Daily Life of a Marine Mom

A Piece of My Heart is home from Iraq


Friday, March 17, 2006

I heard from another Marine mother once that deployment is similar to being pregnant with that child all over again. Coming to the end of this seemingly endless (at least to me) first deployment of my son has given me a much better insight into the feeling that this mom was describing.

As we near the end of the 3/7s time in Iraq for now, I have found myself becoming increasingly tired and .. well ... just plain fried.

The first few weeks were frantic. Everytime I heard about someone being killed over there I panicked. I came very close to losing it a couple times, once a few weeks after they were in place, we lost several young men out of a platoon that my son has ties with. The day after that I ended up in the emergency room of our local hospital with severe chest pains. Well, I kept telling them it was just a combination of stress and asthma (along with a touch of costrochrondritis, a condition where the cartilage in your chest gets inflamed) but being on the nether side of 40, better safe than sorry. They ran the tests on my heart and even though it felt like it was breaking, physically it was fine. After that little incident I gave in and went to my doctor and asked to be prescribed a mild tranqualizer. That got me through the next few panic attacks without a lot of physical sypthoms, we won't talk about the heart-ache I still endured though. I am still on that first bottle of tranqualizers that he prescribed me so I did well in maintaining control most of the time. Shoot .. I have almost half a bottle left, but I realized that I needed a little help and I was willing to admit it to myself. An important milestone for someone that likes to think that they can handle anything (yes I am a control-freak).

The pressure to write tributes to each and every young man we lost during this tour from the 3/7 in OIF3 (Operation Iraqi Freedom III) is still overwhelming. But it is a pressing need that I can't shake and actually, wouldn't want to if I could. If I can do nothing else for these men that were willing to die for me, I can at least honor their memory in the only way I can. My heart and soul feels deep sorrow for the families of the young men we have lost and my prayers are with those families always. Unfortunately, I still have more to do yet since we [in the 3/7] lost two more of these fine and honorable young men in the last couple of week, LCpl Kristen K. Figueroa, 20, of Honolulu, Hawaii and Cpl. Adam Zanutto, 26, of Walker Basin CA. Their tributes will be posted here soon.

Let's see ... I was talking about the similarity to pregnancy that a deployment of your child seems to be orginally in this post. In any case ... as it draws nearer to the time for these young men who have seen too much and done more than enough already to be birthed from the bus that delivers them back to 29 Palms, I think every Marine mother has been overwhelmed and worn down by the constant stress of fearing for their safe delivery. With prayers and determination we have suffered through seven months of fear, fearing the worse too much and yet hoping for the best. Of joy, upon hearing the voice of our loved ones on the crackling connection of a SAT phone or a regular phone during (at least in my case) their infrequent opportunities to call home, like a soft movement in the womb. Of pain, trying to comfort the ones we know that lost their babies before they could be delivered home safely. Of strength, hearing and feeling the pride our sons bear with them on a daily basis, so similar to feeling the hard press of false labor that makes us believe that they will be delivered back to us safely.

And now .. as I come so close to the actual arrival home of my son once again .. I am exhausted, tired, no longer able to feel the stress so much because it is so close to the end, just wanting it to be over so I can hold him in my arms again. The fear isn't totally gone yet though. Till the day I see him, he will be held tightly in my prayers with his brothers.

Please keep them all in your prayers during this final transition back to their home. They are still in Iraq and still bored ... but for now all is good.

Semper Fi and God bless you all.

Comments: |
Hey marinemom.. i ran across your page from GruntDoc.. I was a Doc for 3/7 L 1 for the latter part of 2002, 03, 04 and the senior corpsman for the company for awhile.. I left the unit to pursue dive school, but I cant go a day without being reminded of those awesome guys i served with. Best wishes to you during your sons homecoming.
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Well this made me cry! What a good analogy.

My son is in Germany. He's to be deployed in about a month. I'm already having some of the feelings you describe.

I talked with a friend today at work and she had no idea what I was talking about. She said 'he'll be fine'. She meant well, but she didn't understand what I was talking about.

I'm glad your son will be home soon. I hope you'll keep posting :)

This is asking for my blogger acct - I've moved to a word press acct. The new URL is http://www.bluestarchronicles.com

Just remember we are all here for you and they are ALL in our hearts and prayers!
There's a blog I visit regularly that you might appreciate. Its author is Warrant Officer in the USMC. He's good writer, and interesting to read.


Michael D. Fay, WO1

My late husband was a Marine, 8+ years.
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