No Military Without Moms
Active duty military members and veterans display tremendous courage, dedication, patriotism, and mental and physical fortitude. But there are unsung heroes residing in their shadows that I want to honor today: moms of military members. Their service and sacrifice to their children in the military, their military, and their country merits remembering and honoring. There are no soldiers, airmen, or sailors – and no military – without them.
The Profound Challenges of Military Moms
As a mother of two sets of twins, I can certainly attest to the challenges faced by mothers – all mothers. Raising children the right way so that they evolve and grow into well-rounded, responsible adults who lead lives of integrity is perhaps the hardest, yet most rewarding duty a person can have. And as the mother of a U.S. Army soldier, I can attest to the unique and particularly profound challenges of being a military mom. This role is one that is constantly testing your perseverance, and one that is ever-reminding you of what’s truly most important in life – to never take your loved ones for granted.
A New Chapter
When my son wanted to discuss his interest in joining the Army, I had conflicted feelings. It was a lot to sort through in my mind. I had so many burning questions. Would he stay safe? Would he be happy? How would he adjust to this new life? How would I adjust? Would he survive Boot Camp? Above all of these feelings and considerations, however, I was proud of him because of what it means to serve your country in the military. I was proud of his desire to serve alongside other men and women who exemplify the traits of courage, dedication, and selflessness that are required to serve in the military.
Never Asked for “Easy”
My son followed his ambition, and I encouraged him to do what was right for him. Fast forward a few years, and my son is enjoying a successful career in the Army. Turns out, it really was the right choice for him. It has certainly not been easy, but given the traits that lead someone to join the military in the first place, is someone like that really ever seeking “easy?” My son has no regrets and has gained very valuable career and life experience that will serve his future well.
Serving with Honor
Being the mother of a military member often means missing out on holidays and family celebrations with your son(s) or daughter(s). It can mean rarely seeing the children you raised day-in and day-out for so long. Most challenging of all, it can mean worry and anxiety over your child’s safety and/or well-being – particularly in times of military engagement overseas. This may be especially true if your son(s) or daughter(s) is not able, for security or communication restraint reasons, to divulge the details of what they are doing or where they are. It takes great strength and perseverance to be the mom of someone serving in the military. Moms must be strong for their sons and daughters of whom they are so proud. And those who serve honor the moms who raised them by serving their country with honor.
All Grown Up Now
As any mother knows, they grow up so fast… This may be more true than ever when your son or daughter joins the military. Your child is fully embracing adulthood, with the weight of responsibility, discipline, work ethic, and commitment that come from experience in the military. Despite that, they’ll always be our babies, regardless of their chronological age. It will always be tough to watch them embark on this exciting journey alone. When we do see them, we cherish that time more than we ever could have envisioned. The impact of the distance and concerns moms have, which can be amplified when their child is in the military, are profoundly felt.
Are you the mom of a military member (or members) who is wondering where to turn for support? “Today’s Military” offers a wealth of links to support resources for Moms with children serving in different branches of the military here. You are there for your children, now let others in the military community be there for you. Whether your child is in the Army, National Guard, Marines, Air Force, Navy, or Coast Guard, you will find tools to help you there.
Active-Duty Moms in the Military
I want to mention another group of moms who deserve recognition. They are the moms currently serving in the military who must endure so much time separated from their families in service to their country. Their sacrifice is tremendous, and we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude. To all of you moms that are serving in the military, thank you so much for your service and sacrifice.
We are always mindful of the sacrifice active-duty military members and veterans have made in service to our great country and people. If you’d like to read more about some of the veterans working at Global Dimensions, you can check out our blog post here.
by Heather Longfellow