”At the age of 18, I was told I could never have children. This broke my heart, but I accepted my fate. I met my husband when I was 25. He, nor I, were ever able to serve in the military, but we both wished we could have. My husband and I are very patriotic, and before I met him, he had a heating and air business that he started and named it All American. Our colors are red, white, and blue. We always shake hands of any Veterans we meet, and we thank them for their service.
“I discovered I was pregnant when I was almost 32, and while we were so happy, we were also cautious, as I’d had miscarriages before. My pregnancy was going well and my due day was Dec. 7th, 2010 (Pearl Harbor Day). Even though it is a somber anniversary, it still involved the military, and marked a historic day. On November 10th, I went into labor late in the evening. I had major complications during labor. My son’s heartbeat kept dropping very low, and I was losing a lot of blood. After the third time my son’s heartbeat dropped low, they told me they were doing an emergency C-Section to save us both. At 6:05AM on November 11th, our son was born! I remember thinking to myself how wonderful it was that he was born on Veterans Day! He would always know that his birthday was much bigger than him. And that he would honor and respect all men and women serving for our freedoms.
“Before my son’s first birthday, we saw a dear friend, who was a Vietnam Veteran. He adored our son, and we thought of him as family. We asked him to come to our son’s birthday and celebrate with us, and we could honor him as well. He had been disrespected when he returned from Vietnam, and was mistreated by many. He wasn’t sure he wanted to be honored, but he was happy to be there for our son.
“After our son’s birthday, our friend felt wonderful. A lot of people at the party showed him the respect he so rightfully deserved. They also thanked him for his service. And after it was all said and done, he was able to let go a lot of the anger and resentment that he had held in for so many years. We asked him to return to our son’s birthday every year, so our son had someone positive to look up to, and who he could call extended family.
“Seeing how well it worked out- helping our friend and how much fun we all had- we decided right then and there, every year we would find and invite a new veteran to become a part of our family. They have to be involved in our son’s life, support him, and love him as one of their own. And our son will have to honor and respect the men and women in uniform.
“Our son is almost six years old now, and we have 5 ‘veteran’ veterans coming to his party, and this year our veteran served in Desert Storm and is struggling with PTSD. But he is the kindest man in the world, and so gentle and loving to our son. We cherish and adore our veterans, and try to honor them as often as we can.
“When my son has a big milestone in his life (such as the 1st day of kindergarten), he arrives with his military family in tow. They encourage our son in every aspect of his life. I know that no matter what happens in our lives, my son will always have someone standing by him, and guiding him, and protecting him. They may not all be available for everything, but when we need something, and it pertains to our son, they make time to be there and help, just as we will always do for them.”