To the New Military Recruit’s Mom: A Year from Today
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To the New Military Recruit’s Mom: A Year from Today

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To the New Military Recruit’s Mom: A Year from Today

A year ago I watched him be sworn in and then board a bus and drive away.  I had watched the videos, met with his recruiter, and had gone over all the things… all the numerous things I had to say, and a few that I couldn’t leave left unsaid.

With my head on the barrel like chest of a manbaby, the smallest and weakest of my litter a mere 18-years ago, I listened to his pounding heart, and a booming voice say, “I have to go, I love you, mom.”

For just a moment I wanted to call him a liar, he didn’t have to… he chose to.

Alas, I would have been wrong.

A year from that day, I know.

He had to.

He had to go.

This is at the core of that prized booming heartbeat.

A long since forgotten sense of patriotism; a generation mocked as “shallow, screen-obsessed, too liberal, too lazy, too millennial.”  A scripture, he coined “his.”  I cringed when I saw it.

I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here I am; send me.” Isaiah 6:8

Send me?

Send my baby boy, this dear man-child, who wandered our 640- acre ranch barefoot, gnawing on a cucumber, his little black dog on his heels?  Dear Lord, send someone else.

That first night was longest.

The next night even longer.

That first letter was helpful.

The next letter was medicinal.

A call on Mother’s Day, a true delight.  By the way, ALWAYS answer your phone.  You just never know.

boots in the house Rebecca Huff that organic mom
Girl Boots in the House… Thanks to friends like Rebecca I learned the lingo fast! #airforceladybaby

And I am a mom who taught her kids, you aren’t that great.  Look out for the weak ones, stand up for what is right, what is broken, and who is wronged. But on that day, I wanted a do-over.  I wished I had prayed better prayers, ones that encouraged my recruit to seek a profession in teddy-bear stuffing or butterfly chasing.

Today, a year later, I am fully aware, I prayed the right prayers.

I prayed for a boy to become a man.

Bold prayers were said for a loyal heart, a strong mind, and a spirit of honor.

Every night, when he was asleep down the hall in footed Spider-man pajamas, a lightsaber tucked under his pillow, I prayed big prayers. I prayed for honesty, bravery, justice, kindness, camaraderie, strength, endurance, trust, and a strong understanding of who his God is.

I asked God to use my children.  Raise them up to fight for the weak ones… look out for the lost, forgotten, broken, and abused.

A year ago, in a crumpled mess on the bathroom floor, I questioned those prayers.  Today, a year later, I recognize them as answered.

I also know, I prayed a Marine into existence.

http://www.meganwhitephotographync.com/
A Marine gets married. My friend Brandy took the edge off boot camp for me. This is a pic of her #Marinebaby and his bride. Photo Creds http://www.meganwhitephotographync.com/

In the innocence of my maternity, I prayed the prayers of someone who couldn’t fathom the boy down the hall becoming a Marine.  Still, what else would I have prayed?  That he be weak, lackadaisical, selfish, foolish?

Never.

And even if I had been so ridiculous? This child, he would come to this one year anniversary in spite of me, because of who he is – because of He who loved him first.

Dear mother of a new recruit, this day is the hardest, but this is exactly what you prayed for.

This day is the answer to your prayers.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Here I am; send me. Isaiah 6:8 #SemperFi’ text=’Here I am; send me. Isaiah 6:8 #SemperFi” quote=”Here I am; send me. Isaiah 6:8 #SemperFi’ text=’Here I am; send me. Isaiah 6:8 #SemperFi”]

This son or daughter is the champion you prayed for.  An infrequent find in a world fully focused on self, your recruit would lay down their life… for a friend… for a country… for something bigger than themselves.

Here among the fast-paced, super-sized, 90-days-same as cash, publish, perish, or private jet, your recruit just stepped onto the road less traveled.  Yes, it is paved with the unknown.  It is strewn with harsh words, blisters, thirst, sleep deprivation, blood, sweat, and tears.


An isolated road traveled out with a magnificent history, fallen heroes, sleeping giants roused, and battles championed, ignored, and fought with purpose, passion, and dignity – even when no one was looking, and many have forgotten or fail to remember.

It is further decorated with independence, strength, and a brotherhood, few can understand.

Brothers #Semper Fi
Brothers #Semper Fi #marinebaby.

The boy who climbed on that bus a year ago today is the man I prayed he would become.  Unbeknownst to me at that moment, he had to do this.  This is who he was meant to be.  Pirate, Sailor, Soldier or Airman… to your credit, as much as it hurts today, this was precisely who you prayed they would be.

From this broken & terrifying place, take notes, cry big tears, pray huge prayers…  a year from this day it will make more sense, hurt much less, and truly be the greatest of your days.

The next days will be long. The next years will be proof of who your child had to be.

From one military mom crumpled on the bathroom floor to you friend… It is well Momma, may God bless and keep you and your recruit.

Semper Fi.

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained.  Love, Jami

I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here I am; send me.” Isaiah 6:8

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1 Comment

  1. Kelli Carper says:

    Oh wow, did I need this today! My 17yo dd has been at BCT for Army National Guard for 1 week, and I have been a true mess, questioning myself, “why did you sign those papers for her to go?!” Thank you, Jami, for speaking into my soul today! As a woman of faith, I will cherish your words over and over again throughout the next 6 months, I am sure!!!

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