*****This post is edited because I can't count!!!! :))
09/11/2001 - That date ring a bell with anyone? It does me for so many reasons. I remember the panic I felt that day and the overwhelming desire to get my little family all in one room. David had just turned 14, Carrie was 12 and Ashley was 10. Shortly after, I believe David started thinking about his life after high school and what he would do.
Time marched on it seemed and 2006 was in full swing. He graduated from high school, I had surgery, and we went on a 3 week family vacation which included a stop in West Virginia around July 4th. During the church service, the pastor sang the National Anthem and I stood holding tightly to David's hand knowing in my heart, things were about to change. We got back home and the last Sunday in August of 2006, we drove to Fort Pierce and said goodbye as David left for Marine Corp boot camp. Even today, I can remember very vividly my heart tearing in two. We waited every single day for a letter and received them usually once a week. I actually still have those letters and pull them out every once in a while. We attended his boot camp graduation, spent some time with family and then had him home with us until right after Christmas.
And then, September of 2007 came. The dreaded deployment was here. We were facing the longest 7 months of our lives. I still can remember the last glimpse I had of him before he left. Prayer and faith clashed on a daily basis with worries and fears. But, finally April of 2008 came and homecoming was a reality! Nothing could have prepared me for the sight of 3 long buses full of Marines coming home. Again, another scene firmly planted in my memory.
Fast forward to 2 weeks ago when Christa called me. "Hey Mom, we got David's official discharge from the Marine Corp". Four years active, four years inactive and it was finally over. I am so very proud of him for his service to our country. I can only image the difficulties of the last 8 years. David hasn't shared a lot about that time frame and I am a little ok with that. :)
But, here we are - a couple of days away from the 13 year anniversary of 9/11. And I am curious - do we remember? Do we think about all the mom's whose boys have not come home from overseas? Yes, there are one or two stories that have made the national headlines but what about all the ones that haven't? I thank God on a regular basis that David is here and that I have no idea what that loss feels like. Oh I pray we never, ever forget the sacrifices that have been made! And, along that line, take a minute to stop and pray for our military. We have NO idea what they face and the struggles that abound while they are deployed and when they return! We absolutely MUST hold them up in prayer!
Do something out of the ordinary today and thank a soldier! :)