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What a week!

Jim_LJJim_L Posts: 189
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Matters of the Heart
Well, my son Chris joined the Army National Guard (infantry) about a month ago and was scheduled to go to 17 weeks of boot in September at Fort Benning in Georgia, possibly come home for a few weeks and then go to Afganistan for a year.

His recruiter came to his workplace last Monday and said his orders were changed and he was leaving next Monday (today) so he spent the week trying to fit in things he thought he had time for. He had started a landscaping project at/for a friend a month ago but it was put off by all the rain we've been having here in NH.

So Tuesday - Thursday I helped him finish that project. 3 pickup truck loads of dirt, building a stairway frameform & fill with cement and some odd stonework - the perfect thing for a bad back! Then he tried to topcoat our driveway which took 3 days due to the odd showers of rain.

He lost the only key to his truck at a friends house (party time) so i've got a locksmith coming over to cut a new key tomorrow.

We were planning on canoeing before he left but then he lost the truck key and I wasn't really up to canoeing anyways after the landscaping stuff but I said ok and we put the canoe on my car and went Saturday.

It was a good thing he was in the front of the canoe as the stream we were on that lead to the pond (the same one my wife and I walked to July 4th that ruined my back some more: http://home.comcast.net/~castle.walls/pond/pondindex.html)
had a beaver dam that he stood on and pulled 'us' across it.

So Sunday we brought him to the Concord ANG station where he then drove down to Boston for the night and is today on his way to Georgia.

I know he'll be alright - once he gets used to his new sleep schedule - but I still have a hole in my heart and his mom is taking it worse than I expected.
part of me is proud and the other part just added to my pain and depression.



  • Thank you!

    Chris called last night and said he was in New Jersey. my wife Tammy answered the phone (good thing Chris DID bring his cell...;>)

    Apparently (as I understand the situation from Tammy telling me) the flight from Boston only had 5 available seats so 'they' (who are they anyway?) told Chris to take another flight from Boston - giving him a new ticket, names & numbers in case anything went wrong. We didn't know there was a stopover, this is the first time Chris had ever been on a plane too...;>)

    Well, something went wrong as his 'new' connecting flight from Boston to Jersey landed 2 hours after the next flight from Jersey to Georgia took off.

    He called the local ANG office and they set him up with a hotel room and a new flight from Jersey to Georgia that was leaving this morning at 6:30.
    I hope he made it!

    He also told us that one of his friends that he's played baseball with the last few years (high school) was there too, so he's got someone to talk to in boot until he gets to know the rest of his unit.

    Well, one of the many reasons he joined was for the adventure and he got it right at the start!

    I don't know who has been taking it worse, his mother or the dog...
  • He will be just fine and in no time at all he will be on leave visiting with you and telling you all about his adventures. He will be a new person and it will be so very exciting for you and will make you swell with pride just thinking about him.

    Be happy for him.

  • I'm sorry that you and your wife and your dog are going through the sadness of having your son leave. It can't be easy. It's wonderful, though, that you got to spend so much time with him. You knew you'd pay for it physically and now not only your body hurts, but your heart, too.

    He's going to serve our country and ensure that we're going to remain free. I'm proud and thank him for his service.

    My heart goes out to you and I'm sending you a gentle hug. Now, go write some music!
  • Dear Jim and Tammy-what a big mixture of physical and emotional "stuff" you guys are dealing with. Jim give Tammy a big hug and be proud of being parents who let their son follow his heart, don't forget to pat the dog. Then go write the amazing music that you are so talented at. Take Care-Hugs n' Loves-Paula
  • Thanks guys, we're very proud though it'd be nice to know if he finally got there! I called the local recruiter yesterday and asked them if they could find out where he's at. Hopefully they'll call today...;>)

    Tammy's not doing too well wondering (as all mom's do I suppose, I'm not a mom so I wouldn't know...;>)
    where her son is. My older brother Roy (Army Sgt. Ret.) said "He has officially starting to see how things are so organized."

    Tammy told me this morning that Chris will be in holding for 2 weeks and doesn't 'officially' start boot until August 7th (so, I don't read 'all' the paperwork...;>) and I told her that'll give them plenty of time to find him...;>)

    She didn't laugh...

    As for music, my co-writer/lyricist Ron came up with another great set of (heart breaking & sad) lyrics that I started to write music for, but that was before my dirt shoveling/landscaping/canoeing adventure with my son...;>)


  • I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you and Tammy. Gosh. And, how proud you must certainly be of your son. I am forever indebted to you for allowing your son to protect my freedoms.

    I can also empathise with Tammy. I'd be heart broken as well.

    I will definitely keep him in my prayers (as I do all military) so he'll be safe and like "C" says - be back before you know it regaling you with his stories.

    Take care Jim!
  • I finally got through to the local head recruiter officer and he was kind enough (and very understanding too!) to call Ft. Benning and confirmed that Chris was there (mommy's feeling much better too!) and he's doing fine.

    I was told he should be assigned to a boot unit/company by Tuesday and hopefully we'll be getting a letter by next Saturday (maybe) letting us know what his mailing address is.

    I hope he calls just to let him talk to the dog for a few minutes!!!
  • Jim & Tammy, Hi and welcome to the new and scary world of being a parent of a child in the service! I'm not sure how the ANG compares to the Navy but I can try to help some with my experience....and I'm the mom so I was like you, Tammy....proud, scared, worried, sad, happy, it's a bag of emotions until boot camp is over and then new feelings begin!

    Well, when our son flew off to boot camp for the Navy he warned us they get one call home to let us know they made it, a box would be sent home with all his personal things, clothes, cell, etc(Let me tell you that was the saddest mail I ever got! I cried all day! But then it was comforting too bacause I was keeping his things safe for him!), then he would write with address but to wait until we hear as they have lots of official business to do beforehand (such as shots, haircuts, more paperwork, getting fitted for uniforms, etc...your brother knows the drill and yes, it is always unorganized...he'll learn that quick enough!LOL) as that was per his instructions from recruiters. WE NEVER got the phone call so I fretted and worried,cried and tried to be brave in front of others. I found out later hundreds of guys came in at once and the phone lines were long since he was older so he let the younger kids call home 1st, then time was up and he didn't get his turn! But the letter finally came as promised about a week later, a form letter with all instructions on what we could ask, say(they asked us to always be upbeat and not encourage homesickness) send, not send....then he wrote in his address in perfect print(never had he been so neat, one thing that they learn fast!LOL)! I wrote and sent stamps immediately! MY son wrote us the best letters weekly! He was allowed time to write on Sundays. I still cherish them! Let me tell you I was waiting for the mail every Thurs. when they would arrive!! Ask your son to write and tell you what he does in a day...it not only will shock you but it's good therapy for him to tell you! Always tell him you miss him but how proud you are of him and the young man he has become, how strong he is and how amazed you are at his strength and he will beam with pride!

    Boot camp is a tough(there is a word I don't say for it ...LOL)experience and he will miss you more than you miss him. He will be happier as it gets closer to boot camp grad as he knows he'll get out of there soon!

    Before you know it he'll grad boot camp and be home for that visit. I would encourage you to go for the grad if you can! That first look of him in his uniform and the smile when he sees you there....priceless! And when you see him....I can't begin to tell you...you already feel it in your heart!

    I'm so glad you took that canoe trip with your son. That day with you, the memory of him getting you over the beaver dam, will be good memories for you and him to have! And all that work to help him get his work done as promised! Wow! That will carry him through along with his mom's love! I know you are paying for it dearly with all the pain today but it was worth it, wasn't it?

    Take care of yourselves, it's ok to wear your heart on your sleeves and cry then walk out the door and stand tall (as we spineys can) and be proud when you are out and tell someone where your son is today!

    My son graduated boot camp at Great Lakes, IL 1/5/07. He went to A/C schools for another 9 months in Pensacola, Fl and now he's stationed at Pearl Harbor. But what he does, where he goes, etc. we don't know because he can't tell us or he'd have to kill is ....well, I always tell him we wouldn't remember anyway!LOL! He loves his job and the time has flown....he will have his 4 years in 11/2010 already and we wonder if he will reinlist? And best of all....he gets leave this month and is coming home to visit us soon!!

    Oh yea, you and your wife need to go to the recruiting office to get a sticker for your cars, pens or something and later shirts that you are a proud dad/mom of ANG son!

    If you have any questions I'm sure your brother can answer them but if you need a place to share I'm here, I know how hard the next few weeks and years will be.

    Thank your son for us! And thanks to you and your wife for supporting him with his service!


    By the way, my son is Navy, my cousin is ANG (in Iraq now) and nephew Marine!
  • Thanks Kathy for your kind words! They do help a lot!
    Give our thanks to your son, cousin & nephew for helping protect our country (and my family)!
  • Hi, just thought I'd check in to see how you and your wife are doing today? I know the past few weeks have probably been different at your house, always thinking of your son, wondering how he is everyday and what he is up to? Did you get any phone calls or letters yet? I sure hope so! If not, just remember how busy they keep the recruits and that once he's out of boot camp it will be different for him and you guys too! Take care of yourselves!Good luck to you and your son!


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