As parents, we all worry about our children. Worry is something that starts long before our children are born. Then we realize the worry will never end. As parents of military members, we share another fear. Fear, we dread hearing the words, “Mom, Dad. I will be deploying on….” Those words pull on our heart even more because we know they will intentionally be in harm’s way.
What we try not to fear is when they are stateside on a base or post. The murderer of 12 soldiers and 1 police officer on Fort Hood came as such a shock. Were they not supposed to be safe?
When my son deployed this fall on a naval ship I knew in my mind that all would probably be well. However, to be honest watching that ship sink smaller into the horizon left me with a pit in my stomach. I wanted to jump in the ocean and bring him back. I think about him every night before I go to sleep. I wonder where he is. I wonder if he will be safe while in port. No, I am sure I do not have the same fear as a mother of a service member in Afghanistan or Iraq, but fear is still fear.
When my son came home from boot camp, he told me that he is not allowed to travel in uniform. Why? Beause he is a target. A target? My Son?
Last week we found out just how much of a target our children are. It is shameful, but real. It is why I lay awake at night.