes it’s a random email from a random email address. Other times it’s a quick phone call from an unknown number and an unknown location. Letters sometimes arrive, and your mother has no idea what may have happened to you since you actually penned those words 15 days ago.
If your mom is still in your life now, make sure you call today to tell her you love her. If she is not, send up some thoughts and prayers in her memory.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the military moms out there. Thank YOU for all that YOU have done and continue to do for us.
The RallyPoint Team