Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Spiders Sir!

I haven't blogged since Memorial Day or something like that. It's been bothering me so I am finally back. I promise I am not turning this into a Military Blog. :)I guess the reason I haven't bothered to post is that I really didn't have much to say that wasn't depressing. I wasn't feeling very funny. Knowing that Austin was off at boot camp was really hard for me. It might sound silly to some of you that have never done it, it isn't the same as sending them off to college or getting a first apartment. It isn't simply the physical separation of being in another time zone that got to me. It wasn't thinking of the physical and mental challenges that he would have to endure or the yelling and screaming of Drill Instructors while spit flies and being IT'd (Intense Training) to the point of nearly collapsing because somebody in his platoon screwed up. I know my son better than anybody on this earth and I knew he could handle all that. Although I missed him terribly and getting a letter from him was like Christmas morning, it wasn't missing him that bothered me either.

I was having a really hard time thinking of him being sent to war. I know that he will be deployed, it's just a matter of when and where he will go. I was terrified. I cannot honestly say that I am not still afraid but it is getting easier. I am so proud of him and his willingness to make a commitment to something greater than self. I am proud of him to have the courage to actually do something about his desire to make a difference. This whole thing has caused me a lot of stress, as some of you know enough to make my hair fall out, I want to laugh about it but it hasn't stopped yet. I am totally going to get one of those Dolly Parton wigs though if needed! But anyway I did some research and found out that the total number of fatal casualties from this war is something like 4,334. That's a lot. That scares me. But to put it in perspective the death toll on US Highways in recent years has been well over 30,000 on average. That's per year.

My oldest stepson has been to Iraq and came back in one piece so I know it's not a death sentence. It's just hard, but maybe I should be more worried that Levi is getting ready to get his learners permit to drive. Eeek.

To end this on a silly note...well first I have to say Support our Troops, google it and there are tons of ways to help them even if you are anti war, nobody hates war more than the men an women who are there fighting it, they still need help from the home front. Thank a Veteran too, most of them still see terrible things when they close their eyes at night and they need to know that what they have been through was not "for nothing".

OK, on with the silliness. Austin told me in a letter about swim week. They have to swim with full gear and heavy packs, helmets and boots etc... and they have to jump into the water simulating jumping out of a helicopter and other scary stuff. Some of the Recruits cannot swim or are not strong swimmers. The DIs are there to make sure nobody drowns but lets just say it ain't summer camp. So one day they are all getting screamed at beside the pool and one of the Recruits is looking nervous. The DI picks up on this of course and goes over to ask him what he is afraid of and he says he is afraid of drowning. The DI tells him he is safe and he will not let him drown. The Recruit does not look any more confident so the DI gets mad, "What else are you afraid of?" The Recruit responds "Spiders, Sir!". They all had to bite their lips on that one.

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