One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person . . . To read is to voyage through time. ~Carl Sagan
first entry with you from Mrs. Leila Atwood Foust’s book, With God and the Colors: A Mother’s Prayers for Her Soldier Boy.
I too am a mother of a soldier. I had the honor of collecting stories from other mothers of soldiers telling how we made it through our children’s deployments. The result was the book, Love You More Than You Know: Mothers’ StoriesAbout Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War (Gray and Co., Publishers, 2009, eBook 2012).
The title of the book came from a letter my son sent me. He was in Iraq for six months and had six more to go. His letter asked questions: Will I make it back? Will I be the same? Will I be happy? He said, “ All I know that is certain is you, and I rely on that fact alone to get me through the sweltering reality I live in.“ He signed his letter; I love you deeply, more than you know. Your son, Joe.
Our stories are a living history. When you read our book, you will hear our voice.
Wendy Anderson wrote the chapter entitled, “The Christmas Miracle.”
I have a very special mouse, given to me by my mother as a Christmas present when I left home, and moved into my first apartment. He is also special to Derek. The mouse is smaller than a pea, made of glass, and although he is over 30 years old, not chipped or cracked. The mouse is still perfect. And he only comes out at Christmas.
Every year as a child, when we would unwrap ornaments and his brothers would grab the biggest, brightest decorations, Derek would look for that mouse. Derek would take him gently out of his cotton ball and marvel at it. “How can this be, Mom? We lose our jackets, our shoes and our car keys, but we have never lost this mouse. And he is so small!” “ I don’t know,” I would say. “It’s a Christmas miracle.”
When Christmas came and Derek was in Iraq that is what I sent him. I know a man his age doesn’t need a glass mouse. But he did need a piece of home. My husband was afraid for me. He told me I would never see that mouse again. I put the mouse in his cotton ball, and sent him overseas.
Celeste Hicks wrote “Army Strong—A Family Affair.” Not only are five of her children serving our country, they all married military spouses. Sometimes in order for a mother’s voice to be heard, she has to remain anonymous for the security and protection of her son.
I am the mother of a U. S. Navy SEAL, and he is living his dream with the best of the best. We were recently with him at a public event where military were asked to stand and be recognized for their service. Our son simply sat quietly and applauded the others. That is the way of a SEAL. You will rarely read about the medals and awards that SEALs receive, and there will be no articles in the newspaper about their deployment or return home. You won’t see them in uniform at an airport. You may never know when one is in your midst.
My son has asked that I not use his name, or mine, in this story. You will not see our picture. Instead, he told me that I should create a pen name for myself. In his honor, there is really only one way that I can sign this story because I love him more than he will ever know.
~ “The proud mother of a U.S. Navy SEAL”
As the mothers shared our stories in Love You More Than You Know, we bonded together and felt less alone. I feel that same bond with Leila Atwood Foust when I heard her voice calling out. Ninety-four years later the prayers from mothers for their soldiers are the same. Love You More Than You Know holds 45 powerful tales of love, faith, and courage, reminding our readers that our children stand in front of our flag, risking their lives so that we can live ours. Hear our voice.
- - - - - - ---- -
I'd also like to add a plea to, whenever and however you can, let our service men and women (and their families) know that you appreciate their almost unimaginable commitment to upholding this country's ideals. ~ Diane