Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TDT #6- A Bassoon AND a Rifle?

One of the ways I have always done my countdowns when my  husband is away is by counting trash days.  Most of the time it isn't as daunting a number as the estimated number of days he'll be gone.  And it helps me remember to put the trash out, or rather encourage my boys to put the trash out since it's their job.  So this will be my new weekly post, and I'll just really post whatever, no real set theme.  Please feel free to join me on this adventure of counting down the time until your loved one comes home!
Last week, Michael and I attended an event at the high school where a bunch of colleges sent representatives to talk to students.  It was a bit overwhelming for me to really see that my first born will be leaving the nest and spreading his wings in the near future.   I was so proud of him though, watching him go from table to table and ask questions about the programs he was interested in.

What really made me proud was Michael going to all the different Military recruiters and talking to them about their band programs.  He really wants to play in one of the Military bands.  All of the recruiters were quite impressed with him, with the exception of one and unfortunately it was the one that Michael was most interested in, too bad that recruiter was a huge jerk.  Thankfully the others got him excited and are working on getting Michael auditions set up for the February time frame. Michael recognizes that it is very difficult and competitive to get a slot in the band and has made the decision to start dedicating himself to prepare should he be fortunate enough to get an audition.

All of our boys have expressed the desire to serve in the Military at some point in their lives.  None have said they want to make it a career, they simply want to serve their country like their parents. That makes me so proud.  That being said, it's a scary concept as a mother.  I've sent my husband off to war and that has been difficult know what he experienced.  I still want to protect my child from nightmares, not send him into one.  I know that's being dramatic, but it's how I feel.  At the same time I am proud of Michael for wanting to do what less than 1% of America is willing to do.  And while joining the Military to serve in the band sounds wimpy (trust me, we've heard it all), what a lot of people don't know is that the band deploys a lot and when they deploy they end up pulling a lot of security.  No matter what branch, they are still Soldiers, Marines, Airman, Sailors first!

As we were walking out of the high school and Michael chatted with some of his friends about the tables they visited (btw, still flattered by the girls who told Michael I didn't look old enough to be his mom!), it was fun to hear why everyone was choosing which schools.  And people were very impressed with Michael's desire to serve in the Military and combine it with his passion of music.

We left the high school on a high note.  We came home, talked about our experience, waited for the other kids to get home and then I remembered I had been asked to help with a send off for a unit that was deploying to Afghanistan.  I quickly changed and headed out to our USO.

I knew I would be emotional, goodbyes always do that to me.  What I did not anticipate was being overwhelmed with emotions as it hit me that it could be my son in the next couple years loading those buses.  There was a set of parents there with their young Soldier and the anguish on their face just broke my heart.
When Michael was in JROTC his freshman year, my  heart almost stopped the first time I saw him in his uniform.  I was not prepared to see him look like a Soldier.  I thought after he decided not to continue with JROTC that his desire to serve would go away.  It hasn't.  He is so serious about this, my child who dislikes sports has talked to his Fitness and Conditioning teacher (who happens to be the high school wrestling coach) and asked for his help in getting ready for basic training.  If all works out, Michael would like to go to basic training between his junior and senior year.  That's 8 months away, folks! 

As the bus pulled away, and I could hear the families crying it made my heart ache.  It took me back to when we bid our own farewells to Kevin but then it took me forward into a place that I'm not yet familiar. Will that be my son in a couple years and will I be strong enough to stand there and smile through the tears?

Have your children expressed the desire to serve their country and how do you feel about it?

1 comment:

Jen said...

When I was growing up I wanted to join the military but was talked out of it by my Dad and brothers (both have served/currently serve in the Air Force). So I settled and married a soldier. ;)