And away He went to war…….young, full of dreams and hope for a eyes shining bright.  He stepped on the bus that would carry him away from us.  We waved until we could see the bus no more and then we waved once if to insure all our love went with him.  We could not imagine our baby boy going off to fight a war in a place we had never even heard of.

Days came and went.  The letters were full of wonderful memories of his childhood and telling me to be sure and cook his favorite foods and think of him.  He wrote about the
endless rain that kept them walking in soggy field of rice ... and the heat that was relentless ... and of the people who were so distrustful because of the Americans.  He also wrote of his pride in our country...of believing in what he was doing.

And once he wrote a letter that ripped my heart into...he wrote, "Mom...there are times when I am in the foxholes and I feel like I am not going to come out.  I don't want you
to worry though, Mom because I believe I am going to come home...deep inside of me.  I am coming home, Mom."

Never before had I thought much about soldiers until my son put on his uniform.  And then I began to pray for them all...and when I would see one my heart would fill with love for them.  I did not know all the horrors they saw or the pain they felt but I knew they were laying down their very lives for the country we live in.  I knew there was no greater love.  Soon the calendar in our kitchen was filled with marks.  We were counting the days ...and then the letters which had been coming stopped.

A couple of weeks after the letters had stopped and my heart was growing so hurt to breathe.  A mother knows.  I gave him life.  He grew inside my body...and I knew. A part of my soul had died.  I knew before the two men knocked on our door that morning.  I did not hear much of their words...all I knew was my baby boy was gone.  And I knew that my world would never be the same.

Many years have come and gone since that day in '69.  But whenever I pass a soldier on the street or see one on TV, I stop and pray..."Dear God...bless that young man...protect him and let him know how grateful we are for what he does.  For what he is doing for this nation...bless His life, dear God.  Please keep him safe and let him return home safe and sound..."

Today I laid a wreath and a flag on my son's grave.  I could hear his words still even after all these years..."Mama, I am coming home."  And he did ... not the way I had prayed but my son is home-in a place where there is no more death or sadness.  And He is home in his mother's heart...with every breath I breathe.  Each time I sing, "Our Country 'tis of Thee...Sweet Land of Liberty," I see my son, I see mothers and fathers who have lost their children...I see wives who lost their husbands...I see children who lost their Dads ...and I see a flag waving in the wind over a land that is free.

And I know the cost of that freedom...God bless our veterans ... each and everyday.  May they always know the price they paid is not forgotten ...and the land they fought to save ... may freedom always ring!

Unknown Author



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