My Husband, daughter and I recently returned from Fort Sill, in Lawton, OK. I am the proud mom (ok, step-mom, but that is really semantics) of one of our newest United States Army Soldiers. Way to Go Bill! We are very proud of you!
This is truly a different Army then when my husband went to basic training the day after his high school graduation. He retired in November of 2006 after over 22 years in the military. Everyone has heard the horror stories of the drill seargents barking orders and breaking the recruits, my husband, and I am sure that many of you, lived it. My son said that he was very surprised that instead of being told to drop and do pushups the minute they got off the bus, they were thanked. The young men were told how much they were respected for joining during a time of war. I don't think that the change in training lost anything (although I never went through Basic!) Phiffer, one of Billy's friends (another Soldier) stated that he didn't like the pictures like the one I attached because they were taken before they were soldiers. There was no less pride, no less determination, they were not lesser soldiers because they hadn't been broken the way so many were before them. The drill seargents helped to bring out the best out of these boys and helped them to become men!
I spoke to some of the other parents, some spoke of the changes in their son's (for the better), some were concerned about them being sent into danger, and some just held their son's in long hugs as soon as they saw them. I thought of all the mother's and father's who have sons and daughters that are already serving overseas and said a silent prayer for their safety.
Seeing my son in his dress Uniform with his head held high and his shoulders back as he graduated with honors is an image I won't soon forget. Watching my son hug my husband with a new found bond brought tears to my eyes. Watching the tear come to my son's eye as his 3 year old sister recited the Pledge of Allegience to him, was almost more than I could handle!
May God Bless all of our soldiers, the new one's and the seasoned Vets. Thank you for your service, and thank you to your families for loaning you to the United States of America.
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