All Mothers of small sons....read this

  1. I was reading the online article about the U.S. soldier killed today in Afghanistan. It says U. S. and Afghanistani's have joined together for an extensive ground "War" on the Taliban and Al Quaida. It goes on to describe how the U.S. and Afghans are working together covering mile by mile of terrain to flush out the Taliban. A cold reality overcame me. This is exactly how the Vietnam War started. Substitute the words South Vietnam for Afghan and Viet Cong for Taliban and you have the exact same ...identical military approach. How long will it be until this "war" escalates?
    The president has already said this will be a decade long , "if not longer" war. The politicoes and businessmen have realized how financially profitable this "War" is and can be. A war is like a goose that lays the golden eggs. If your company manufactures anything that can be used in the war, you've got your hand in the government treasury. ***Moms', stop flagwaving. *** In ten years, your small sons will be in the mountains of Afghanistan & Uzbekkian fighting Taliban "terrorists". Hope I don't sound too nutty, the deja vu was chilling this morning, reading about the dead soldier, and the military's "plan." And realizing a different generation has "been there-done that"...
    Last edit by prn nurse on Mar 2, '02
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  2. 48 Comments

  3. by   BeachNurse
    Very scary thought...mine are 6 and 8 right now...my older one has a medical problem and most likely will never go. My younger one would probably jump at the chance, with his love of danger!

    I guess we will have to wait and see what happens...


  4. by   live4today
    My grandsons are eleven, ten, seven, five, two, and 3 months of age. One day they may have to serve our country to defend mankind's freedom on this land. My granddaughters are six, two, and one, and if they choose to follow in their mother's and father's footsteps, they may very well join the Armed Forces, and serve and defend our country's freedom, too. My oldest daughter served eight years in the Army. Her husband also served in the Army. My middle daughter served four years in the Navy, and is now in the Army National Guard, her former spouse also served in the Navy. My youngest daughter is currently married to an active duty Airmen in the Air Force. All my daughters have sons. If the day comes for my grandchildren to serve our country, like their parents before them, they will serve proudly and with honor. I will stand and salute them every chance I get for a job well done! Scary? Yes! Necessary? Yes, if fighting means preserving our country's freedom. I am married to a career soldier in the Army, and my former spouse (father of my 3 children) served for seven years in both Army and Air Force, and several years in the Air Force Reserve Unit. My only brother served in the Air Force, and his son serves in the Navy today. I have had uncles (now deceased) who served in the Armed Forces, cousins & nephews who served...some still serve today, and I served as a Department of Civilian Nurse for the military services in years past. Somebody has got to do the job, and yes, lives will be lost. Freedom is NEVER "free". In order to have freedom, someone's blood must be shed. In the various Armed Forces, we learn to: "suck it up and move on", or "ruck it up and move on". It's our way of life! We do what must be done to preserve the freedom of these United States of America! The home of the brave, the poor, the rich, the healthy, the sick and dying, the homeless, and those who risk life and limb to become one of us in this country.

    Sorry so sentimental, but when I read the post here, tears formed in my eyes, and the above words just started flowing from my heart. Thanks for allowing me to vent these heartfelt emotions at this time before I go to bed. I eat, sleep, and breathe the danger of losing a loved one every time I lay beside my husband, hear the phone ring from his unit telling him he is needed, etc. When he goes TDY, leaving me alone with our doggie and separated many many miles from family and close friends, I am reminded the entire time he is away that his absence helps to ensure my freedom, and everyone else's freedom in this country. There isn't a military spouse or parent alive today who doesn't feel these same sentiments about their family member(s) who also serve in the Armed Forces of America.

    Hail to our soldiers, our airmen, our marines, our sailors, our coast guard, and any other government military officials I have failed to mention here. Hoo-ah!
    Last edit by live4today on Mar 3, '02
  5. by   prn nurse
    I can mist up as easily as the next Patriot.
    By your note, it seems you and your family have experienced the positive benefits of a career or tour of duty in the armed forces. A job with "job security"..(don't have to worry 'bout getting fired),.. travel, .. great free medical care, and ... Veterans Hospital ,...and benefits for life, & the educational benefits, etc.
    But, what about the negatives? You did not mention experiencing a combat loss. .. What about the 55,000 plus mothers and wives who lost a son or husband in 'Nam? Ask them if it was worth all the flag waving and freedom... I think until you have buried one, it's all flag waving and marching. Ask the two dozen moms who are mourning now, for sons lost in this Taliban "War." I do not want a single one of mine to go to war. Our family has buried one. When every family has buried one, then we can start the cycle again.
    I still say, and my point is: This looks like another 20 year War, with boys born today going to Afghanistan in 19 years. How many times have we heard the Prez saying, ""This is going to be a Loooooonnnnggggg War.?"" Another little "low-grade war" for the business men to get rich? Do you think we were in danger of "losing our freedom" the 20 years we were in Vietnam? 55,000 young men died, and for what?
    I think as women and as moms' , we need to keep an eye on our involvement in this "CONFLICT" and watch the escalation.
  6. by   live4today
    Hello prn nurse,

    My first husband (father of my three adult children) served in Vietnam. Though he returned in one piece - physically speaking - his mind never returned with him completely, thus he eventually suffered from PTSS (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome).

    My only brother served in Vietnam. I did not want him to go because had he been "physically" killed in Vietnam, my parents would have lost their only son, and my sisters and I would have lost our only brother. I say "physically" killed to say many who returned suffer a far worse "demise" than the many men and women who passed from this life to the next - God rest their souls. My brother's "mind" never fully recovered from the experience, thus he too went into PTSS.

    One of my first cousin's - a male - returned from Vietnam in "shell shock". He has lived out the rest of his life in mental anguish, so his wife and five children have been forced to contend with his mental depression for years and years now. It's been like a "death" to them all, and all of them have suffered tremendously for it.

    I have two very dear uncles - now deceased - that we had to bury with only "part of their limbs intact" due to war injuries.

    I have a cousin who died while serving as an active duty soldier during the Saudi conflict.

    Today, I have a nephew who is now "my adopted son" {since his mother (my sister) passed away of cancer many years ago} who serves in a very dangerous capacity and is now in a place that I am not able to share here (for his own protection), and that assignment could cost him his young life. I pray a lot, I wrench my hands a lot, and I daily correspond with my nephew's wife who is twice worried about her husband and father of their three sons. My heart is in pain whenever my nephew is on one of these "very dangerous assignments" overseas.

    My niece who served in the Navy for four years is now a civilian. We are blessed as a family that nothing happened to her during her time served to this country.

    I have two nephews serving in Italy right now. The family is thrilled that they are stationed near one another, and get to be of support to one another.

    My son-in-law [married to my baby girl] serves in the Air Force and will be leaving his family and three children to go overseas for several months in a location that could cost him his life. I am flying to be with her and the children for a portion of his absence from them because my "baby girl" is so beside herself right now with worry. They just had a second son born to them three months ago.

    My (current) husband has served in the Armed Forces 20 years now, and is about to retire from duty. He is "physically intact", but physically broken: two back operations in the past year alone, several operations on both his knees due to injuries sustained during airborne jump manuevers, right shoulder injury due to military manuevers while serving in Saudi, after affects to his physical health due to the mustard gas and other chemicals the soldiers were exposed to in Saudi. BTW, my first husband was exposed to megadoses of radiation and "agent orange" while in Vietnam (that cost him his perfect health as he knew it before going to Vietnam at the age of 19 back in 1968).

    My middle daughter who served in the Navy four years, and now serves in the Army National Guard, buried her only daughter in a military cemetary due to "the negligence of the Navy docs in charge of her pregnancy and delivery...she did not get to collect monetary damage for that negligence either. My granddaughter, Alexis, would be seven years old today had she lived.

    Yes, prn nurse, the tragedies of war and war related injuries are surmountable indeed! Soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen die everyday in our country's Armed Forces. Some die due to war-related injuries, some die due to "other injuries" not war-related, but they still die.

    Yes, I do live with "both" sides of war every day in my life. Fear is never absent in the midst of one's duty to remain courageous. Instead of choosing to look at a glass "half empty", in the life of the military, the soldiers and their family members must 'CHOOSE' to look at each glass "half full" in order to remain a strong supportive front for the many men and women who 'CHOOSE' to don their uniforms in service to this country 24/7. They don't need a country behind them that is not supportive of them because they believe war is wrong, they look to their country to be behind them 100% while they "carry on" performing their duties as they 'CHOSE' to be trained to do.

    Death is death, whether caused in a war or in every day life by car accidents, gunshot wounds, natural causes, terminal illnesses, a slip on the bathroom floor (which is how I lost another dear auntie last week and we were already prepared to lose her from the breast cancer she was suffering with, but that is not what ended her life). Losing a loved one - regardless of the cause of death - is a very painful experience for all people.

    One day, you and I will join those who have gone before us from this life. We do not know what will take us from this life we live, we only can rest assured that we are indeed going whether we want to or not! It's a final trip of battle none of us can escape!

    I do have a heart for those who die in war, but I also have a heart for those patients who pass away with their family by their bedside weeping tears of great sorrow for the passing of their loved one(s).

    Whose grief is worse, prn nurse? One who loses a loved one in a war, or an "undeclared war", or one who loses a loved one in non-related war matters? Try telling a parent who lost their son or daughter to cancer that their grief is no way near as bad as the millions of parents who lost their son or daughter in a war or non-declared war. Grief is grief, and it hurts just the same no matter how one loses a loved one.

    As for the many "benefits" we military families receive, they are not nearly enough for what we 'CHOOSE' to endure while our loved one serves this country and at any minute may lose his or her life leaving us without them to love. For whatever reason, many civilians think the military family has it made, and there is no way to share with civilians that we do NOT have it "like that". As far as our "free health care" is concerned, that is a "misnomer". Only the soldiers receive "free healthcare". On my husband's LES is a monthly deduction noted for his wife and child to receive "health benefits". Guess what type of health insurance the military has today, prn nurse? The good old "HMO" dragon -- yes siree -- HMO 'pain in the butt' healthcare! HA! Oh, we're loving that, too! Join the Army, and give it a whirl for yourself, and you'll see that it isn't full of the "bennies" that you casually mentioned in your above post.

    Am I for war? NO! Do I support this country's military to serve and protect our freedom at home and abroad? You better believe I do!
    Last edit by live4today on Mar 3, '02
  7. by   SICU Queen
    I support this country, but I also don't want my sons to die, either. Mine are 10 and 8, and they will gladly join the military when they're old enough. My husband was in the Army for seven years and my sons have idolized his experience.

    Kind of a Catch-22, isn't it? Support of the US and of our Armed Forces, but not at the expense of my sons. I know it sounds selfish... but the thought of possibly losing my babies is more than I can handle now. I guess if and when they go off I'll be proud and supportive, but worry like crazy. Like thousands and thousands of other moms/wives/sisters do...

    Yuck.
  8. by   maikranz
    my boys are 19.5 and 20.5 y/o and my daughter, 24. I was 14 during the escalation in 'Nam and graduating HS in the time of the fall of Saigon. I remember....
    I am anxious for my boys and they will serve if called, but I can't help think that someone else is forcing this "war on terrorism" toward something G-d- awful!
    All that money Congress approved for more weaponry. Why can't we use it to turn lives around in these poor, underdeveloped countries. (Heck, we can't even feed our own!) Pollyanna? You betcha! If we can help with education, fill their stomachs and help put a roof over their heads, wouldn't that do us better in the long run? Why must we bomb the *%#@ out of them and then we wonder why we are so hated.
    Doesn't it scare you, risking the loss of some of our freedoms in the name of "security"! I don't want a national ID card! What next: tattoos on inner lips at birth!!

    See "We Were Soldiers" It is a good movie.
  9. by   live4today
    Hello Maikranz,

    I know what you mean when you say "not my sons". I only had three daughters, so quite naturally, I never thought I would have to be worried about my girls getting drafted or serving in the Armed Forces. Then, one day out of nowhere, my oldest daughter ups and joins the Army. Leaving me totally bewildered to put it mildly, and her father of all people put her up to it! Then, the second girl graduates from high school and joins the Navy because she thought the Navy uniforms would "look cute on her". :chuckle She's the child we call "Miss Hollywood". Daughter number three assures me she won't do what her sisters did, and she has kept her word, although she is married to a wonderful man who is in the Air Force.

    During the Saudi Conflict, my oldest daughter and her husband would have been in Saudi at the same time, leaving their only son with me. If it hadn't been for my daughter becoming pregnant with their second child, she would have not only been in Saudi with her husband, but also with her step-father (my husband), my two nephews, and a couple cousins. That was a very close call, and I look at my second grandchild today and thank God he came to be because it spared his mommy from going overseas to Saudi Arabia.

    War is not easy for anyone to contend with. The thought of our country being at war sickens me, but a price must be paid for the freedom we so "freely" share in 24/7. So, although I am very "anti-war", I am very "pro-American freedom". Night all!
    Sweet dreams! :zzzzz :zzzzz :zzzzz
    Last edit by live4today on Mar 4, '02
  10. by   rncountry
    The sky is falling, the sky is falling!
  11. by   NurseDennie
    Well, this isn't the timeliest post I've ever made, but I always have to stick myoar in on threads that are about *opinions* when a *factual* error is made.

    prnnurse said "By your note, it seems you and your family have experienced the positive benefits of a career or tour of duty in the armed forces. A job with "job security"..(don't have to worry 'bout getting fired),.. travel, .. great free medical care, and ... Veterans Hospital ,...and benefits for life, & the educational benefits, etc."

    Points taken in the order given:

    here is indeed *Not* job security in the military, as a career military person can indeed lose his or her job. I think you're probably right that a person on a 2-year or 4-year enlistment probably stands a really excellent chance of keeping the job unless he or she does something horrible or has to have a medical discharge.

    Travel, okay well, that can be good or bad, depending on how it works out. I know someone who spent nine years in a town he completely detested.

    Veterans Hospitals, I guess that also depends on how it works. Some are good, some are hell-holes, some are in between, I'd have to say.

    But the lifetime health benefits.... Here is something that has irritated the heck out of me every since I heard it!!!! That would be a heck of a benefit, wouldn't it? Yes it was promised - I believe beginning with vets of WWII. Too bad it's gone now. The government just decided not to honor that promise.

    I'm disgusted. I think that a society that abandons its military veterans doesn't deserve to thrive and flourish.

    Okay, so here's the part that's my opinion. Freedom is never free. Maybe you don't pay for it, but somebody does. Nobody wants to sacrifice, but somebody is going to have to. During the Roman Empire, Roman matrons used to send their sons/husbands off to battle saying "Return with your shield, or on it." That practice declined. So did the Roman Empire. I read that, but I can't attribute it.

    Love

    Dennie
  12. by   prmenrs
    I feel compelled to point out that the difference between this war and Vietnam is that there was never an overt attack in the calibre of 9-11 for Vietnam. OK, some gunships fired on a couple of destroyers (talk about pi**ing in the wind), but that is hardly a comparison.

    As far as the Philipines, there is a whole cadre of Muslim extremists in the southern islands of that country making life a living He** for those who just happen to live in that region, too. They especially like kidnapping American missionaries. The Philipine government doesn't seem inclined to do anything about rescueing the current hostages except talk.

    This a war against Terrorism, and, if we ever want a peaceful world in which to live, we NEED to win it. Taking out the Taliban won't take care of the entire problem, just the part of it that hit us. That's great, but if we could do more, I think we'd all be better off.

    My son will, in all likelihood, flunk the physical. Not to mention the IQ test. :roll BUT, my nephew could get into the military in a few years. I wouldn't be too happy about it if we were in a war, but my Dad served in 3 wars. My grandfather in 2. My uncle lost his leg in WWII, and his father was an American naval officer who was killed on a Brittish submarine in WWI. My nephew would definitely following family tradition, and I would be VERY proud of him.

    If "someone" has to do it, let that someone have LOTS of support and prayers, and let him or her be "the best" we can make him.

    Sorry about the soapbox.
    Last edit by prmenrs on Apr 1, '02
  13. by   Grace Oz
    I'm the mother of a newly enlisted Naval oficer here in Australia.
    The wife of a retired naval officer ( 20 years service)
    I've been reading all your posts. Please pray for ALL our servicemen / women. Australia has ALWAYS assisted the USA in times of conflict, not always supported by us citizens of Oz either!!... This "war" on terrorism is something we ALL need to fight against. But I wonder if it could be dealt with in a different manner!??...I've always believed that if people walked together long enough & talked together long enough...eventually, they'll come to understand each other!!...Use wisdom... not weapons.

    My darling only son is just 22 years old & he will most likely be sailing to the Gulf later this year. I'm devastated & fear for his safety. Becoming a naval officer is all he ever wanted to do. He completed a double degree at university before joining the Royal Australian Navy on the 24th January this year. While I'm VERY proud of him, I wish he hadn't joined the Navy. Military personnel are nothing more than "cannon fodder" for the government!!... The politicians just sit at home, safe, secure, warm & with family & friends about, while the service person risks life & limb!!...There's not a pollie on the planet who is honourable or trustworthy. The veteran community are treated disgracefully & no-one really cares about them! Have to fight like mad to get any benefits, entitlements, let alone respect!!...Why on earth would anyone want to join the military??!!...We have our boys over there in Afghanistan fighting alongside your troops, just like in Vietnam!!... We have lost one SAS trooper already. A young man whose wife gave birth only two weeks ago!! That baby will NEVER know her Daddy. He NEVER got to see his child. Please remember in your prayers that young man, as well as our service personnel fighting alongside your troops.
    War is fruitless, there are NO 'winners'!... Bush is kidding himself & all of you with his propaganda!!...Ask yourselves this question; "Just HOW did those planes penetrate the supposedly impenetrable security of the USA!"...Think about it! I'll leave it with you to ponder. May ALL the victims of 11th September,2001 RIP. May ALL the living victims, find some peace. Let's ALL work together to create a better world.
    Cheers.
    Grace Oz
  14. by   live4today
    Very well said, Grace oz! I will remember your son, and all the other sons and daughters, in my daily prayers. Living in a world of peace would be far better than going to war every time a national crisis develops, but as we have been seeing on the news, the taliban and other terrorists would rather die than make peace. Their wars have been ongoing since before the birth of Jesus, so why do we think by fighting with them, things will all of a sudden change??? I don't know what is right, I only know that when my husband dons his uniform each morning and walks out the front door of our home to work, I am proud to know that he along with millions of other soldiers are willing to lay down their life -- if need arises -- for the protection of freedom for millions of people, and not just for themselves and their families. May God bless them all!

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