When Mike and I got married in September, I gained a son. A grown son, but nonetheless, a son. I have never had a son before. He is 20 years old now. When Mike and I were getting serious, Josh was a senior in school. He was in the ROTC and planned to join the Army. He graduated from boot camp and Mike went to the graduation. On the way home, he brought his son by to meet me. The first time I saw Josh he was in his dress uniform and he was charming.
He hugged me and we took a picture together in my dad's living room. After a short respite at home, he was sent to Fort Lewis in Washington State. Before he left Mike brought him by to meet my father, I wasn't home, but he got to meet my sister and my dad. My dad was a 37 year career military man. The 19 year old newly minted soldier and the 83 year old sea dog had a mutual respect for each other right away. On that note, he left to go train with the Strykers.
In March, Mike was really missing his son and Josh was a bit homesick, having never been away from home before then. We got it worked out for Mike to go visit Josh in Washington State. My dad had been in the hospital, but was so proud of Josh and really excited for Mike to go see him. We were and are really proud of him. He had a chance to visit with him and meet the folks he was training with. I think it gave him a lot of peace of mind to see the men who were teaching and taking care of his son. With one day left of his trip, my dad passed away. Mike flew home to be with me. (LOVE THAT MAN)
Josh did well in his training, taking some time to get used to his new freedom from mom and dad....not from Uncle Sam though. After his initial training was through, he was assigned to Vilseck Germany and has been there ever since. In that time he was able to come home this Christmas for a bit. Mike was able to see him some while he was home. He has, it would seem done a lot of growing up since he has been in Germany and on his own. He's not the most communicative of folks, but after all that isn't very surprising as men are not known for their communication skills! :) LOL He has recently asked a woman he met there in Germany to marry him. I am very happy for him, that he has found someone with whom to share his life.
It was recently announced publicly that his brigade will be deploying to Iraq in August. He was scheduled to come home this summer, but his leave was cancelled. Everyone was very dissappointed. According to our "beloved" Commander and Chief, the tour of duty for Army soldiers currently being deployed will now be 15 months long! That is just insane in my opinion. To send a man away from his family for over a year is just ridiculous. ANYWAY.
I am so grateful that there are men and women in this world who are willing to put their lives on the line for the freedom's that I enjoy. I pray every day for their continued safety. I could not be more proud that Josh, my son, is one of those brave, highly trained men. We will most likely not see him before he leaves to do the will of the President of the United States. That in and of itself is a difficult thing to take.
I have faith in the ARMY that trained him. I have faith in the officers who lead him. I have faith in his fellow soldiers who will watch his back. I have faith in his strength of body. I have faith in his strength of mind. I have faith in his fearless bravado. I have faith that these things that make up the funny, strong, brave, smartass that is the son of the man I love will bring him back home safe and sound.
Prayers and good vibes, as always, are appreciated!