Today was Thanksgiving Day at the Airport

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by buff81, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Most of you celebrated Thanksgiving Day 3 days ago. I did too, in the traditional sense, but it was TODAY around 6am this morning that I really experienced Thanksgiving.

    DS had a 6:30am flight back to WP. There we were at the airport early this morning with many other SA families telling our cadets/mids goodbye. Sad faces and some tears as we all watched them stand in a very long line to go through security. Many other WP cadets were there as well as 2 USNA Mids, a USCGA cadet and a USAFA cadet. All of us parents were watching them weave around in the Disney World like line. Watching as they passed through security and out of our sight. We consoled each other. Some teary eyed. How was Thanksgiving? I can't believe it went by so fast. It is so hard to say goodbye. When is this going to get easier. Can't wait to have them home again for Christmas. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    Then - there he was. A young Private. Weaving around in the same line. In ACUs. His parents were standing right beside us. As he got to the place where his parents were standing - a quick hug from them before he had to move along. We heard the word 'deployment'. No complaining about the quick Thanksgiving. No complaining about saying goodbye. Just solemn but proud faces. A WP mom standing next to me teared up.
    It hit me like a ton of bricks.
    This family was sending their son off to somewhere a lot harsher than the environment that our DS was going back to.
    Their son would not be back for Christmas.
    Their son was most likely going into harms way.
    They would not see their son for who knows how long.
    Their son may not come home.

    There I was, feeling sad about sending my son back to WP.
    Where he is safe.
    Where he is well taken care of.
    He will be home in 3 weeks to a warm house, an abundance of food, friends and family all making a big to do over him because he is a WP cadet.
    I don't have to worry about him day in and day out.

    Unlike that young Private's family.

    How small and petty I felt.

    So today is my REAL Thanksgiving Day.

    I am thankful that DS has been given the opportunity to attend one of the top schools in the world - that it is paid for (how unbelievable is that!), that he is paid (even more unbelievable), that he will graduate in 4 years (unlike most of his high school classmates), that he will have a job when he graduates (also unlike most of his high school classmates) and that he has a promising future whether he chooses to be career military or not.

    I am thankful that he is at the best training facility for future Army officers (sorry - I'm a little biased).

    I am thankful that he will be trained and educated in superior fashion before he is an Officer and on Active Duty.

    I am thankful that I will have 3 more Thanksgivings, 4 more Christmases, as well as Spring Breaks and summers before I will be in that Private's parents shoes.

    I am thankful for that Private's family for raising him to be the kind of person that he is and then being able to let him go.

    I am thankful for that Private and pray for his safety.

    When we take DS to the airport on January 2 to return to WP after a wonderful Christmas break, I don't think that I will be wallowing in self pity about him leaving.

    I will be thankful for these baby steps in saying goodbye.

    Today was the best Thanksgiving Day that I've ever had.
     
  2. KP13Mom

    KP13Mom Member

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    Beautiful post Buff81. Thank you for the eloquent reminder of our blessings.
     
  3. fairwinds

    fairwinds Member

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    Thank you Buff81. I was also feeling a little sad when I left my USCGA cadet at the airport at daybreak this morning, but I read your post, crying my eyes out, and I see that right now we are so blessed that we also have several holidays to enjoy before he is "out in the fleet." Thank you for your post!!!!!
     
  4. robon

    robon Banned

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    Deleted as spam
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2010
  5. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    Thank you Buff81 for putting it in such a true perspective. I pray for that young man and all our heroes that are deployed or will be deployed.
     
  6. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Beautiful post, buff81. Today on the radio I heard of w welcome home reception for an army man coming in to Amarillo Airport. A suicide bomber cost this man his hands, one eye and one ear. Made me feel a bit guilty about being sad about sending son back to USNA! Certainly put things in perspective!

    My son, too has been treated fantastically when he traveled in uniform. Once they are not required to do so, though, they tend not to. My theory is that on the uber busy travel days, like around Thanksgiving, it would be a good idea to be in uniform anyway..........everything tends to go easier, from security screening to line waiting for the cadets/mids, etc in uniform.
     
  7. bergmom

    bergmom Member

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    wow

    wow...thank you Buff 81 for writing such a meaningful post. I am a mom of a son that has received his appoinment to USNA Class of 2015...I am still trying to squeeze out every last moment with my son, dreading the day that I have to send him off, but also beaming with pride! Your words truly put in perspective how lucky we all our that our sons/daughters have chosen such an honorable path. I know that my day is coming very soon when I will be watching my son weave through the security line to Annapolis and I will make sure to remember your words and count my blessings! Have a wonderful holiday when your son returns home soon!
     
  8. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Thanks buff81 for your beautifully written Thanksgiving Card to all of us. I so enjoy your words. I used some of them myself recently reposting one of yours regarding "staus checking-itis"! Whatsmore a few days ago I came across a post I wanted my son to read regarding the lessons learned in indoc " the importance of how to cut a pie in 9 pieces". I scrolled back to the top after my son read it , and well looky there, you buff81, were the author! Thank you for your insights on these topics and Happy Holidays to your family. :thumb:
     
  9. leapyear

    leapyear Member

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    Don't mean to throw an overly somber pall into what was meant to be, and is, a lovely post, but JennyP's response brought something to mind. In my town, we recently had a celebratory homecoming for a young marine who came home from the war without both legs and one arm. When a local tv reporter asked his sister how her brother lost his legs and arm, she responded that he didn't lose them - he gave them to his country. I choke up every time time I think about that response, and I have not viewed a young man or woman in uniform the same since. God bless these young patriots.
     
  10. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Lynpar - just to be clear, I did not write the 'Cutting a Pie into 9 Pieces' post. It was written by a West Point grad (which I am not). I just posted it. :thumb:

    leapyear - entirely appropriate response in this thread. That is the reality that sometimes we don't think about while our sons/daughters are attending the SAs.
     
  11. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    Today was Thanksgiving....

    Buff81

    We also must thank those who go to all the SA's and do ROTC. While, they may not be in harms way now, they will be some day. I salute, all of our military men and women. And also a big thanks to you, for the way you brought up you child.

    Great post,

    RGK
     
  12. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    rkrosnar -
    Absolutely!
    No slight was intended towards the other commissioning sources.
     

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