Old Meets New
FOR ALL OF you that have helped me through the last four years, even some, that never met me and my son face to face and the countless other Marines that you gave care packages and Christmas to, of all the shoots that been taken of Justin this one will stay in my heart forever.
When Justin finally got out two weeks ago, I asked the notorious, gracious, patriotic, self sacrificing group of people I have ever met to welcome him home. The PGR riders, known as the Patriot Guard Riders, those men and woman on their bikes, cages that attend funerals of our fallen heroes when asked to, and welcome home the ordinary Corporal that was a hero in the truest sense of the word. I am putting together a video, that thanks all of you of my journey of the last four years. But it has not ended for me completely because every night, mothers cry themselves to sleep over a deployed son or daughter, every father, has that tight feeling in his gut over his son or daughter that is deployed, I consider them all my sons, and I will continue to do Christmas and send care packages until the last one is out of danger.
You have not been forgotten, I have saved every email, gesture from all of you and I have had a lot going on and with Justin home he does have many medical issues and getting on his feet. And being a mother of 8 one of them always has an issue. I have told them two of you have to share a day as there are only 7 days in a week and 8 of you!
SO about this photo. My son that is a doctor, Justin's oldest brother, lives across the street from a retired army gal. Her husband is a Marine, retired, and her son is a 20 year Marine just retiring. When they heard the patriot guard was coming through the block where we were going to have his party, they lined their lawns with flags and people we never met came over with hand made signs with their kids. Patty and Bud Marine hubby and Army wife, went next door to get their neighbor.
So here you have the youngest Iraqi war veteran, hand to hand with a WWII veteran that served in Europe, shouting out 1941-1945 "until we had all those %!$!@ under control" 94 years old and my son, 21. If ever, ever I was proud of my son, it was in this moment standing next to my son.
Men that went to war and their parents and families didn't know where they were for months at a time or even what country they were in. There was no moto mail, there was no priority shipping in ten days with canned food, letters that took months to arrive, often letters were received and loved ones were deceased. There were no laptops or webcams, no body protecting armor just helmets, there were no microwaves or video cameras in packages, no Christmas trees, no Thanksgiving dinners - just fox holes and guts. It is only now, that Justin appreciates and understands what these men have gone through. You know what makes my son my hero? He doesn't think of himself as one. He had a job to do and he served his country and they owe him nothing and that is his attitude in a nutshell.
God bless you all
Pray for our troops
Proud Marine Mom of LCpl Justin Carman
3rd BN 2nd Mar Div
Kilo Company 2nd Platoon
Once a Marine Always a Marine
Once a Marine Mom, Always a Marine Mom