It is August 31, 2009 and my youngest son, S/Sgt James S. is leaving to go fight a stupid war in Iraq. This will be his second tour. His oldest daughter celebrated her 15th birthday two days ago. I hope and pray he returns on her 16th to tell her in person "Happy Birthday". (He has 5 little girls and beautiful wife.)
I seemed to take his first tour in stride, I worried but not too bad. What I did was, spend an hour every morning and did nothing but worry about Jim. Then when I felt overwhelmed during the day I reminded myself I already worried today. (Well it kinda worked)
I will forever remember the day the Army called me and told me my son was on his way to the hospital. His vehicle was blown up by an IED. Jim had called me already and told me what happened and told me the Army was going to call and he was OK. When they did call it was like Jim never called me, I was terrified. The Officer who called got his 1st name wrong, called him Justin. I corrected him but he continued like he was a recording and I wasn't there (Now that sounds like a good country song. lol). There was a part of me that thought no not my Jim he got the name wrong, called the wrong Mom.
The picture is of the actual truck he was riding in. James was the front passenger, his driver and backseat passenger had minor injuries. How "lucky" were these men? James claims my dad is his angel watching over him. That would be fitting as my dad was in love with the Army. In James eyes, Grandpa was "ten feet tall and bullet proof."
So for the rest of today, as he flies to Iraq, I will worry. Maybe even cry a little. Heck maybe it is my age or whatever but I really am scared this time. We got "lucky" last time just some minor injuries and oh yeah the closed head injury thing? No big deal the Army bought him a Palm Pilot so he wouldn't forget to "show-up".