Introducing my son who serves in the US Navy
My son is the most courageous young man I know. He has selflessly dedicated his life to serving in the United States Navy, and if you live here, he serves you too, by protecting our freedom. As a mom, it's difficult to explain what we go through in crossing that dreadful threshold of letting go. Unlike so many of us who change our mind about what we want to do when we grow up, my son started at about age 4, saying what he was going to do, and never deviated. My father served in the Air Force, and my grandfathers were Marines, and together with other family and friends served in WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, and Afghanistan.
I have read hand written journals and listened to first hand experiences about what it was like when they "stormed" the beaches of Normandy, and the days and nights that ensued. I read the detailed account of how his heart was beating so hard, he thought it would stop, about how when they got off the boats, with every step, they sunk helplessly to their knees and couldn't seem to move fast enough to dodge bullets, because while they were trying to make it to shore and safety, they were being shot at from the ridge directly in front of them. I recall in great detail how Annelise von Braun, a dear friend and one of the most elegant women I have ever met, escaped from Germany, and the unspeakable experience of having her family killed in front of her, and being left for dead. Then as a young teen playing-dead until she could escape by night, and then somehow traversed by foot, in the dark, across Germany to boats that were leaving the country. Annelise and another young lady she met along the way, snuck onto a ship and hid in dingys, moving from one to the other when they were checked nightly, and finally how they were caught, how she feared she was going to be raped again and killed, but instead was hidden and kept safe by the ships captain who saw them safely to the United States. I also recall in detail the story she told me of how her husband's brother was killed on the battle field in front of him. Two young brothers who in the chaos of war in Europe, were separated, believing the other was dead, and were forced to enlist in separate countries; and how by chance they met on the battle field, recognizing each other moments before one brother was shot by someone else, believing he was the "enemy". I've listened to first hand accounts of what it was like for survivors of the German concentration camps, and I've walked the ghostly gas chambers at Dachau in Germany with the grandson of a survivor, and listened while he shared his grandparent's experience. (The politicians who are too young or too dumb to recognize that the German concentration camps in no way whatsoever compare to the camps where illegals are being vetted, should never speak again, because to make that comparison is pure ignorance.)
I am from a more conservative era when the Pledge of Allegiance was said every morning before school began, and the words "Under God" still existed, grace was said before meals, honoring your parents was a golden rule, and honoring God and country were still considered good things. When I saw those young football players, and soccer players take a knee and hold their head down, my feeling was they were ignorant, lacked respect, honor and in my humble opinion should not represent the United States in anything, not even a team privately owned in the United States; they should not get the privilege to play. To me, it would seem that if they can't appreciate the fact that the privileges they receive to play these notable games, are at the mercy of the protections granted to them by this country, and the men and women who serve, and make it possible, and have given their life for freedom, then take them off, get rid of them, there are so many good athletes, who would happily take their place, stand and put their right hand over their heart while the Pledge of Allegiance is said or the anthem plays.
The Founding Fathers of this great country held that all things were under God, and before beginning to write the documents such as the US Constitution, they gathered and prayed. I taught my son all things are under God, and things like integrity, honor and respect for God, Country, Parents, family, and friends is something only he can uphold.
Given everything I struggled with my son dedicating his life to our country because I'm just a mom before all else, and my son is my always going to be my baby. So as I crossed the dreaded threshold of letting go, I dug my heels in. I pray and ask for prayers, above all for his safety and protection.
It was difficult for my son to tell me he was going into the service, because he knew it would be hard on me, and tried to soften things by inviting his enlisted friend's mother over, so I had someone to talk to who had already walked these steps, and could reassure me he would be fine. One of the mom's I met recently told me what she did when her son told her he was joining the service; she hid her son's ID and social security card, so he couldn't leave, at least not right away. I wished I had thought of it, but also knew that there was nothing I could ever say or do that was going to change my son's mind.
This information is here because I wanted to share a little bit about our family, and if you're a mom who just needs to connect with someone feel free to reach out anytime. I am so proud of my beautiful young man, my baby. He is merely one of so many nameless, unknown men and women who serve our great country. They all have stories, most of us will never know, like the first hand glimpses of personal experiences by others shared above. For years I protected my son, and now I am among those he now trains to protect in a very unique way. There are so many young men and women, and their families, who could use support. Take time to say hello, thank them for their service and give more if it's possible; they are the people who maintain the foundation of our freedom and our privileges.
You may never meet my son, or know his story, but he is someone everyone should know. He is a young man who sees the service of others before himself as the only way of life. A young man who believes in God, holds the highest level of integrity, and honor; he understands the value of hard work, and giving, he is also kind, loving and respectful, and surrounded by family and friends who love and appreciate him. He loves being outdoors, hiking, biking, surfing, body boarding, and someone who successfully completed the Iron Man. There are several photos of him doing different things in our gallery. I've always said and believed, I must have done something right in my life to have been blessed with his beautiful life, as my son.
I ask you to take time every now and then to do something nice for a veteran, service woman or man. If you believe in God, say a prayer for their protection and safety. Say a prayer for peace. Below are some links to different organizations that support our military in different ways. We're not related to them in anyway, their links are here only for convenience and ease of reference. There is also an organization called Charity Watch (http://charitywatch.org), that has a wealth of information, and investigates, and rates other charities.
If you are a service man or woman, or veteran, please let me know before you complete your reservation so that we can extend a special discount for you. It's our way of saying thank you for your service.
The image above is my son, and because of men and women like him, I get to have this business, and enjoy the freedoms associated with it. I am dedicating this page to my baby, and to thank all of you who serve now or have served, and let you know I'm one mom who really appreciates everything you do. I love you baby, Mom.