Our family has had nearly one week of settling into the comforting news that our boy is home. In two weeks we’ll actually be able to put our hands on him. He’ll look different, because he is different. War changes you. He is a healthy, stable young man who loves his work, but war changes you.
I learned a lot from watching him go away and come back and then go away again and come back in such a short amount of time. He taught me more about perseverance and about how our lives here on earth are just too short, simply by sharing with me his attitude about life and death as well as life and work after his friend and a beloved colonel were killed within one week of each other. A wise man once said, when you work a job you love, you never work a day in your life. When you find work that integrates your talent and your passion, you have a near perfect combination for a happy, healthy work life balance. As difficult as the losses were for him, they motivated him, and in turn motivated me to make some changes to ensure that my remaining life was one of healthy balance.
As difficult as the conflict in the middle east is for those of us living with the stress of it in our own homes, I find comfort in knowing that he wants to do this work and that he feels passionate about it. How many people really get to say that about their jobs?
As my son got ready to board his first plane home last week, I received the news from TriCare that I was now a provider. TriCare certainly isn’t an easy insurance to manage as a therapist. The reimbursement rate won’t make you want to leap into their pool of providers. But knowing that I’m providing a service to families who need support certainly gives me a way to Zen up and be strong while he’s away. In two or three short months the dread will be back as we count the socks left in the sock drawer and begin the cycle of deployment all over again. We aren’t the only families affected by the cycle, but we feel pretty alone due to where we live. I don’t see any American flags hanging in my neighborhood. When he goes away again, I’ll need to constantly find other ways to Zen up as a military mom. Due to the changes I’ve made in my life, I have more peace of mind and more energy to help other military parents endure the cycle. My own coping skills are being sharpened with every deployment. I have my son to thank for motivating me to seek a healthier life in my work and in my personal relationships. His service forces me to take notice when I see a student walking across campus in BDU’s or a veteran wearing his unit cap in Starbucks on the anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy (which by the way was Wednesday). If you didn’t notice it, it isn’t too late to thank a vet or put the Got Your Six logo on your Facebook page to honor the over 1.5 million living veterans of WW II. Find your own unique act of service this summer. www.gotyour6.org Bridging the civilian-military divide