This is a long story, so refresh your cup of cofee and read along.
I first became a Cav(alry) mom 18 years ago when my son enlisted in the Army as a cav scout. Since then, he has served in the continental US as well as Hawaii, Korea, and 3 tours in Iraq. He has always been outstanding in all of his training , been awarded the Bronze Star, and just this month he was promoted to the rank of SFC.
As I was not able to be near him throughout the years, I worked at Ft Carson in a troop store in the Cav barracks area. besides my work, I often baked birthday cakes for the kids (soldiers), made home cooked meals, and was available after work to lend an ear to the guys having problems. More often than not, they called me Mom.
When the war began, I found it so hard to say goodbye to my soldiers. That's when I began handing out cartoon bandaids on which I had written "come home safely"or "you're in my prayers." As I gave these to my boys, I told them that my prayer was that the bandage would be the only first aid they would need. I also gave out lots of mom hugs to those whose parents couldn't be there.
I still hand out bandaids when I meet a deploying soldier.
The funny thing is that every once in a while, I will meet one of those soldiers who remembers me and he will take a worn bandaid out of his wallet and tell me that he has carried it since he first left for Iraq.
Who says that small gestures are quickly forgotten? Not me, that's for sure. Maybe when we meet, I'll tell you about the first wave of soldiers who returned from Iraq and the unforgettable reunion we had.
Cavmom, a/k/a Marianne