Saturday, November 11, 2017

An Honored Memory

I remember lying in the hospital, looking around at the ward full of beds, occupied by only a few and wondering if the Army really thought there were so many pregnant women. I was young and naïve. Two years prior we'd seen 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’ve well been across the globe. There was no instant communications. No pictures sent across cyber-space or I-phones. 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 clean, stark. 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 the sorrowful notes of taps floated 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 the souls that had given so much so that my son would know freedom like none other in the world.

Please take a few moments this holiday weekend and remember the women and men who gave so much of themselves for your way of life, for your children and for you.

Ps: I’d be proud to have you list the branch and division of any family heroes who’ve

served or are serving listed in your comment.

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