I remember lying in the hospital, looking around at the ward full of beds, filled only by a few and wondering if the Army really thought there were so many pregnant women. I was young and naïve. Two years prior we saw the end of the Vietnam War.
My husband was on assignment. I was a thousand miles away from home and family. Not a long distance now days, but in the seventies I might as well have been across the globe. There was no instant communications. No pictures sent across cyber-space to I phone or I pads. No I love you, miss you, take care messages coming back at me. I had just had my first child, a boy, and I felt so alone.
The walls were not decorated with funny characters, but were stark army green. There were no televisions in the ward. No radios. My meals were not served to me in bed, but rather placed on a long table in the center of the room where my trio of fellow new-mothers gathered to eat whatever everyone else was served in the mess hall that day. Strangely, I felt comfortable. I was an ARMY BRAT. My son was now an ARMY BRAT—born into the 101st Airborne.
With nothing but time to heal, I scanned at the empty beds and wondered how many men had been treated here? My pain was nothing compared to what they must felt. Some had died in this very room. In that defining moment, I grew. A sense of pride like I’d never felt before welled through me as taps played across the base. I still get choke-up every time I hear the woeful tune.
The nurse handed me my baby. I stared at his innocence while his tiny fingers curled around mine, and I thanked all who had given so much so that my son would know a freedom like no other in the world.
Please take a few moments today, this holiday weekend and thank the women and men who gave so much of themselves for your freedom.
Ps: I’d be proud to have you list the branch and division of any family heros who’ve served or are serving listed in your post.