Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Daughter Wears Combat Boots

These are my kids on February 14th at the Downtown Sheraton in Denver. See the one in the middle? On February 14th, she was still a civilian.

That night, we had to leave her at the Sheraton. Kylie wasn't going with us to the swearing in the next day, so she had to say her goodbye here. You know what's hard? Saying goodbye to your eight year-old sister. You know what's even harder? Crying in the car all the way home because your eight year-old daughter is crying that she's going to miss her big sister so much.

This is my daughter on February 15th, when she ceased to be a civilian and became a soldier. More crying, because my baby is vowing to protect and defend our country, against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Well, not because of that, but because she's leaving. And because I am so dang proud of her.

My 18 year-old and 16 year-old babies. I don't care, they're still babies. And look, they even look like they love each other in this picture. Ok, I know they love each other, but they do have a hard time living together. Something about taking each other's clothes and makeup.

Proud and sad. Sad and proud. You know what the worst time of the day is? When I'm driving to work. 25 minutes by myself, to do nothing but think about how much I miss her, what I'm going to say in my next letter, and hoping to God she doesn't get hurt, or worse. One day, I will stop crying in the car on the way to work every day. She's only been gone a week. It will stop, right?

Her job is 68W, Healthcare Specialist. She's going to be a nurse, eventually. I'm really, really glad she's going to be helping people, not killing them. Yes, I'll say it....I'm terrified she's going to have to go to the Middle East. Even though I've been told that in her job, not a lot of women go there because of the issues of Middle Eastern countries and their disdain for women. I've been told she would have a choice, and I know she would choose not to go there. It still scares me.

Honestly? I've been told this and that, but I have a hard time trusting the Army. I'm afraid they're going to suck out her soul. What if I go to her graduation from basic training at the end of April, and they've replaced my daughter with a Danni-looking robot? I just don't want her to change. More responsible would be good. But I don't want her to change.

Oh, Doctor? Can I get a four-year supply of Xanax, please?


twelvedaysold said...

My brother is 11 years older than me. I was his flower girl at his wedding when I was 8, just a couple months before he left us to be deployed in Germany.

During his years in the Army, he also was a peace keeper in Bosnia during their struggles. That was probably the scariest time for my parents during his time in service.

I don't know if your worries will go away until she is out of the Army, but I completely believe she's in a great place. You will probably be surprised how being in the service shapes her (for the better). I think she'll make a great nurse. And you will be a great mom, sending her letters and love whenever she is away.

Shelley said...

What a wonderful thing Dani is doing, but oh how scary for the parent! What an emotional roller coaster to go on - so hard to let your kids go.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I can imagine exactly how you feel. I hope the Arny does right by her.

Dawn in Austin said...

Go Danni! And hang in there, Mom. It does get a little easier. When my boy left for the Marines, I cried in his room. A lot. When they leave and leave everything behind, it makes it that much harder on us.

She's doing a good thing and I know you're so very proud of her!

Dawn in Austin said...

P.S. Talking about crying during the swearing in? My husband, who was an officer in the Coast Guard at the time, swore in our son. I bawled!

Stephanie said...

Holy crap I'm trying not to cry at all of this. I think I knew she was going into the army but I didn't know it had happened. What a brave young girl AND A brave mom!

Steph said...

Mine left July 4 th....and she is now on her 5 th week of bootcamp! And I could have wrote word for word what I just read:( I don't think I will every stop crying at the least little thing that is mentioned about Morgan! It is wonderful to hear my exact feelings from someone else! God be with them, and all of us back home too!!!!!