My oldest son Steven joined The National Guard after he graduated from high school. I didn’t protest because he was eighteen and that’s what he decided to do. At the time Steven joined there was no talk of war. A few years passed then The United States went to war with Iraq. I started getting nervous because Steven was in The National Guard and I knew the government, could call his unit up for active duty at any time. Steven knew for a while that his unit had to go to Iraq but he didn’t tell me, mainly because he knew it would upset me. Finally the day came, when he told me that his unit had to go. That was very hard for me to accept. I told him I wasn’t going to let him go. I also told him I was going to lock him in a room and tell his unit Commander that I didn’t know where he was. Steven just laughed at me because he thought I was joking but I was being serious.
On June 27, 2006 Steven left for training, that was a sad day for me. I never thought I would see my son going to fight in a war. The unit he was in trained for three months. Then on September 29, 2006 he left to go to Iraq. I tried hard not to cry but it didn’t do me any good, I cried and prayed. A few weeks had passed before I had heard anything from him. In the mean time I was watching the news coverage on the television and was highly upset. When Steven finally called, I was happy we got to have a conversation. I had many questions to ask him. How was it going in Iraq? How was he doing? How long did he have to stay? I was also telling him what the news reporters were saying. He knew watching the news upset me and told me to stop watching it. After that conversation we started using Skype, that was alot cheaper than a phone call. We started messaging online regularly and that made me feel better because I knew he was alright. As the war went on there was alot of grief. Many families lost love ones.
On Sept 30, 2007 Steven and his unit returned to The United States. When he called and told me he was back, all I could do was say thank you God. Even though it was a few days before I got to see him. Just knowing he had returned to us safely was enough joy for me. If it hadn’t been for my praying and chatting with Steven, I don’t know how I would have made it. I not only prayed for my son but all men and women in the Armed Forces and in war zones.
When he finally got home, oh my what a happy mother I was. Seeing my handsome 6’5 Son standing there with me. Oh what a happy day. We can get through anything life throws at us we just have to stay prayed up. Also talking and messaging helps too.