Anyhow, I loved seeing him! He's so fun to be around, so easy to talk to. He called, wanting to take my oldest son (16) ski-boarding with him and some of the other cousins. At the time, my beautiful boy was grounded, but I knew that these rare opportunities don't roll around every day. After all, Big Jared (what the little cousins call him) is going to be shipped out to Afghanistan again soon. I want my kids to know their hero cousin who is such a brave man.
Jared's job is on one of those heavy duty helicopters. He's the one in charge of everything that goes on in that machine. His unit's job is to transport Special Operations Ground Forces on their missions which are usually during the middle of the night. He's the last one on and is always exposed, shooting that huge gun mounted on the outside. (Don't know what it's called)
His job is very dangerous and I worry about him all the time. I couldn't imagine being his mother or wife. If I worry this much, how much more do they?
I've always been patriotic. I cry when I say the Pledge of Allegiance or when I sing the National Anthem, and I cry every time one of my nephews gets deployed. I have two in the Coast Guard, two in the Army, and another was in the Navy. I'm so proud of them, so grateful they are willing to serve and protect, but there is a little piece inside me that wants to hold them back, to hold them tight against me and never let them go.
My own sons want to be in the military some day. I encourage them, so proud of that decision, but inside, I'm screaming, “Are you insane!”
But if our sons and daughters don't rise up to declare war on tyranny, oppression, and evil, who will? Who else has the strength, the energy, and the stamina? I certainly don't. I can barely run two miles without wanting to pass out.
Here's a poem my Gram, Janie Robertson, wrote about her son who was in the military. It says it all:
“With a golden bar on his shoulder.
It's color taken from the sun.
His foot on the rung of a ladder
of a climb that's just begun.
Like Jacob's ladder, it's endless,
Going far beyond the stars.
And we need not fear they'll fail us.
These boys with the golden bars.
They are the youth of a nation
upon whom God reposes trust.
So hail to the boys with the golden bars!
Soon victory will rest with the just!”