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Thank You Son, by an Army Mom
by Eddy Robey
Over a year ago, I went browsing on a site where my
recipes used to appear on
the web. Since I have done many articles on Kosher
Cuisine for Jewish
Holidays, it seemed a good idea to see how people wrote
about other notable
occasions. I skimmed down the list for the topic heading
Holidays, and looked
at the number of pieces listed for each one. When I
reached Veteran's Day,
the number was zero.
My mind flew back many years, to when my boy told me he
wanted to join the
U.S. Army. I was not happy with his decision, and thought
he should finish
college first, but his heart was set on it. We chose his
with an eye to his future, and started to prepare for the
He had been a golden child: blonde, blue-eyed, and
friendly. When he
graduated from High-School, there were honors for being
the captain of the
debate team, and playing varsity basketball. He had been
offered a full
scholarship, and I asked myself why such a boy would want
to "waste" his
future by going in the service.
His induction date arrived, and off he went to basic
training. At the end of
that time, he came home for a visit. In his pocket was a
brigade coin, for
being first in his group. Then he went to his
specialization training. He
graduated first in his class, as well as being named both
battalion soldier of the month.
Another visit home, then off he went to yet more
training. This time it was
tougher. He learned to sleep in a tree, live off the
land, and jump from an
airplane. My boy earned the Green Beret that marked him
as a member of the
U.S. Army Special Forces. He was nineteen years old.
Off to the Persian Gulf, where he served as part of
Operation Desert Shield.
He has only told me a small part of what happened there.
returned with a partial disability rating, and finally
went to college, where
he did as well as he had everywhere else.
His eyes have a shadow behind them now. Too much death
has passed before his
sight. He still sleeps with no motion whatsoever, as
though he were in a
tree, and jumps wide-awake at the slightest movement
around him. He will not
watch war movies; to him they are not entertaining. He
goes to Jewish War
Veterans' meetings, and has long conversations with those
where he has been.
I do not understand, and never will. I can only love him,
and be proud that
he has served his country well. There is evil in the
world, and my son did
his part to try and end it. For this, I am grateful to
him, and all the other
boys who have given their youth for freedom.
Thank You, Son. To me, every day is Veteran's Day.
This is an excerpt from
Not Just Chicken Soup
© 2001 Eddy Robey
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