In Sullivan Illinois, the residents have found a great way to honor their military residents serving in the US Armed Forces. When many were deployed to Afghanistan in 2004, the soldier’s names were nailed to lampposts. As more and more young people volunteered in Sullivan, population 4,400, the parents decided to keep up the tradition.
More than a hundred town residents have served abroad and dozens more will still deploy to either Iraq or Afghanistan. Some names have hung more than once while spouses and siblings are displayed two to a post.
This is the town’s small, informal way of showing its respect to those members of the community who for the most part joined the military out of patriotism.
In Sullivan, the effort to support military personnel and their families includes churches, care package packing parties and coffee klatches. The wonderful thing here is the residents have taken their support an additional step by putting up the signs and honoring their military even further.
As we military family members know, support is imperative during deployment. It is hard for non-military people to understand the fear and helplessness when a loved one deploys for a war zone. The signs are a great way of reminding people on a daily basis that someone’s family member is in harm’s way and protecting each and every one of us.
Since my son will soon be deployed my need for support and understanding grows with each passing day. I think doing something like this in my hometown would be a great comfort to me. Maybe since this story is out other towns might want to do something like this too.
Some might worry about putting a loved one’s name on a sign in public. Let’s face it there are a few crazies out there. I suggest family members or the actual service member have the option of just using their first name. The whole world does not necessarily have to know the service member’s whole name and this might bring a little piece of mind to people who may be skeptical.
So I say spread the word and maybe this could grab some momentum and before we know it many towns and cities could be demonstrating yet one more way to say thank you to our brave military.
DESPERATELY!!! I want spring to come … winter to be over … because I want summer to come and my son to come home. BUT I’m also afraid for spring to come … that’s when the enemy comes over the mountains to renew their fight oppressing the poor of their own country and attacking their defenders – our sons and daughters. The cowardly worms hide among civilians so that when they get hit, civilians get hurt, too. Spring is when the fighting kicks up a notch … and I’m afraid. I just want to jump OVER spring and go straight to summer … maybe go into hibernation like a bear … and wake up when it’s all over … in time to clean, cook and get ready to greet my son and his unit coming back from the other side of the ocean. But hibernating, hiding, sticking my head in the sand … that isn’t my style … I don’t do things that way … I don’t choose to go through life in an unconscious state (unless it’s surgery)… I charge out to meet it head on!!!
I attack everything with research … know my enemy … know my mission. For instance … Mission Pregnancy Max (he was baby #4) … I didn’t assume I knew it all … medicine changes it’s mind constantly … so-o-o all through my pregnancy with Max, I researched … decided on a different natural childbirth method (did Lamaze with #2 and #3) – decided on Bradley for Max’s birth – went to Bradley classes – ate healthy – did my pregnancy exercises – read and researched my all the way through this 4th pregnancy of mine … I wanted the best for Max – just like I wanted the best for each ONE of my four children. Max has always sung his own version of “My Way” (even before he was born). Max decided he preferred to be born feet first… airborne – all the way – jumping out feet first. Even then – no state of unconsciousness for me – I still wanted to BE there for Max’s birth and be AWAKE – didn’t want to miss anything – thanks to an epidural, I was. So-o-o-o, how can I do deployment any other way? read, research, stay informed, and sometimes find out way too much … more than I needed to know … I just want this to be OVER! I want Max to be safe and come home – I want them all to be safe and come home. NOW!
I’ve warned my husband … deployment is bringing out a new side of me … a new me … a violent me??? maybe deploy the mamas and the papas with our sons and daughters … we’re plenty angry! I realize this resembles a tantrum … at 59 I’ve reverted to the behavior of a two year old. What is this???? someone please tell me !?!?
One Army Mama Bear
Gets reported here! we didn’t make the party – which is a good thing, from the pictures I’ve seen!
The actual panel I was on discussed the importance of remembering that the military blog community is NOT just the uniform members, reporting on conditions downrange, or talking about the conditions they are in. The community is held together by the “others”, the parents, the spouses, the volunteers. I won’t be reporting on the other panels, as those are being reported on by the uniform milbloggers – or by other bloggers who could take notes. I find it amusing that most of the uniform bloggers that I have read so far – didn’t report on our panel! But from where I was sitting, on the other panels, there is some debate about our “relevance” (if we have to ask whether we are relevant, I’d say we probably aren’t), some debate about how milblogs should be “used” or whether we need some sort of training.
Secretary Geren was on the phone for a while, on a different panel. I met with his assistant, who told me that one of the authors you have been enjoying here – Some Soldier’s Mom – has been on his Roundtables and informing the Secretary of Army (in her own inimitable and no nonsense fashion) that Parents aren’t being heard, and that single soldiers need more from the Army when they are offduty. The assistant told me that SecArmy is very happy to hear from SSM and she was very kind in allowing me to get put on the list for Roundtables as well. This is where I may be able to bring up what YOU – The Parents and Siblings, Aunts and Uncles, grandparents and friends – want him to hear.
At the Milbloggie awards – SOME SOLDIER’S MOM won the Milbloggie for Parent’s sites. CONGRATULATIONS! As soon as she gets a chance, I’m hoping to get some more posts from her.
We’ll be putting up the survey results soon. I’m still trying to get some rather well known names to answer the survey – if you can think of someone that is in the public eye we should send the survey to, let us know.
As parents, we’re proud of our kids (most of the time). We gave birth to them, we diapered them, put up with toddler tantrums, held their hands when they crossed the street, and we guided them through school and sometimes painful life experiences. We taught our kids values, the benefits of hard work and the repercussions of bad decisions when we grounded them, took away that allowance, or gave them those extra chores. We used them as “slave labor” (their terminology). Our kids mowed the yard, did the dishes, and took out the trash while we oversaw the work and paid the allowance. We made our daughters wear that “old fashioned skirt that no one else wears, Mom!” and refused to buy our sons those baggy jeans “that everyone else has.” We made them eat their vegetables instead of the burgers, fries, and shakes that everyone else’s parents let them eat and made them go to bed positively hours before anyone else. We “owned” our kid and we were proud to say, “This is my kid.”
We may still be proud of our kids, especially now that they’re taking on life as an adult and have made adult decisions, like joining the military. But as parents we need to realize that someone else now controls your kid’s life. Yes, Moms and Dads, Uncle Sam has taken over that job! Uncle Sam, in the guise of that miserable drill sergeant, drill instructor, or training instructor has taken over your job to get your kid out of bed at the crack of dawn (only this time it really is at the crack of dawn). Uncle Sam now makes your kid clean that room, eat that food, march here, march there, dress in that not-exactly-trendy-outfit, move this, learn that, scrub this, paint that. . .you get the picture.
Yes parents, your kid, the apple of your eye, your pride and joy, no longer “belongs” to you. Your kid belongs to Uncle Sam. While that young man or woman is in the military, they are soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The rules that the services set out, apply to them all the time. For instance – motorcycle safety gear. If your kid rides a motorcycle, she must wear personal protective gear, like helmets, goggles, reflective garments, gloves and sturdy footwear. It doesn’t matter if you live in a “helmet-free” state; your kid must wear the protective gear or she’s violated regulations. A young Marine we heard about didn’t bother putting on the helmet when moving a motorcycle just a couple of yards… and the hospital stay was enlivened by irate Gunny Sergeants, Lieutenants and Commanders visits and phone calls tearing another strip off him, to the consternation of his mother. Said young Marine explained it to her – and she was quite happy that these visits were impressing on him the need for safety!
The same rules apply for wearing seatbelts. Your kid must wear them, whether he’s required to do so by state laws or not. Not only must your kid wear his seatbelt, but if he’s driving he must require everyone else in the car to wear them too. Uncle Sam can (and does) require your kid to maintain a certain level of fitness, and can (and does) require your kid to have certain immunizations. Your kid may be prohibited from participating in certain hazardous sports (like paragliding or bungee jumping) without first getting approval and a briefing. You see, Uncle Sam wants his “assets” to be fit and ready to do the job they signed up to do. GI – does stand for Government Issue!
Even though you’ve given your kid to Uncle Sam for the duration of that enlistment, you can still be proud of that child. After all, you raised him to be the kind of man who could stand up, raise their hand, and say “take me, I can do it.” You raised her to be proud to serve our great country. Uncle Sam, and his terrifying drill sergeants, drill instructors, or training instructors, has taken your kid and forged the child you raised into the honorable warrior that emerged at the end of those endless weeks of training. That young warrior, who may have lost weight but has gained muscle and confidence, is still your kid. But that young warrior also belongs to Uncle Sam. He has emerged standing straighter, smiling proudly, and ready to serve. You can still be proud of that kid, and you should be proud of yourself. You’ve done well!
From LAW: One of our guest authors – a Marine Wife and Mom “Semper Fi Wife” has posted a loving and moving Birthday Card to her son in the Sand on Spouse Buzz . Click here