From the Founder
How It All Began
As a mother, we embark on many journeys with our children. These Journeys lead to some emotional highs and sometimes some low lows. We rise above; it’s what we do! We gather over coffee or wine and share our joys and struggles to help us through motherhood’s roller coaster. I had no idea that becoming a military mom would leave me feeling like a fish out of water.
I realized very quickly that along with my feelings of tremendous pride came an unsettling and overwhelming sense of fear and loneliness. The comfort of my “mom” coffee clutches was different now. My views, thoughts, and emotions had changed as a military mom. My highs and lows as a parent had somehow shifted to a level I felt my friends could not understand. “If I only knew other military moms,” I thought. I struggled with my head held high and persevered on my own. A lot of tears and anxiety, but I kept on, military mom strong!
Then along came “our” first deployment…Iraq. This moment would forever change my life.
By God’s grace, my son (after two deployments) was brought home safe & unscathed. But was he? The years following Tony’s service as a United States Marine were difficult. PTSD had entered our lives. My son, now a combat Veteran, was going through things I had no experience as a civilian mother how to handle.
HIS FIRST NIGHT HOME
Once the house settled on the first night, Tony came home on leave after his first deployment in Iraq. I was under the delusional thought that things would be back to normal. “My son was home,” I thought, “he was safe.” Everyone was in bed, and I was relishing the feeling of my child being asleep in the house, safe and sound. Like a lightning strike, screams broke the silence as my son yelled out from his room. I jumped up, my feet unable to move – how do I handle this, I had heard stories regarding post-deployment issues, but this was my son! As I ran to his room, my phone in hand, I called one of his military “brothers.” “Keep your distance, mama,” he said, “turn the light on and call his name from the doorway.” I wanted to run to him as I did when he was a boy, hold him, and tell him it’s ok, mommy’s here.
WOW, what a shock that moment was for me. I knew immediately that my son was much different than the son I had proudly sent to the military. He had joined the combat veteran ranks, an experience that eventually would lead me along my journey to Adopt a Soldier.
That night, I prayed for my son Tony, my younger son Kenny, and my family. My prayers were answered with a fantastic, supportive family! God answered my prayers with a partner, my niece Becky, who still supports my son and me on this journey. I quickly realized that God was leading me on a greater journey. This experience is NOT something new! This is not something only my family will continue to live on this journey.
Adopt a Soldier was born, an answer to many of the daily issues Soldiers, Veterans, and their families struggle through. God’s Answer to my prayers! Adopt a Soldier, connecting military families, Soldiers, and Veterans. We don’t have to walk alone!
Proud Founder of Adopt A Soldier