Today is the day. Christopher has finally finished BCT (Basic Combat Training) and will begin the last part of OSUT (One Station Unit Training). Today is the first day of Family Weekend and here I sit at home unable to be with my Soldier. How do I feel? PISSED. I have gotten over the heartbreak of this decision and have moved on to the Dammit part of the whole thing. So I sat down and wrote a letter that I will never mail but thought I would share it here.
To Whom It May Concern,
I understand that your job is hard, I have never walked in your shoes and I appreciate the fact that you are teaching my son, my Soldier, my hero how to become a Warrior, but with the utmost respect I have to tell you that today you are not my favorite person.
Rules are rules and discipline is discipline, Battle Buddies are for life and you have to have each other's backs at all times, these are things I understand. Maybe you have never walked in my shoes. I am a mother, a mother who misses the son that decided at 4 yrs old that he would grow up to be a United States Army Soldier. A son that until a little over 2 months ago was usually the first person I saw in the morning and the last person I saw at night. I MISS my son. Today begins Family Weekend for his troop and because of a stupid mistake that granted he made, we are all paying for. Has he not already paid for his mistake? He lost pay, he has had extra duty, he has not been allowed to make a phone call and now he doesn't even get to see his family. The Army takes 100's of young men from different backgrounds, different cities and states, with different beliefs and different opinions and they throw them all together and expect them to all conform at once to the Army way of life. Really? Is that what you think will happen? Again, I will state that it was his mistake, but it was a stupid mistake. No one was hurt, no one came to blows, no one put their hands on each other. Don't you think your punishment was just a little over the top?
These Soldiers will soon be sent to fight for their County, in a land that does not like them, does not believe like them and does not value their very existence. Some of these Soldiers will never return to the families that love and cherish them. However, because two young Soldiers in training made a stupid decision to see who clothes needed to be cleaner, they lost the opportunity to spend a few precious hours with their family.
I realize this is business and for most in charge this is not personal, and I am sure that what you see each day is one face that belongs to many different bodies. They all look alike and the only personality they have is Soldier. I am sure that at some point in time you were thought of the same way, you have paid your dues and now it is up to you to collect those dues from others. But I have to ask, deep down do you see the young men and women that have never been away from home before, the ones that believe with all their hearts and souls that this Country is worth giving their very lives for, the ones that really just need to hear a friendly voice every now and then, letters are great but a I love you and I am so proud of you coming from a voice they know and love is everything to them, do you see them? Do you think about the moms and dads at home that spend every waking moment wondering what they are going through. How their day is going, did they pass this test or that goal, are they cold, hot, hungry, getting any sleep, sick, hurt, upbeat or discouraged? Do you think about the ones that have younger brothers or sisters at home that cry when they get a letter because they miss them so much that their little hearts break because they just want a hug from them? As parents, we receive a letter from the CO when our Soldiers settle in to their troops that states that family encouragement is so important and that we need to write and tell our Soldiers that we support them 100 %, that phone calls are limited, all of this is true especially if limited is defined zero. And I understand that they are being trained for a very rough and dangerous job, but would a little personal contact be to much to ask for? I do write every day, I always tell him I love you, I miss you and I am so PROUD of you. I try to never send him anything but encouragement but letters take time and when you receive a letter saying I am worried about my pt test or I messed up my knee and have to go back to the Dr. in a week, how are we suppose to say, you can do this, you are stronger than you think or do what the Dr. tells you and get strong again when we know that by the time they receive this letter of encouragement this concern has already passed and they have moved on to another? Would you please tell me how we are suppose to deal with these things? We gave you our children, can't you please give us a moment with your Soldiers?
In closing, I would like to thank you for taking a moment to read my rants, explore my feelings and for training my son to be Army Strong. But I must tell you, you are not on my Christmas Card list and there will be nothing extra in your stocking this year.
One very pissed off
Army Strong Mom.