View Full Version : One happy mama

06-23-05, 10:48 AM
One happy mama
"author unknown"
The Union
June 23, 2005

My boy is back from Iraq, safe and sound with all his parts. I'm doing back flips (in my head) cartwheels (in my dreams), careening off the walls and bouncing madly off the ceiling like a balloon with all the air whooshing out (for real).

My boy is back. No one's shooting at him anymore. No one's trying to blow him up. I can rest easy. He can rest easy. He can sleep in his own bed with his beautiful wife by his side instead of grabbing catnaps in abandoned buildings with other equally unwashed Marines.

He can take a shower more than once every couple of weeks (and I sincerely hope he does). Hot water. Flush toilets. And when he wants clean clothes, he can wash them in a machine, not a bucket. And then there's food, real food, not the gut-plugging monotony of MREs or the catch as catch can selection of care packages from home.

But there's a down side to all of this.

His Honda Civic doesn't come equipped with a 50 caliber machine gun on the roof. He doesn't own the road anymore. He'll have to stop for red lights, not run them in fear of becoming a sitting target. No one's shooting at him - remember, that means he can't shoot anyone either.

The M-16 that never left his side 24/7 is now back in the armory. And if he should walk around with grenades in his pockets and blow stuff up well, he might get in a little trouble for that.

This was not his first trip to Iraq. In all probability it won't be his last. He was 18 during the initial invasion. Ambush bait, his mounted platoon riding out ahead of the battalion to draw fire. I didn't find out until later that he lay atop the humvee guarding his gunner's back. The sergeant who told me was impressed with his performance. He went into more detail, but I couldn't hear him with my finger in my ears.

Then it was back to Iraq in September. This time he was seasoned, a corporal responsible for his men. He assured me the humvee was armored and he was riding inside. Safer than the top, no doubt, but I'm a mother - it's my job to worry.

Visions of IEDs danced in my head. Images of vehicles blowing sky high filled my dreams. But William stayed alive and did his job well enough for a commendation and a medal.

While he was picking shrapnel out of his skin and battling mujahadeen in Fallujah, I was lighting candles, filling journals and making bargains with God. His skill, my prayers, dumb luck, whatever, William is home safe and sound.

And I am one happy mama.