Tuesday, April 4, 2017


So it's sounding like I might become a military mom. Air Force, to be exact. And I'm terrified.

My younger son went and met with a recruiter today. Took some kind of a preliminary test. Discovered that he was smart enough to be in the Special Forces. Made me dig out his birth certificate tonight, so he can take it, and his diploma to the recruiting office tomorrow.

And I have to tell you I have very mixed emotions.

On one hand, he has got to do something. For the past four or five years, since his senior year in high school, it's pretty much been one failure after another. Two different junior colleges. Motorcycle mechanic school. A zillion different jobs that he likes the first day, and quits the second or third. He's been going nowhere fast for awhile. The military might be really good. Structure. Discipline. Male role models.

And at the same time, I am absolutely terrified. I don't want him to go to war. I am afraid he would come back with missing body parts. Or with more PTSD than he already has. I am afraid he wouldn't come back. I don't know if his older brother could bear it, if he didn't come back.

And yet, at the same time, he has to do something.

So this morning, when I knew he was going to the recruiting meeting, I texted him and wished him luck. And called him afterwards. Tried to feign excitement when he showed me the recruiting pamphlet. Tried not to look at the picture of the person holding a very large machine gun. Tried not to think about where someone might need a gun that big.

I might become a military mom.

And I'm terrified.


Linda B said...

I hear you, Carol. But I'm hopeful for him that he finds a way to make his life good. Hugs and best wishes for the future.

elsie said...

I understand your two sides of emotions. No one wants to have their child be in combat. Yet, as you say, he needs to do something. Perhaps this could be the best thing for him to direct his life.

Michelle said...

I know you are terrified. But I think it is important to note that he's making this decision for himself -- wanting to do something right for himself. He may make a career out of it, and he may just need this to get his footing for new opportunities in the future. The Air Force is an amazing opportunity. My Dad was in the Air Force - he enlisted during the draft for the Vietnam War. He thought it was safer than the Army where boots are on the ground. I believe this is the best decision he can make -- keep praying for his safety! I will keep praying for both of you!

Ramona said...

Oh, Carol, I totally understand your fear. I'm with you, I'd be absolutely terrified. I can't imagine having a son in combat. And yet, many find that the military provides needed structure and discipline. Hoping that the outcome is one that provides whatever it is that will help your son find his place in the world.

Elisa said...

Ah! this is so hard. I don't know how I would handle this if I were in your place. I think what you've done so far - support your son - is exactly what he needs. He'll figure it out. Beyond that there's not much you can do if he's determined. Good luck!