Sunday, September 6, 2009
This is a picture of my oldest son Ben. I have two sons, Ben and Brian. They're twins and Ben is only older by a few hours, but because he was born on one side of midnight on July 31, his birthday is different than his brother's, which of course is August 1. They even came into this world differently. Ben was born natural and because Brian was experiencing problems in the womb, he was born C-section.
This picture was taken at the end of last month while we were waiting at the Hoonah airport for a plane to arrive. The plane took him to Juneau where he was going to catch a jet to Anchorage and start a new phase of his life as a member of the United States Army.
Like many parents who have sent their sons and daughters off to the military, I've got concerns and fears. Not a day goes by that we don't read about American casualties in Afghanistan or Iraq. The stories are devestating. Up until now I have felt bad for the families who have lost loved ones or whose loved ones have been maimed in these wars. Now the stories will mean much more to me. It could be my son who is hurt or killed. He wants to get into the special forces, which means if he makes it, the chances are very good that he will be right in the middle of combat. It's not what I would have chosen for him, but we are two different people and he has to do what seems right to him. I know he'll give 100 percent to whatever he's doing and that's what counts. In any event, we're very proud of him.
So, he's off to boot camp now down in Fort Benning, Georgia. While he's gone we'll store the things he didn't want to part with up in our attic and like parents everywhere, we'll pray for his safety and look forward to a phone call.