Had no choice but to go shopping today. Just picked up a couple of things because I still avoid Wal-mart on Sundays as much as possible. It just takes me back....
Anyway I ran into the only other gold star mom in town. Her son-in-law was killed in al Anbar 3 years ago. She asked me how I can be so positive in such a short time. As my last blog stated I have tried to find my smile again. And when I really think about it I have been amazingly blessed in some ways this past year also. As much and I miss my son and hurt that he was taken from me I am that proud of him also. It is that pride in him that drives me. I have told people often that Pokey is my inspiration and that I hope he and those who served with him will inspire them also.
Sgt. Lewis, who knew my son well, told me just a couple days after we lost Micheal that is was easier in theater to loose a man because they had a mission to focus on. It would be some time before I told him that his word saved me from the deepest part of the depression I battled. I kept in touch with a lot of Pokey's brothers in arms. For a while they thought it was a gratitude thing. In some ways it was but in a larger much more important way they and all those who serve became my mission in life. I explained it to my son's brothers like this. My job was to be a mom and take care of Micheal as best I could while he was in Iraq. That meant being supportive, positive and sending the hugs in a box we call care packages. Micheal's job was to take care of the men he served with. when Micheal was killed he couldn't do his job anymore. Nor could I do mine. So I am now doing Micheal's job for him. I try to take care of his brothers and sisters in arms as best I can. It doesn't matter to me if the service member ever knew Micheal... the military is one big family in my eyes. I do as much as I can to help them. Whether it be sharing the positive news of all they do, send care package, talk to them on the phone, or try to get laws passed to protect them. My favorite part of my job is when I get to take care of our Wounded Warriors. These are some of the most inspirational people you will ever meet. Their positive outlook is heart warming. It is also a remind to me every day that if they can fight to over come what ever wound they have I can fight too. And I do look at some of what I do as carrying on my son's fight to rid this world of bullies. God he hated people who picked on the weak and defenseless. No I am not saying our military men and women are weak and defenseless. However they can't always get or bring attention to things I can as a civilian. I have been given an opportunity to be a voice. It is a gift in my eyes and I hope I am using it well.
I love our military. they have seen me through a very hard year and then some. I must give back to them. I must honor Pokey and all those who have fallen. I can't do anything more for my son now but mourn and honor him. I however can make a difference in the lives of those returning home. Especially our wounded.
Hug a soldier today.. tell them thank you. Hug the spouse or parent of a soldier today and thank them also. Those who love those who serve, serve too.