On the radio this morning a story about the very young widows of Iraq war soldiers. If you have time, you must listen to this. I often wonder about the families of the soldiers lost in the war, especially the younger wives and children. Courage is the one word that describes these women, especially Taryn Davis, who went out looking for others like herself--at 21, she lost her husband, and realized she didn't know how to find other young women in the same position. She found 5 others and started the American Widow Project.
My husband is going through skin cancer treatments right now. He believes it started when he was in Vietnam. The doctor says could be, but it's not listed as a service-connected problem, like Agent Orange. In his life, the time he spent in the Marine Corps serves as his watershed years, the place where he divides his life into "before" and "after." I believe the same is true for thousands of other vets.
The Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner is being decommissioned today, to be a tourist attraction in Dubai. My mother sailed to America on the first Queen Elizabeth as a British war bride, and my English granny often came to visit us via the Queen Mary. The old ships had a place in my life, although I never saw them. Hearing that the QEII is being retired reminded me of the family stories of the older vessels, and of my mother's stories about her journey to America to begin a life in a place she knew only one person--her soldier husband, my Dad.
My soldier sons are all home now, and only one remains in the military. I send a salute to all mothers who must see their sons off to service with pride and fear fighting for ascendancy in their hearts. Being the mother of a soldier is not easy; watching them leave for war is terrifying; welcoming them home cannot be described; knowing what they think and feel about their time in service is difficult. But being proud of them? That goes without saying.
If you want to do something to say thank you to a veteran, or to help a vet's family while he or she is serving overseas, check out my article on Two Lane Livin' newspaper website.