Friday, May 27, 2011

He Wants to Be an American Soldier


Three things make me cry immediately:

Marching bands.


Members of the military bearing the US Flag.

Each of these things alone bring tears to my eyes almost immediately.  Put them all together, and I'm powerless from curling up into a ball and sobbing, anytime, any place.  

So, I guess you could say that this weekend is the start of crying season for me.  Between now and the 4th of July, I'll probably cry more than the rest of the year combined.

It's already happened, you know.

During my son's preschool graduation, the teacher announced what each child wants to be when he or she grows up.  As Guy "accepted his diploma" his teacher said, "When Guy grows up, he wants to be an American soldier."  

I was sort of surprised by his answer (although I probably shouldn't have been), and I could hear an almost inaudible sigh of admiration and respect come from the crowd.  Guy was, in fact, the only child in the preschool to have this as his career goal.  Suddenly, everything that this choice would mean for him flashed before my mind's eye.  

All of the children's goals were admirable, and all involved helping other people, but Guy's choice would mean that he'd be willing to quite literally lay down his life for others.  I don't know that he was aware of this fact, but I was.  And it made me cry tears of great pride in the selflessness of an innocent little boy and of thousands of men and women who currently serve and who have served in the US Military.

At the end of the ceremony, all members of the military were called up to stand by the children as they sang "God Bless America".  Barely half of the servicemen and women had made it to the front of the room before I started crying.  One older gentleman was dressed in full Navy uniform...all white with a blue tie and white cap.  We in the crowd gave them a standing ovation, and I was hooting and hollering like an mad woman with tears streaming down my cheeks.  (I look ridiculous when I cry!)

Anyway, it was a nice moment.  I am so thankful for the experiences that I have had in life that have made me aware of the sacrifice of men and women in the military:  grandparents who always stood up when the color guards marched by in a parade, even if for the twentieth time, parents who put together 4th of July parades every year and had us march through the streets, even if our family was pretty much the only parade participants, an elementary school that allowed for the recitation of The Pledge of Allegiance, a marching band director who taught discipline, integrity, and who required all of his students to know their music by heart, including the Star-spangled Banner and who asked us to play loudly with our instruments held high.  For a grandmother who bled red, white, and blue, and for grandfathers who gave their lives for the liberty of us all.

I love this quote:  "The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war." - Douglas MacArthur



  1. Love your post - how important it is to pass on this legacy of sacrifice and patriotism to our children. Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

  2. I get choked up when I see our Military members too. Whenever we see someone in the Military now or a Veteran we thank them. There is no nobler profession.

  3. Love this. So sweet. I choke up too.

  4. Recently we attended a military band concert. When they played the different service branches anthems, the band director asked the families of those that had a member of the different branches stand. It was really moving because not everyone stood in the audience. I love it!

  5. well, i do not want Guy to be a soldier. period

  6. Same to you, Jocelyn!

    Hearing that one of my boys wanted to be a soldier would make me proud, but it would also strike fear into my heart. One of my best friends sweated it out when her son was in Afghanistan, Iraq anf other places on extremely dangerous special assignments, and I was so grateful that my children didn't go that route.

    I know that is a selfish response, because I love this country and deeply appreciate our soldiers. But I even had a hard time when my son was on a mission in a third world country....and all I had to worry about was dengue fever, malaria, and a few isolated terrorist factions.

    Happy Memorial Day. Tell your boy that a lady who loves your blog is really proud of him.


  7. great post, I'm in Utah Valley decorating graves of loved ones-some who did serve in the military...

  8. What a wonderful reminder this weekend....

  9. What a brave and dedicated boy! Bless your heart dear mother.
    Hope you have a wonderful day!

  10. That's awesome! Chris leaves for basic training and officer school in less than a week! My boys would probably answer the same thing. I am so proud of my husband's decision to defend our country and spend his life in service doing a meaningful job. I too am grateful to have gone to a school that said the pledge of allegiance. I LOVE that your family does parades and think it is the coolest tradition!

  11. There's a book you just HAVE to read. It's called 'The Impossible Patriotism Project'. It's a children's book. I won't tell you the plot, because I don't want to ruin it, but I check it out for the kids regularly and I cry every time!

  12. I needed the inspiration today, and a reason to have a good cry, I'm glad I was looking through some of your old posts. Love you, and Guy!