“It was 1977 and I was an AFROTC Cadet when I met a dashing pilot who was to become my future husband. 39 years later we are the parents of three sons and a daughter. Despite growing up on a farm in a non-military area they all felt the call to serve – each in a different branch. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines. It can be a battle at the dinner table when they are all home, which happens about every two years. It’s not that we don’t want to be with each other, but 11 deployments take a toll on family togetherness.
“It is hard saying goodbye over and over again, not knowing what they are doing or even where they might be going, especially for a mom who spent all of her waking hours protecting them when they were young. I walk a tightrope of fear and pride. I am so very proud that they are willing to do their duty and serve in an age when so many seem to only care about themselves. So I send care packages, heartfelt prayers, cards and letters signed ‘Be Safe, Love Mom.’ I say goodbye with a heavy heart and a smile on my face. I will support my ‘troops’ and do my duty to hold down the homefront, no matter how much it hurts.”