Friday, March 20, 2015

Big News in Our House Today!

Today is a big day for my oldest son!
Feeling nostalgic... and excited.
Top left, 1988. Top Right, 1990
Bottom Left, 2007. Bottom right, 2000.

Today is my son's last day in the military. Once upon a time, he decided college wasn't the best choice for him at that point in his life (though he is well on his way to an earned degree now) and he dropped out to join the Army. At the time, his college was paid for in full, thanks to a Florida Pre-Paid program we'd enrolled him in when he was a little tike, so... we thought his college was a done deal. Nothing came as more of a surprise than his enlistment. My first lesson that your grown children go their own way. ;)

Boot camp graduation. My son is in the middle.

I have to tell the truth, I was scared when he joined. Outside of sappy movies (and those don't count!), this gal doesn't cry much, not even over big things. When boot camp was over and it became 'real,' the tears were flowing like a river. You know, the swollen eyeballs, snotty-nose, looking and feeling awful kind of crying. And I couldn't make it stop. I'd be driving and they'd come out of nowhere. It was ridiculous. It was his safety I feared for, I think.War is not pretty, and we're sending boys overseas who aren't coming back. Honestly, there was not one part of that I wanted for my son.

Old Guard Duty, Washington D.C.
My son is by the wheel.

And then he joined Infantry, all but securing he'd be the first to head out to the front lines. And that's the way it was supposed to go, right up until his graduation day (from boot camp). We were standing in the hot Georgia sun, where his camp had been held, congratulating him and happy to see him after he'd been gone for awhile. His items were packed and on a bus, ready to go to his next destination. Someone came over to him and told him to move his stuff to another bus, that he was going to be a ParaTrooper instead. And with no questions asked, that's what he did. We stood by and watched him... and though we were supposed to see him again later that night, I instinctively knew when he boarded that bus we wouldn't see him again that trip. And we didn't.

Little bro ran and jumped in his brother's arms when we went to visit.
My second oldest was being funny and ran/jumped in his arms too, lol

My boys.

He did great in Airborne and again we thought he was going to go to war. A change in plans came in again, and he was instead sent to Old Guard. His primary duties were to pick up the bodies of fallen soldiers, transport them back to DC and conduct the honors/burial ceremonies for them (and others qualified to be buried at Arlington), along with his comrades. They also took care of the horses used for those ceremonies.

My son and his beautiful bride.

My daughter hated to leave her brother & for years she'd cry when they had to part.
This was his wedding day, when it was time for us to go.

After a stint w/Caisson he was sent to an area I'm not sure I can discuss here. I haven't asked him, but I suspect not...so I won't, and again we were worried about his safety. A lot. By the grace of God he got through okay and the last few months he's been back at Caisson, biding his time until today. My son has earned some pretty nice awards along the way (EIB was probably his favorite because it was one of his first. I saved the screen chat picture of him holding that little bar up... I was happy that he was so proud to have earned it) and got his promotions as he'd hoped, but now he's decided not to re-enlist, and his time is done.

We toured the Caisson on a recent visit to see my son and his family.
The tour guide was showing us a picture on the wall. My son was in it. :)

Listening to the tour guide tell us about the horses.

We toured Caisson on a visit to see him and his family over the holidays. The pictures above are from that day.

He'll soon be on his way to Florida, where he'll secure housing so his wife and daughter can come down and join him.

The Army has changed him in many ways, increasing his skills, providing him with a stable transition into adult life (he just turned 27 this month, so he was very young when he joined), and providing him with leadership abilities that will benefit him for life. I was proud of him as a boy, and now I'm absolutely very proud of the man he has become. He is tough, skilled, strong, and dependable. He is also kind-hearted, a wonderful husband/son/sibling, loving father and a good provider for his family.


As he starts a new chapter in his life, I can honestly say the military was a wonderful move for him. I'm proud that he served. And now as he leaves, I will breathe a collective sigh of relief and support him, as always, on whatever route he chooses to take in life. The world is your oyster, son.

117 comments:

April Grant said...

The military is a GREAT place for men, especially, when they don't know what they want to do after high school. They often come out with direction and experience. Although it would scare me to death, I'd be proud if my son went into the military. Congratulations and thank your son for his service.

mail4rosey said...

Agreed. It's just scary when they go in. Thank you for your kind words, I will def. pass them along. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

How wonderful! Glad he didn't have to go to war. I'm sure he learned a lifetime's worth from the experience. Now on to a new life in Florida.

Julie's Lifestyle said...

Oh Rosey you must be so happy and proud of you son and good luck to him!

Elephant's Child said...

You must be so happy, and so relieved.
I hope his new life is WONDERFUL.

Sandee said...

What a wonderful post. You have much to be proud of. The military teaches one discipline and that can get you through so very many hard times in life.

Have a fabulous day. ☺

Jen said...

What an amazing post! He has served his country with honor and that is an amazing thing!

Janine Huldie said...

Aw, Rosey, I love how you shared this. So happy that your son did his part and served, but that he is safe and sound. You definitely have every right to be proud and relieved at the same time. Hugs ;)

Liz Mays said...

Rosey, you are such a loving and supportive mother. I knew a bit of this history but not all, so it was super interesting to hear the rest. He does sound like an incredible young man, and the world most definitely IS his oyster.

Sarah-Louise Bailey said...

Good luck to your son as he takes his steps on the next chapter of his life. What an amazing person he sounds like.

MikiHope said...

I am glad to hear he is not re-enlisting. I honestly don't think I could take the stress of not knowing what would happen--glad that is over for you and for his wife and adorable little girl. And life marches on............

Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle said...

You must be so proud of your son! I'm so happy you were able to write this article. So many of our servicemen and women never come home.

Melissa Pezza said...

It sounds like you raised up a fine man! As a fellow mom, I congratulate you on the amazing job you did. Great job, mom!

Maria Long said...

well said, you think you are doing the right thing for them when they are young, and then they change course. Hopefully you could use that money on one of the other kids

Catherine Sargent said...

You must be so proud. You have raised a fine young man. Thank you for his service and good luck to him with his future endeavors.

Lady Lilith said...

You have a very brave son for joining. I am glad to hear he will be returning home safe and sound.

Heather @ Girl Gone Mom said...

Aww thanks to your son for his service. It sounds like he chose the right path!

RANE said...

The Military is a great place for young men not only because of the benefits but because of the life it will create. You must be proud to have him home to enjoy this life with his family:-)

Pat Hatt said...

He sure knew his path and sounds like the perfect one for him indeed. Now on to a new chapter and see what life will bring. Plus Florida and no snow, that is already a win lol

Rebecca Bryant said...

wow he really knew what he wanted. I thank him for his service and send my sincere gratitude. Oh and if your here any loud screaming that's me yelling HI from up here near the swamp area. (Gainesville fl)

spiffykerms said...

I can only imagine how proud of him you are. I'm glad he made it back safe and sound.

Masshole Mommy said...

How great for him that he was able to serve and is now free. Chris retired last year after serving 20 and I was so happy when he retired :)

Pam said...

It's so great that your son was able to serve our country. However, I'm sure you're letting out a sigh of relief now that he's coming back to the civilian world!

Terri Ramsey Beavers said...

Congratulations to your son for completing his military time. I have family in the military and my dad also served. It's always frightening especially in this day and time to have loved ones serving.

Jacquelineand.... said...

I'll be around with a cleaning cloth when you burst with pride. ;-)

All kidding aside, he's definitely a young man well on his way, and a son to be proud of. You're obviously a close knit family, with a great set of parents!

Holly @ Woman Tribune said...

A great big congratulations to your son for retiring from the military. His service has been invaluable. And a congratulations to you and the rest of his family for getting through it with him. My aunt whom I am very close to just recently retired from the military after 24 years of service. She loved the time that she served, we have all been so proud of her accomplishments, and she was relieved to leave in the end, proud of her work and able to move on to something different.

Amanda Simkin said...

Thank you to your son and your family for your incredible sacrifice. We appreciate everything you do for families like ours across the country.

Amanda
www.queenofthelandoftwigsnberries.com

Ai Sakura said...

I can see why you're so proud of him. Congrats to your son on his new chapter in life. All the best!!

Ai @ Sakura Haruka

Jennifer Evers said...

You have so much to be proud of, because he is a wonderful man that you raised first, and for his service to our country second. I'm glad that he was safe during his time of service!

Shell said...

Congrats to your son! He's done such a great thing, serving his country.

Kim Croisant said...

What a sweet sweet story. I bet you are a proud momma...well you should be. A job well done!!

Cassie said...

I'm happy for your family, especially your son! I hope he enjoys the next stage of his life and thank him for his service :)

Binky said...

That's great that he's getting out, Rosey. I would be nervous too if my kid joined the military.

Jenny said...

How touching, your son is definitely an amazing person! Thanks for sharing with us.

Tough Cookie Mommy said...

Congratulations on your son's huge accomplishment. I am grateful for his service to this country and I'm sure you are as proud as can be of him.

Elizabeth O. said...

Great story!!! I can feel how proud you are of your son! And rightfully so!

debdenny said...

Bless your son. Thanks him for all he has done. My son is an officer in the marines so I understand from mama's point of view. We have two more years till my son retires. After 18 years...I am ready for that day.

Michele D said...

Many blessings to your son. It takes a brave man to serve and for that I appreciate his courage and service of protecting our freedom. Thank him for me. Wonderful story!

Marcie W. said...

What a wonderful journey your son has had and I am sure he has experienced so much during his time in the military. His country is just as proud of his service as you are. Please thank him on our behalf!

Tough Cookie Mommy said...

I would definitely be so proud too. I'm so happy that he came home safe and sound.

Lesley said...

What a heartwarming post. I'm very happy for you all.

Cynthia said...

I got choked up reading your post and looking at the photos. I have a son. He is only four. One day I'll write a post of him - as a man. Thank you for sharing your story. I need to go and hug my son now before he goes off into the world. :)

Uplifting Families said...

Congratulations to your son as him and his family transitions out of the service. I hope that I can share a similar story about my children when they are grown up.

Lesley said...

It's very touching indeed. We all need to go hug our boys.

Launna said...

Rosey, this was beautiful... if I had a son, I wouldn't have wanted him to enlist either... but it does make them strong individuals... I am sure he will excel in whatever he decides to do in his life.

I am not a toughie, I cry at the little things ... ;)

Nina Say said...

Let me just say you have an absolutely beautiful family. I can just feel the love coming from the photos.

Chubskulit Rose said...

First of all, thank you very much for your son's services and to you guys for raising a very responsible man. Hubby served 20 years in the Navy and he just recently retired. The Navy also molded him to be a better person. Cheers to all the men and women in uniform!

Lois Alter Mark said...

I loved reading this and am glad your son is done! Please thank him for his service and wish him only the best from me.

Stacey- Travel Blogger said...

Congrats on him coming home! I bet you can't wait to see him more often now!

Jeanine said...

Congrats to your whole family! This is such a lovely Post and that photo of your daughter and son really got me! Best wishes to all!

Danielle @ We have it all said...

This made me cry. Congrats to your son. My daughter is 16 and she is joining the Army or Navy next year, and just thinking about it terrifies me.

Crystal said...

It sounds like a wonderful experience for your son. He looks so charming in his uniform!

Housewife Eclectic said...

You must me so proud! Congrats to him!

Crystal said...

Wow, congrats to him on 20 years!

Lori Gunn said...

His experiences will help him along any path he chooses. Congratulations to him in his new journey on the civilian highway.

Lena B said...

So exciting for the whole family!

My Thirty Spot said...

Such a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing this with us about a special time for your family.

John Lopez said...

Your son had a amazing experienced and he is brilliant. I love this story.

Roselynn Mercedes said...

Such wonderful and amazing news for everyone, I'm so happy for you. And, of course, a huge congratulations to him as well.

Ugochi said...

Congratulations Rosey, I am sure when God sees us worry He smiles and wishes we would just relax and know He is in charge.
But, mothers cannot really help the tears at times like those...
Praise God he came home to you safe!

Manzanita said...

What a great inspiration your family is to all Americans. Whenever I see a young man such as your son, I congratulate him for the path he has chosen. But I always think beyond and how that young man got there and that credit belongs to good parenting, so congratulations to you, Rosie. You made it all happen.

Manzanita said...

P.S. Thank you for the birthday wish. It was a special family day with lots of surprises for me.
I did think of your daughter on that Ides of March day. I know her day was also filled with family love and special surprises. Sweet sixteen comes once in a lifetime...... and for that matter, I guess 85 only comes once too. LOL

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I can't imagine the emotional roller coaster. Glad he had such a positive experience!

Mama to 5 said...

That is awesome! I bet you are thrilled! I am so happy for you that he is coming home!

Czjai Reyes-Ocampo said...

Congrats, and wishing your son all the best! :)

Julie is Coco and Cocoa said...

Thank your son for his service! And congratulations to him, what a beautiful story. My husband has served in the reserves and did one tour in Iraq. It was definitely stressful.

Esther said...

He sounds like a wonderful son! I am thankful to all who server to protect our country. There is great peace when they return knowing they will not depart again.

C (Kid Things) said...

Congratulations to your son and to you. It must have been hard, every step along the way, but it sounds like it was the right thing for him to do. And I thank him as well for his service.

Christy Maurer said...

That brought tears to my eyes! Congrats on his last day! I'm sure you are so proud of him yet SO relieved to have him out.

mail4rosey said...

Ditto what Crystal said. :)

mail4rosey said...

Ditto what Crystal said. :)

Tonia Sanders said...

Wow. What a milestone. Congratulations to him. I know you are so pround and he should be too.

alissa apel said...

It's hard moving from one chapter to another in life. It's exciting to see what happens next, but also difficult. It's good he's leaving because he can be home more to be with his little girl and wife. Onward to a new chapter.

B said...

What a blessing to you and your family. So glad he'll be coming up safe and sound!

Colette S said...

I love that photo of him jumping into his brother's arms! Your family is too fun!

What a journey for your son! Congratulations to him and to your family. I can only imagine how your heart have journeyed along with him to all his destinations.

So happy for him and his family.

Kori Tomelden said...

I have tears in my eyes after reading this. Please tell your son thank you on behalf of me and my family for his service.

Mistee Dawn said...

I can only imagine your relief, joy and pride. Thank him for his service.

Joyce Lansky said...

I totally get that sigh of relief. He's handsome, and I'm glad he's home, too. My son turns 27 in April, and I can't imagine the fear I would have had if he'd enlisted. (((Hugs)))

http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/2015/03/more-thoughts.html

Bonnie Gowen said...

That is so awesome. You must be a proud momma. =) Thanks for sharing your wonderful news.

Debra Rutt said...

Awww, what a happy day for you all. Thank your son for his important service to this country and to all Americans. I am glad he is home safe!

Kristi Maloney said...

A big thank you to your son for his service! You must be so proud and relieved to have him home!! :)

CourtneyLynne said...

Omg what a fantastic post!!! You must be so proud of your son for serving! A big thank you goes out to him :)

Amanda Love said...

Congratulations and thank you for serving. As you know I also retired this week from the US Army and I couldn't be happier. The military can be fun and at times not so much. I do know that I don't want my kids joining up like I did. I sacrificed a lot for my country but I wouldn't change anything. :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Well, dang, girl. This is supposed to be International Happiness Day, and here I am, reading this post with tears rolling down my face. I understand just how you feel. Our son served in the Special Forces, and even though his experiences as a soldier helped him become the fine man he is today, we were beyond grateful when he got out. I'm happy for you.

menopausal mama said...

What an amazing son you have---you are truly blessed !

Theresa Mahoney said...

First, a great big THANK YOU to your son for his service to our country! I just love this post, and am crying happy tears for you, Rosey. Wishing him all the best in the next phase of his life.

Your son is leaving, I just found out my oldest nephew just dropped out of college and enlisted in the Marines as well! One chapter closed for you, a new one opening up for us. Hoping and praying my nephew has the same successful military career that your son has had.

Angela said...

I am so glad your son is coming home safe. Best of luck to him in this new chapter of his life! You must be so proud of his accomplishments.

Tracey said...

The way you write about him, your pride beams out of the words! I am so glad he is coming home safe and sound. Best of luck to him in his future.

Chrystal Mahan said...

I think it is hard for any mother to let their child go to face the world and learn how to be a adult. It is ever harder when there is that possibility they won't return home. America can be a very dangerous place if you wander into the wrong areas. It would be even worse if we did not have strong men like your son to help keep us safe from the dangers around the world.

JaimeLovesStuff said...

Thank you so much for sharing. Military can definitely bring about great things in some soldiers' lives (not all, unfortunately and it's not for everyone). It definitely changed my brothers' lives and all for the good!

It's very obvious you are a great mom and you are a close family. Your pride comes right through your post!

Cherdo said...

That was a sweet post and I can see your pride in him and his accomplishments. Rightly so! I'm thankful for men like your son and our country needs to show as much gratitude as humanly possible.

TerriAnn van Gosliga said...

What a wonderful tribute to your son and the loving family you've raised. I'm so, so happy for him and hope this new way of life is an easy transition for him :)

Debi Wayland said...

What a wonderful and touching post. Thanks for sharing all these thoughts and memories. And, thanks to him for serving and protecting this wonderful country.

Stefani @ MommyEnterprises.com said...

Thanks for sharing such wonderful news. I bet you are so proud.

stevebethere said...

What a lovely post Rosey I can tell how proud you are by this well deserved tribute :-)

Have a wonderfullytastic weekend :-)

Yolanda Christopher said...

I applaud your son on the time he has served our country. I wish him well on his next step in life.

Erin said...

Congrats to your son and I'm so glad he's able to be with his family now!

Katrina Gehman said...

that is awesome for your son and you! what a great guy you raised!

Donna said...

Congratulations to your son! And please thank him for me for his service! I sure do appreciate him and all the men and women who serve!

Christie C said...

What a big day indeed! Must be such a relief and honor at the same time

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosey - wonderful photos and stories of your son - no wonder you're proud and now he's a Dad too .. and his wife looks so gorgeous, as too the love for his little daughter - your granddaughter .. lovely - cheers Hilary

Sophie said...

From a military family and it always seems like the longest road ever when you are in the middle of it. Congrats to him.

Chrysa Duran said...

Thank him for serving in the Military! I loved reading his journey. Thanks for sharing it.

~ Noelle said...

I know it is hard to watch your "babies" grow up... but they are making big decisions and it is very good to know they are making decisions that are having an impact.
I know its hard mama... but aren't you proud? :)
Congrats!!!!!

Hil'Lesha O'Nan said...

That is so wonderful. You MUST be proud. Congratulations to your son for making such an important and life-changing decision.

Krystal Butherus said...

He will certainly love living in Florida. Hopefully he ends up by the beach! ;)

Bradley Finnearty said...

He volunteered to join the infantry. He should hold his head high and I am sure mom is so proud of him Thanks for this post, and for giving the world a great young man.

Yona Williams said...

What a beautiful piece. You have a really close knit family, and it was fun reading about your son's journey with the military. What an interesting life he has led so far!

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

I thank your son, you and your family for his service!

Rebecca Swenor said...

What an amazing story indeed. You should be so proud of him for serving our country. I was in the Army but never went over seas but I know those who did and it can take a toll on them indeed. Kudos to him for all he did and you for raising an amazing family. Thanks for sharing.

mail4rosey said...

Hurrah for you too, Amanda!! A million well wishes to you too as you open your new doors. :)

mail4rosey said...

85 is awesome. I hope you had an amazing day. :)

Cait Fore said...

How amazing that it has been such a great path for him!

Rochkirstin Santos said...

It's really scary when one of the family members or someone close to you joins the military. There's always the risk that you won't be able to talk to them ever again as you wish and you're far apart. Glad he's back!

Kristie said...

What a wonderful post about your son! Best wishes to him, and his family, as they start this new chapter of their lives :-)

Nazia Naz said...

This is a beautiful and heart warming post. You must be so proud at him. He is so handsome and strong. Stay bless!

Terra Heck said...

What a beautiful story! I can see why you're so proud of your son. Bless him for his service.