Today I played coward in olympic fashion. Last week I was told about a military family in Troy, Illinois that would be receiving the Silver Star for their fallen child’s bravery. I asked my husband to run the race for the scholarship fund and gave him orders that we WOULD be attending this service together in an effort to show that family that we care about their sacrifice. I shared his story with my son, I posted the scholarship fund information on my Facebook page and I made plans to go. But I didn’t go. By the time labor day came and went, I had already decided that I was too emotionally chick S–t to attend. Instead I went to the art fair and looked at art that I couldn’t afford and stayed in complete denial to what was happening a few miles away across the river.
Many of the wounded from the 10th Air Support Operations Squadron marched for one week from Fort Riley, Kansas to Troy in order to present the Silver Star Medal to Bradley Smith’s wife Tifany and other family members. Bradley Smith was the age that my son is now when he died. In January of 2010 he left behind a new baby and a family and community that adored him.
Over the next few hours I’ll stay in denial of what the Smith family is enduring grieving their beloved son. I’ll stay in denial by watching the end of the MIZZOU game rather than watching the 10:00 news. Denial is working for me this week as 9/11 creeps its way into my line of vision again. 9/11 was a difficult day for me last year. My husband patiently let me sob into his shoulder as we watched 3000 flags wave in Forest Park thinking about what my son was doing thousands of miles away.
My beloved son is home safe and sound this 9/11, as he attends the mandatory leadership training that elevates him to nco status. But in a few short weeks its back to the middle east and the cycle of deployment begins again. When will it end?
|The Silver Star is awarded for||“Gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States”|