I had such a funny post planned for you all, for this week’s “In Their Words..” I laughed every time I read the answer by this soldier, to the question “what about things loved ones can avoid doing or saying that makes things harder on a soldier?”
The answer is awesome.
But as I sat down to create this post tonight, I thought better of it. It spoke – in a direct, lighthearted, awkward, irreverent way – to the heart of families with service members in training, on missions, in the field, and on deployment. How to reach out to them with news from home..and when not to.
It’s a touchy subject because a newer military parent might ask, say, on Facebook, how to call their service member in training “because Old Great, Great Aunt Bertha is about to pass away!” and equally new to the “military thing” people will helpfully reply “Call the Red Cross!”..while I imagine more seasoned families are saying goodnight to their spouses and whispering “Remember, if I die in my sleep..you don’t tell Charlie until he gets home from deployment. You promised.”
I will post that funny reply – – next week. It felt better to highlight the “why” first… why our Armed Forces are pushed so hard throughout trainings, why training brings about such a change in them, why they need to focus, and why they seem to grow up so quickly and change into men and women we hardly recognize. This is why, more seasoned (or better informed by the wise ones who have walked this journey of Military Family-dom before us!) families avoid being a distraction, why they continue to shelter and protect their loved one who is serving ..because our military warriors are learning to protect themselves, the brothers and sisters they serve with, and this nation.
In their words..
Q: What has been the biggest source of worry for you, since the day you left..till now?
“Not being strong enough. That’s always been terrifying, but the reason has changed. I used to be scared that I was too weak to save myself if something went south. Now I’m scared of being too weak to save the guy next to me..”
-Private “N” United States Army, Combat Medic