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Thread: Military mom flying flags
07-03-05, 05:11 AM #1
Military mom flying flags
Saturday, July 2, 2005
Military mom flying flags
By Lisa Miller
BUCYRUS -- Lots of people are flying flags this Independence Day weekend. Nancy Bloomfield's Songer Avenue house still stands out in the crowd.
Along with the stars and stripes, she's got the flags of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines flying on her front porch. They are there as symbols of her four children who have served in or are serving in the four military branches.
She lists her children and their enlistments: Timothy Rohrbach is in the Air Force, stationed in Germany; Michael Rohrbach was in the Marines and may return after finishing college in Florida; Joshua Rohrbach is with the Army in Iraq; and Elizabeth Rohrbach is stationed with the Navy in San Diego.
Their military photos, along with her own Army photo, hang above an arch in her home. Joshua was home a week ago but it's been years since all four were home at the same time.
The military flags went up about the time Elizabeth left for the Navy.
Bloomfield, who is 46 and now works at a Shelby factory, said she didn't necessarily encourage or discourage her children from joining the military.
She served as a light wheel vehicle mechanic in the '80s when she was stationed in Fort Jackson, S.C. Two of her three siblings were also in the military as were her children's paternal and maternal grandfathers.
Bloomfield recalls Michael did "pretty decent in school. He just wasn't interested in going to college." Now he may go back in "if he doesn't get a good-paying job." Timothy went to college for a while, but joined the Air Force when college got too expensive.
Contacted at the Navy base, Elizabeth said she liked school but feared that with college "I just would have put myself in debt to drop out." A 2004 graduate of Bucyrus High School, she called her boot camp "quite easy."
Elizabeth was in a car accident shortly after arriving in California so hasn't had a typical Navy experience. She would recommend the military as a career, "depending on the person," but not necessarily the Navy. "The military is all mind over matter," Elizabeth said. She eventually plans to be a kindergarten teacher.
She has run into people with siblings in the same branch, but when Elizabeth tells people that she and her brothers have all served in different branches, "Most people look at me like I'm crazy."
She said she talks to her brothers "every once in a while" by phone. Elizabeth, who will turn 19 on July 13, does not expect to be sent to Iraq like Joshua once she is released from her medical restrictions.
Joshua can only call home sporadically but Bloomfield said her children do keep in touch with each other.
Seated at the island in her tidy kitchen, Bloomfield said she doesn't follow the war news very closely. "I do read bits and pieces about it. I don't need to worry myself about something" she has no control over.
Explaining that Joshua has been in six car accidents and walked away without a scratch, Bloomfield said, "I figure somebody's looking over him."
Is she a supporter of the war in Iraq?
Choosing her words like a soldier stepping through a minefield, Bloomfield said, "Yes and no. I think they should bring our kids back home ... To me it's a losing battle.
"Military is a good thing for the kids ... But the terrorists are still killing our people." Her sister was in Desert Storm and now the U.S. is "right back into it again. We've gotten a lot more of our young people killed than we did before."
Joshua is actually thinking about re-enlisting, according to his mom. She said she told him, "Well, if that's what you kids want to do. I can't tell you how to run your life."
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
ONE PROUD MARINE
Once a Marine...Always a Marine
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