A Family Perspective; Military or Otherwise.

Supporting those who fight for our Flag, Motherhood and Apple Pie My grandfather was in the Army during WW1.

My father and four Uncles were in WW2. A fifth Uncle, Rolf, was too young for WW2 or Korea. He was in the Army during the Cold War era.

Both my brothers were in the Air Force.

My husband was in the Army.

And now my son is in the Air Force, embedded with the Army.

That’s a pretty complete legacy of family members serving, yet none of them  were “career” military. We joined in service for a while, but then left to pursue other paths. Because of this, I’ve never really thought of our family as a military family.

The significance of our leaving was further iterated to me a few months ago when I sent a note to the guys heading up the “Milblogging” site. They very graciously reviewed my blog and gently told me I didn’t really fit into their military blogging community.

I didn’t argue with them.  It was kind of ironic, I never really considered myself  one of “them”, either. There’s so much I don’t know about the military: so many acronyms that escape me.  So many procedures that are mystifying to me.  So much war history – names, weaponry, battles fought and lost, fought again and won – most of it gets muddled in my brain. I thought having this military knowledge was necessary to qualify as a military family. I thought knowing this, or rather, the not knowing it, mattered.

Until today.

Today was the day I got an e-mail from my son, grieving the fatality of another near him, feeling that more could have been done.

Today was the day that the thousands of decisions and actions of others,

actions and decisions made by people known and unknown to him,

actions and decisions made in the past few hours and over the many, many years,

impacted him in profound ways, and ways for which no one can ever be prepared.

Today is the day some other mother’s son died.

Today was the day that I wrote the e-mail back; loving the son I have, grieving with him for the other son’s mother, and for all mothers whose sons or daughters are gone.

Today is the day I was reminded it’s not DNA, or predominantly intellectual knowledge that makes one a family.

Today is the day my family grew by one woman I’ve never met; whose name I still don’t know.

Today I know we’re a military family.


2 Responses to “A Family Perspective; Military or Otherwise.”

  1. 1 Joan Glasper
    June 17, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    It’s fascinating how our minds work. We humans are labelers, which helps make thinking more efficient but can blind us to what is real in our own lives. I think you have made a great observation here. Thank you for writing and sharing your thoughts.

    • 2 applepiemom
      June 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm

      Yes – labelers and segmenters and tribes – all of that. Maybe that’s why this whole journey is challenging – it’s a whole new community and I don’t feel that I have mastery of the rules of engagements, customs, social mores, terms and conditions. HMMMMM that’s an interesting aspect I hadn’t considered. Thanks for the prod/push/prompt to step back and gain some objectivity. True to form, you are once again very, very helpful, Joan.

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