Gold Star Mother’s Day, September 24, 2017
By Mr. Mike Love
As many of you know, I am a USAF veteran, serving from 1985 to 1989. I signed up, delayed enlistment, at the age of 17 in 1984. I honor, and respect, all veterans no matter what country you served. It takes a special person to volunteer to serve as the protectors of, not only their own beliefs, but also, the beliefs of their fellow citizens. I did not serve in combat, however, I did serve at the time of war. A cold war.
The soldier has a tough job. They have to believe and follow all orders given to them by their commanders. It could be; a Squad Leader, Lieutenant, Commander, or, even the President. Those orders could mean their demise, but they must be followed. A soldier pledges their life when they sign on the dotted line. They are “The Tip of the Sword” for all in their country. The people that will ensure their beliefs and values will continue on. Only one person on this Earth has a tougher job than the soldier………The mother of the soldier.
As a male, and never had children of my own, I cannot give an absolute opinion on this. But, I will use words from my own mother to describe what it feels like to have both of her sons serve in the defense of our nation.
Both sons had volunteered to serve. My mother was in her 20’s during the Viet-Nam era, and had strong feelings about that particular war. That did not stop her from supporting both of her sons from volunteering. She was scared, of course. The world was just as unstable then as it is now. One of my few times I was scared during my service, was when the US bombed Libya on April 15, 1986. It occurred after my duty time in the engine shop and was just getting back to my barracks. I went to the Dayroom to catch a bit of news, with a beer in hand, still in uniform, shirt open. Paints a picture. The news flashed over to President Reagan describing the events that had transpired, and consequences of those.
Next thing I know, armed Security Police came into the barracks and told us that we were not to get out of uniform, we were confined to quarters, we were not allowed to drink (I had to toss my beer ), and we were to get our mobility bags ready. I was scared shitless. So were all the men around me. We were about to be ordered into combat. Things calmed, and I was allowed to get some sleep. I reported for duty the next day, as per normal. When I got to the engine shop, I was called into the shop chief’s office. I was told that I had been removed from mobility and placed on “home base personnel”. Apparently, my mother and father had sent a telegram to President Reagan to approve of his actions against Libya, but also, to boast that both sons were in the service. As I was determined to be “non-essential” to the war effort, I was removed from mobility.
Of course, my mother was scared. Both of her babies could be wounded, or, worse, killed in the line of their duty. However, my mother, also, knew we both volunteered, and would gladly give our lives to secure our nation. But, she understood the pledge we took, and the commitment we made.