away He went to war…….young, full of dreams
and hope for a future...blue 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 more...as 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 heavy...it
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!