My Daughter In Combat Boots
The air was cool, but a warm feeling of pride engulfed the group of family and friends that had gathered to watch their special soldier march past in their smartly tailored uniforms.
It was finally graduation day for the seven hundred sons and daughters who had made it
through the grueling nine weeks of boot camp at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
Tears brimmed my eyes, as the Military Band began playing. "It's a grand ole' Flag" and
the lump in my throat was as large as a fist. This rather surprised me. It had been a long time since I'd felt this pride for America. The music faded as my thoughts returned to three months earlier,when my twenty-two year old daughter had informed me she was going to join the Army Reserves.
"How could she do this to me?" I thought privately. "She knows how I feel about war."
I was a Baby-Boomer, and had lived through Viet Nam. It had left an indelible scar on my heart and I'd become bitter toward our Government - almost to the point of being ashamed of America and for what she stood.
I told Tammy I would support her in her decision, and I meant it. Still, though, way down
deep inside I prayed that she would change her mind at the last minute. She didn't - and before I knew it ... she was off to boot camp.
The letters she wrote home, were filled with her many accomplishments and I could feel the pride growing within her. The picture she sent of herself in her dress uniform made me cry. She stood so straight, and looked so proud. I began to think my feelings I had harbored for so long, were wrong. No one likes war ... but freedom has been the best reason since the beginning of time for preparedness.
Where would we be today if it weren't for these young men and women who are willing to go through this rigorous training and risk their very lives, if need be, to keep our Country free?
The familiar strains of "THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER" snapped me back to the
present and the ceremony. It was over - Tammy was a soldier.
I had always thanked God for the blessing of mother-hood, because my two daughters had taught me many valuable lessons throughout their growing-up years. I often felt I was the one learning the most and, here, once again I was on the receiving end. The lesson learned this time was: Freedom IS worth fighting for, and we must be prepared to defend it, whenever it is threatened.
I stood tall as the new soldiers marched off the field to the tune of the "ARMY SONG".
Laughing silently to myself, I recalled the first letter I had received from Tam. She had signed it, Your daughter in combat boots. I smiled a secret smile. Yes, indeed, she was my daughter in combat boots ... and I was so very very proud.
This article will be included in my new book EVERY STEP OF THE WAY to be published in 2013 by JEBAIRE PUBLISHING.
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