Let me first say, that I am proud and honored,
That my child chose to serve and protect
The freedoms of this great country,
That so many others neglect.
But as a recruit, they only see duty,
Education, and vast adventure.
They see learning opportunity,
And the excitement of travel.
They are young and open to change,
Through military in this world.
They see freedom from parents,
Yet structure and challenge.
They have the world
At their feet,
And hear the call of duty,
Which they must meet.
But as parents, though proud,
We are also alone.
The change is instant,
And the silence is loud.
They have not just left for college,
To return to visit on weekends.
They are gone!
Time together with them at an end.
For parents, it’s sudden;
This is no gradual separation.
It causes grief and a type of mourning.
It is an instant disconnection.
There’s no communication,
No knowledge of your child’s well-being.
You go from total responsibility,
To practical isolation.
For years, parents
Have been on the chopping block
Of responsibility each day.
Keeping their children on the narrow way.
We have been there through
Every smile and tear,
Caring for them constantly,
For all these years.
And now there is nothing,
But a box full of clothes in the mail.
And an eternal game
Of sitting with phone in hand, waiting.
We are all left behind
To wonder, and try not to worry.
And be at the mercy of the military,
Just waiting to hear and see them again.
This is the plight of the military parents.
No, I am not being melodramatic.
I am being truthful.
We are not programmed to instantly stop being parents.
They have people helping them
To adjust, cope, and change, them into the soldier
We as a country need them to be.
Parents are just cut off, unable to hear from or see.
The child becomes a soldier
In a matter of weeks.
But the parents,
Never stop being the parents.
We still wonder, worry, care and cry;
Not only through Boot camp,
But at each letter, phone call, visit,
And at each of our soldiers’ good-byes!