Sunday, June 15, 2008
Sean called the day before yesterday, I hadn't heard from him in a few days so it was really great to talk to him. He is really happy and doing well. He said that the Airmen are received well by the locals. As convoys go by the kids give them the "thumbs up" sign. It's nice to know that their presence is appreciated by the local population. It's over 100 degrees there but "only feels like 90". Not sure I get the difference. He likes and trusts the men on his team, said the food is great (was disappointed that there was no apple sauce with the potato pancakes) and all in all is really excited and happy to be there. He can't talk about the missions he goes on as they are classified but feels he is doing important work so I'll just have to trust him. As for me, I'm adjusting. I don't watch the news or read the papers anymore. I need to insulate myself as much as possible or I'll make myself and all of you nuts. In spite of my best efforts to remain in my bubble sometimes something sticks a pin in it and pop..... The other day I turned on the TV and immediately heard "suicide bomb in Kirkuk, 1 soldier killed 15 injured" I don't need to or want to know this!!!!!! I immediately texted Sean "are you OK?" Thank God he got back to me immediately "yeah why" He didn't even know about it. The other thing that hit me, today in fact, was this: I can't put the feeling into words the fear? dread? horror? that uniformed men would be waiting for me when I got home. I'm sure only other military parents will totally get that one. It isn't something you think about, all of the sudden it was just there. I'm sure it will come and go but I must tell you it really sucks. I was relieved when I realized that none of the people sitting out were wearing hats. I've started, proudly, to wear a blue star pin, which provokes a lot of questions. It is worn by immediate family members of service men and woman on active duty during time of war or conflict. Needless to say, the support and appreciation for the Sean and his fellow service men and woman is overwhelming. People I know and strangers alike asking me to thank him for his service and telling me that they are praying for him. Well, sometimes you just cry....
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
First of all, for those of you that don't know I actually have two amazing children. One likes her anonymity and the other is in the Air Force. Sean deployed on Monday, called from Ireland on Tuesday, then also on Tuesday from Kuwait and Qatar. Instead of complaining about how tired he was, he was awed by how many countries he was in within a 24 hour period. God bless him, what a great attitude. He called again on Wednesday from Qatar shortly before he left for Iraq, I imagine that call will come tomorrow (phone rings). Actually it just came now!!!! The connection was not as good as the other countries but he is good. Has a T.V. and a fridge. I got that and he'd call tomorrow before the called dropped. The text messaging work too. We may all want to buy stock in AT&T as this deployment is going to last 6-8 months and I've already received five phone calls and 2 text messages. I am by NO means complaining, there are many things I will gladly give up to pay the phone bill. The one thing I won't give up is my new cocktail invention. I call it the "deployment cocktail". Dissolve crystal light lemonade in really good orange juice and shake with ice and vodka. Quite yummy!!! It is a treatment not a cure. Anyway, I now know there is a 7 hour time difference between here and Iraq. I know that at 4:00 am Kuwait time it was 95 degrees and 115 in Qatar during the day. Yikes, that is hot!!! Can't wait to hear the weather report from Iraq. I'll keep you all posted on what's happening. Peace & Hugs PAFM, Susan
Monday, May 26, 2008
How ironic that today, "Memorial Day" is the day Sean deploys to Iraq! And the roller coaster ride continues. After the let down of all leave and liberty canceled and all Airmen confined to base, the off base liberty order was rescinded. The Airmen were permitted off base if they stayed with 50 miles of Fort Dix/McGuire AFB. Alyssa and I went to the base on Saturday and spent time with Sean, later we were joined by his Dad and his dad's S.O. The one thing that Sean really wanted to do before he left was to see the new Indiana Jones movie. He said that he "wasn't alive" to see any of the others on the big screen and really wanted to see it before he left. Sean, Alyssa, Shane (one of the Airmen that came to NY) and I saw the movie. A good time was had by all. The next day we were joined by Uncle Howie and Aunt Julie. Dad and S.O. came back too and we had a BBQ. Sean invited most of the guys deploying with him including the Team Leader, Staff Sgt. Carlos Durango, who promised me that he would keep Sean and all of his Team safe. He seems like a man that intends to keep his word. It was great to meet these brave young men. The bond they have formed is truly inspiring and I know "they have each others backs" Words cannot begin to express how proud I am of my son and all of these brave lunatics. Please keep them all in your thougts and prayer. I found this prayer on the internet: The Special Forces Prayer Almighty God Who art the Author of Liberty and the Champion of the oppressed hear our prayer. We the men of Special Forces, acknowledge our dependence upon Thee in the preservation of human freedom. Go with us as we seek to defend the defenseless and to free the enslaved. May we ever remember that our nation, whose motto is "In God We Trust," expects that we shall acquit ourselves with honor, that we may never bring shame upon our faith, our families, or our fellow men. Grant us wisdom from Thy mind, courage from Thine heart, strength from Thine arm, and protection by Thine hand. It is for Thee that we do battle, and to Thee belongs the victor's crown. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and glory forever, Amen! - Chaplain John Stevey For all intents and purposes for the last year or so Sean has just had a job in another state. He had a cell phone and we texted and spoke frequently. Now the reality is hitting me. I don't know how or when we will communicate next. His cell doesn't work in Iraq and he doesn't have his laptop yet. And I don't have his APO. Aaaagh. This is definately not fun. The countdown begins: How long before I hear from my son? Peace & Hugs PAFM, Susan
Friday, May 23, 2008
As I was driving yesterday I noticed a spider holding on to my windshield for dear life. And I wondered, as I was taking it a mile from where it started, which must be like a million miles in spider distance: will it miss it's mommy and family? I had an appointment this morning. As I was getting ready to leave I realized there was something I needed to have in order to go. I couldn't remember what it was. I knew that if I continued to look, I'd know it when I saw it. There they were....my shoes!!! Guess maybe I'm not holding it together as well as I thought.
As so many of us Air Force parents do, I placed myself in a little bubble (big bubble?) of denial. Well my bubble has burst. Sean is deploying to Iraq on Monday. I have been luckier than most, in that his deployment training was at Fort Dix and so I got to see him pretty often. In fact the last 3 out of 4 weekends including Mothers day. I don't think I saw him that much when he lived at home. He was supposed to have leave this weekend and come home but some boneheads got drunk and stupid, bad combination and all off base leave and liberty was canceled. So instead of a fun relaxing weekend in NY with great restaurants (before all the MRE's he has to look forward to) and lots of fun things to do: my daughter and I will head back to Fort Dix. Again, I consider myself lucky, it may not be plan A, but we'll make it a hell of a plan B. That's what's going on here.
Sean came home on leave this weekend and brought a few friends with him. This weekend was awesome. The guys and I had an amazing time and some wonderful experiences. I'll start with: Did you know that some of the camps and bases are named after firefighters that died on 9/11. I did not. So, as we are on the way to the WTC memorial and construction site Sr. Airman Kevin mentioned this. I had no idea. Well he then went on to say that he was stationed at Camp Bucca during one of his deployments. Well a lightbulb went on over my head. I have a neighbor who's son was a fire marshall in the NYC Fire dept. and died on 9/11. You guessed it, Camp Bucca is named after Ronald Bucca. I called his mom and told her that these fine young men are here and would like to meet her. Soooo Mrs. Astrid Bucca took a stroll over and joined us. She brought them t-shirts and hats and got to ask them what the camp was like and just chat in general. A very moving experience for all involved. We also had an incredible experience when we went for dinner. The guys wanted to wear their uniforms to the WTC as a tribute, so of course they were still in uniform when we went to the restaurant in Little Italy for dinner. A man came up to our table, thanked these awesome young men for their service and asked me if he could help take care of the bill. I thanked him for his generous gesture and told him that we would be honored. I know that people want to do something for the troops and welcome the opportunity when it presents itself. Well in case this wasn't cool enough, when we asked for the check the waiter informed us that someone had alreay taken care of it! Needless to say many people came up and thanked them for their service. Some of them clearly saw the gratitude campaign video and put their hand to their hearts in appreciation. All in all it was an amazing weekend. Just the fact they these Airmen wanted and expected me to join them was....(I'm out of superlatives) I'll try to remember more and post but these are the pretty spectaular highlights of the weekend. I've never had so much fun cooking, cleaning and doing (their) laundry. Still have sheets and towels to do and I'm on cloud 9.