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Remember War Mothers Today. If you know of someone whose son or daughter is serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, give them a call today. Or perhaps take them to lunch or dinner or jot off an email or send a note.  

These  War mothers are living with anxiety and fear and the Gold Star mothers are living with grief and broken hearts.

Far too many people in this country forget about the War Mothers of this country and particularly those Gold Star Mothers who will not see their children today or any day.

While a segment ignores this war and these troops and their families; we can remember and honor these Mothers today.

As I describe the impact of this war on our family due to my nephew being in Iraq, I continually am thankful he has thus far escaped injury or worse.
But that anxiety and that lump in the throat are with my sister in law and with me each and every day and hour that he has been in what we call the Hell Hole.

My wonderful husband took myself and his sister out to dinner because her son, our nephew is serving in Iraq. We feel fortunate because our son is merely working 2 jobs to make ends meet and to eventually afford to attend graduate school. My nephew is serving in Iraq.

When he was deployed to Iraq, we all remained strong and calm for him.  But in all honesty, we feared for him and we still do. Anytime we hear of a roadside bomb killing soldiers or the death of a soldier; we hold our breath until we get that next email that tells us he is OK. But it is always a temporary reprieve until the next incident which is never far behind. Then the anxiety and worry begins all over again. We are on a perpetual merry go round and we just want this awful nightmare ride to end.

Then on top of our worry for his safety, we discover his deployment has been extended as it is has been for all the troops. So now instead of expecting him back in America for Labor Day, we hope that he returns without injury before Christmas. This caused all of us  and him to suffer through disappointment and frustration and depression. He even feels guilty that he is not there for his 18 month old child and that he is missing all these important firsts she is having. He has not seen her since she was 6 months old.  As it was not just Iraq keeping him from seeing her, it was pre training on the other side of the country.

The Chaplain and his Doctor there have diagnosed him with PTSD and we are pleased that the psychologist and chaplain and the counseling he is receiving seem to help him a great deal. But being in the midst of this, and moving around, he loses that support system and counseling. And with the surge, those troops are moving in convoys all the time and that is dangerous all the time. There is no place in that country that is safe and without peril.

He now has found himself to be a single parent of a very small child. His wife informs him by email while he is in Iraq that she is leaving him. I know I am old fashioned in this regard but I was raised that sending Dear John letters to someone in a War Zone is one of the most cowardly and selfish acts and just taboo in military circles and society. My late father told me stories of the Marines in Korea receiving these horrid letters and discovering their girlfriends or wives had dumped them. ( why people cannot wait until someone is actually in the USA before filing for divorce or ending a relationship is beyond me ).
What makes this deplorable is the person being dumped cannot even respond in person or by phone and concentrate on the subject of the separation and all those relationship issues and problems . Hell they are too busy trying to stay alive and to keep their fellow soldiers and Marines alive. But these Dear John letters are as old as War itself, sadly but still as brutal and hurtful.

Our story is mild and trivial compared to the many stories our War mothers in this country can relate.
But Bush's War has caused so much grief and heartache for so many and even though our nephew is safe today, our anxiety and frustration does not abate. And the fact, he may have to return in a year or two means this cycle continues. I cannot imagine the anxiety and fear of Mothers whose children are now on their 3rd to 4th tour.

Originally posted to wishingwell on Sun May 13, 2007 at 01:38 PM PDT.

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