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New here. Both Sons Enlisted.

Posted by on Jul. 7, 2012 at 7:46 AM
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 I guess I should start with a brief introduction.  My name is Becky. I've been married to my wonderful husband for 22 years and we have two sons Dave, age 20 and Chris, age 17.  I've been a stay at home Mom since Chris was 3 years old, but I've been working 2 days a week at a local grocery store for the past 3 years just for something to do.  My husband travels a great deal for his job and is often on the road as much as 200+ days a year (he sells Fire Trucks) so it's ofen been just the boys and me.

David has enlisted in the Army (Infantry) and leaves for Fort Benning on September 4th of this year. His enlistement is for 3 years 17 months, but he's already told me he plans to try and stay in the full 20.  He wants to serve his country, see the world, and experience everything he can .... jumping out of airplanes, scaling walls,  shooting giant guns .... his theory is if he's going to do it, he's going to do it all the way.

Christopher has recently taken advantage of the Army 14 Month Future Soldier Program and enlisted to become an Apache Crew Chief.  Once he finishes his Senior year in the Spring, he will leave July 2nd for Basic at Fort Jackson South Carolina for 9 weeks, followed by 14 weeks at Fort Eustice, Virgina training on Apaches.  He's already been accepted to Embry University to study Aeronautics so after he serves 2 years as a Crew Chief, he will attend Embry for 4 years, and then serve another 2 years training to be an Apache Pilot.  His enlistment is for 8 years, but he wants to make a career in the Army and then fly for Life Flight when he retires from the Military.  What can I say? The kid has always been amazing at setting goals.

I'm struggling.  First and formost I'm so very proud of their choices, but inside, I'm struggling with the sadness of knowing they're leaving. I keep a smiling, sunny disposition when the boys are around, but when I'm alone I am overwhelmed with terrible crying jags and lately I've been waking up with obvious signs that I've even been crying through the night while I sleep.  As long as I keep busy I can keep things under control (my house has NEVER been cleaner) but when it's quiet and I have too much time to think, the tears come and I can't stop them.

I'm thinking of pursuing counseling now to start working towards coping with their leaving.  Has anyone else done this? And if so, did it help?  Are there any other suggestions any of you can make as far as books to read, support groups, or anything else that might help? 

I'm not from a Military background so this is all new to me. Any other advice besides just how to handle the emotional aspect of this would be greatly appreciated. Anything you other Military Moms wish someone had told you when your kids were enlisting?

by on Jul. 7, 2012 at 7:46 AM
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by on Jul. 7, 2012 at 10:27 AM
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((( hugs)))

It does get easier.  We're a Navy family (I'm a Navy vet and my husband is Active Duty Navy), and our son is also in the Navy now.

It's hard when they leave, because that's your child (even though they're adult now), so it's hard.  But something that helped  me when our son left for the Navy this past fall, and getting ready for our daughter to go off to college this summer, is to remind myself that this is the normal, natural progression in life - they are adults now, and, just like when we were adults and wanted and deserved the right to make choices and determine our own life path, they, too, deserve that. 

And, what a testiment to the way you have raised your sons, to know that both of them are ready and willing to take their place in the adult world, stepping up to be responsible, contributing members of society :-)

(after all, wouldn't you hate it if, instead, they were like that guy in "Failure to Launch"... ;-)  )

by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

I too am new to this military stuff. My son, Dusty - 25 this coming Sunday, just finished Army Basic Training at Ft. Sill, OK...he is still there doing his AIT. He just found out Friday that after AIT he will be going to So. Korea. Waiting to hear if his wife and 2 girls are going with him.

I'm a mother of 5 grown kids...4 of which are married and have children of their own. My youngest is still at home and my oldest lives in the same town as us. My other two childen live in Indianapolis and North Carolina. The empty nest is starting to set in with 2 now being so far this will also include grandchildren.

I'm concerned for Dusty, but yet so proud of him and the choice he made to serve our country. This is something he has always wanted to do, and we are blessed that his wife is just as excited.

Right now I think I'm still in a little shock from the news that Dusty will be going to So. Korea. But when I really stop to think about it, I'm really thankful he's not going into a war zone. I am already starting to figure out ways to keep in touch. One way will be Skype...we are in process of getting a web-cam so we will be ready. We are looking into getting those Hallmark books that let you record your voice reading the story, for our granddaughters. Thinking of all the ways I can keep close contact is what is keeping me from going crazy right now.

Do I have my teary moments...oh yes!!! Infact, this morning while getting ready for work I was ready to just fall on the floor and sob. And you know what...that is perfectly ok!! We are moms...and those types of things are going to happen.

I got on here to find moms in similar circumstances and I think that will help alot. This might help you also. I would be glad to keep in touch with you and will keep you in my prayers.

by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Ft.Eustis VA is a nice base for one! The base commander is a excilent man unless its changed since 2009. I did grow up there from age 2-19. I'm not a military mom but I'm a military spouse (soon to be ex military spouce). When my husband went on 6month deployments I did do couseling and it helped. I was put on anti-depresents twice. I know when my husband went away for months at at time I tried to find work and I visited family so I stayed busy. Send letters often while there in basic even packages if your allowed. 

by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 6:23 PM

I'm a new military mom, too. My 19 year old did the 14 month recruitment too, entering his junior year in high school and just left for Fort Benning on June 25. It's HARD......he too wants to be a lifer. It's definitely an adjustment to know if he gets what he hopes for, he will never come home again for good. :(

I totally get the crying jags - but they are good therapy for sure. If you feel that counseling would help, I say go for it! There are people trained to help you deal with grief and although, they are just leaving home, it's still a loss.

I echo what another said about how well you must have raised your boys - you have alot to be proud of. Focus on that for sure!!

Looking forward to following your story - it's a great one.

by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Welcome to the group.  My oldest son is 17 and graduated a few weeks ago.  He is in the DEP for the Air Force.  I'm not really having problems with him joining the AF.  I'm just proud that he has decided to do something productive.  Good luck to your sons.

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