It is so hard to say good bye. I watched as a ten month old baby kept reaching out his arms to be held by his soldier father. As that father gave his child back to his wife, the little one raised his arms and reached out for his father again and again. That soldier closed his eyes and just hugged his small son.
On a long narrow table there were rows and rows of white pillow cases graced with a close up picture of each soldier with the stars and stripes behind them. The Family Support Group had the pillow cases made for the families. I overheard a very young looking soldier ask if his pillow case could be shipped to his parents’ home because they were unable to come to the send off. I asked him, “Do you have any family here today?” He replied that no one was able to come. I asked if I could give him a hug. He said yes. As I hugged him I said, “This hug is from your Mom.”
Today, I was invited to attend the send off of 180 soldiers from the 1192nd Engineer Co. This is my son’s old unit. (My son is not being deployed.) I watched as anxious family members filed in to honor their citizen soldiers and pray for their safe return. While a field of flags waved in the audience, General Wayt told the soldiers to turn around and face their families. The General told the families, “These are your heroes.” He told the audience how Time magazine called them “Persons” of the year. The General asked for a round of applause for what these men and woman were getting ready to do. He thanked the families for their unwavering support and the burden they would bear. Thank you to all of our soldiers and their families.
The motto of the 1192nd is Commence A Finir–from start to finish. We will continue to hold our heroes in prayer–from start to finish– for the year they will be gone. Some heroes were capes, our heroes wear combat boots.