Old Glory

Friday, July 1, 2011

4th of July 2011

Well, it's the 4th of July weekend upon us and I have to say, I enter this weekend with a heavy heart to say the least, but it may surprise you why.  Don't get me wrong.  I miss my son.  This has been a tough week for whatever reason and I will admit, I've been a bit on the weepy side all week, but I've finally made it to Friday and I don't have to face a Monday in the office (thank you Lord!).  I'm not a huge fan of fireworks (never have been), but knowing that will be going on all weekend isn't what it is giving me a heavy heart today.  My heart is heavy for my bonus boys.  You might wonder why, but this is part of the reason my heart is heavy.  I have been so touched by the people reaching out to not only myself, but my entire family and that has been amazing.  We have received so much love and support and I can never express what that has meant for us.  My heart is heavy, because I don't know how much love and support my bonus boys have been receiving.  They are the ones that had to live the nightmare on December 1, 2010.  They are the ones that were not able to bring one of their brothers home.  They are the ones that will have to live with that the rest of their lives and all I can do is hope that I can play a small role in their lives to help make them feel better and show them love and compassion as they re-enter the civilian world (which will not be easy for any of them) and try to move on with their lives after all they have experienced, been through, and lost.  They loved Chad.  They loved him in a way that no one else will ever understand or begin to comprehend.  Yes, I loved Chad more than a person should be capable of loving another human being and only a parent can understand that kind of love.  Yes, families loved Chad with all their hearts and have been forever changed.  Yes, Katie (Chad's wife) loved him with all her heart and soul, and yes, his friends loved him with all they had, but these "Band of Brothers" that served side by side with Chad loved him in a way that we will never understand.  It's my hope and prayer that they are the ones remembered this weekend as well.  I hope and pray during all the celebrating and all the fireworks and parties that you stop for a moment and remember not only Chad's brothers in service, but all military men and women that have seen war and lost someone in battle for where there hearts are we will never understand and that is what breaks my heart.  These young men will forever have a place in my heart like none other.  I love each and every one of them and today my heart breaks for them.  I don't plan to shoot off fireworks this weekend.  I feel I truly have nothing to celebrate.  I don't say that for people to feel sorry for me (and please do NOT), but when your heart is heavy it's hard to celebrate.  I will spend time with some friends and I will have a good weekend, but I do not plan to celebrate big with booms and flashes.  I plan to celebrate in my heart that all my bonus boys made it home safely and are now in a much safer place (physically) while I continue to pray that their hearts and minds heal as quickly as it possibly can and that they always know that we love and appreciate them for all they have done and sacrificed and continue to sacrifice every day.  Please take time this weekend to remember what these men and women have gone through and the losses they have experienced and if you have a military person that has been in war stop for a few seconds to think what hearing fireworks going off might bring to their minds.  The thoughts and fears of hearing something blow up might do to them this weekend.  I don't mean to put a damper on your festivities this weekend, but I do plan to give you something to think about other than beer and fireworks.  It's not about that this weekend.  It's about our men and women in uniform and all they have done and lost for us. 


  1. A well-written and much-needed post, Tami!! The 4th is not about beer and mattress sales. It's a time to celebrate the country's independence and honor the men and women who have fought and died to maintain that independence. What if we didn't have a military?? What if we were under a dictatorship? What if Gaddhafi was our president and women were being raped in the streets? We have so much to be grateful for and so many men and women to be grateful to.

    I have often thought that Survivor's Guilt is the worst guilt out there. I hope your bonus boys and girls know that we celebrate their safe return and we pray everyday that they will be able to move through losing Chad. We don't know...we weren't there beside them so words of encouragement seem ridiculous. So we do the only thing we can...we thank them for their sacrifice, we send virtual hugs to their families, and we pray for their minds and bodies to heal...although it will most definitely leave a scar.

    We are a better country for having had your bonus boys and girls serve.

  2. Thank you Tami for this wonderful post! It is hard for us to wrap our minds around your loss and even begin to comprehend how your bonus boys are feeling. I would like to think that as July 4th approaches that our communities will remember the sacrifices that have been made, the lives that have been lost, and the families that stand behind these brave men and women. I too hope that we realize that the 4th is more than just a day for a party and a day off of work. Thanks again Tami for all that you are doing and know that we will be sending positive thoughts your way.

    Darby (hugs)