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?