Fear is a powerful motivator. When our sons left last year for Iraq , our roles as mothers underwent an abrupt change. For all of our sons' lives, we had been the protector, the caretaker, the parent. We had been on the sidelines of countless soccer, baseball, basketball, and football games, cheering madly as our sons contributed to their team successes. Now, our sons were half a world away, protecting us and millions of other Americans. And there is no place for a mother on the sidelines of a battlezone. Our roles have changed but our feelings haven't. We are still our sons' most enthusiastic cheerleaders and we each have a bumper sticker on our car that reads, “ Before there was boot camp, there was MOM ”.
We are two mothers, separate individuals who are as different as our hair color, who have found strength in and through each other through our common bond of being mothers to U.S. Marines. Fear brought us together, but we have taken that strong negative emotion and transformed it into a dynamic positive energy that is accomplishing our goal of supporting our sons and all other Marines. In the past year, we've sent 5,000 lbs. of school supplies into the middle of a war zone, working with our Marines and the Spanish Army. We've sent hundreds of cool ties to hot troops. We threw a support rally for our troops on the steps of the Oregon state capitol building. We've embraced other Marine parents and shared information and support. We've laughed and cried together. Our latest project is this website where we can share positive information about our Marines and their mission to be no better friend to oppressed people of this world and no worse enemy to those oppressors.
Deb: What do you call a redhead with an attitude? Normal .
Bruce Springsteen once said: "Man, you ain't lived Till you've had your tires rotated by a redheaded woman."
I won't rotate your tires but I will work tirelessly to support our Marines and other troops as they bring freedom and democracy to dark corners of the world. Since my son was born, I have so enjoyed every aspect of motherhood. Watching my son grow from a happy free-spirited toddler into a strong, independent, and courageous man has been tremendously rewarding. As I have encouraged him through years of school sports, logging competitions, and his many interests and hobbies, he has also believed in me as I spent too many years in grad school and involved myself in countless community projects. My role as his primary protector and caretaker has ended and he has picked up that role for the country he loves.
I raised my son as a single parent. He is my single greatest accomplishment. But, I cannot take credit for what he has done. His decision to join the United States Marine Corps was his own. It was no surprise - he has lived the Corps values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment his entire life. Even so, I struggled to understand his decision at first although my support has never wavered. When I watched as he was awarded his Eagle, Globe, and Anchor insignia upon earning the title of United States Marine, it was one of the proudest moments of my life. Although my son is a very important part of my identity, he is not my entire focus. My life is full and I enjoy every minute. I teach undergraduate and graduate classes in statistics and research methodology . . . and my students find that they have a good time learning. I have good friends both online and in real life. Since 1999, I've contributed as a writer for Epinions. I help administrate a dynamic on-line discussion forum, EA Forums. My online friends have been an unending source of support and encouragement for me. Now, I have joined the sisterhood of Marine Corps Moms. Our sons gave us that title and just as the bonds of motherhood can never be broken, our ties to each other will endure through laughter, tears, and endless glasses of really good wine. Once a Marine Corps Mom, always a Marine Corps Mom.
Connie – No Dumb Blond Here!
Like most parents, I've been at the sidelines of my children's lives, energetically and enthusiastically cheering them on through their many athletic and equestrian events, scholastic achievements and life in general. My greatest reward is to see the look of success in their eyes. Becoming a US Marine Corps mom was a major hurdle for me, one that I did not embrace willingly, but as the pride within my son grew in serving God and our country, I became determined to support his quest as a US Marine. Operation Iraqi Freedom introduced me to what war meant to the families and loved ones of our very prestigious military. Finding support with other military parents was a way to stay informed and connected to our Marines abroad who are in harms way everyday.Marinecorpsmoms.com has given me a voice, a partnership and bond with other Marine parents and it continues to educate me as to the true meaning of “serve your country” and “give your all.”
Today, I am passionately proud of the courage, commitment, and success of my three children. As a US Marine my son has become a man of independence, integrity, and courage. And, my daughters have experienced war and its uncertainty that most young adults will never understand. Their patriotism and spirit continue to shine.
My life is neither ordinary or predictable and I like it that way. Everyday is a new adventure that I greet with passion. My home, with an open door to friends and family, is a place of laughter and energy, and most of the time a celebration.
So, on the lighter side of Marine Corps life, I have realized two traits in becoming a Marine Mom. First, Marines do not learn their party habits from their fathers; and two, never underestimate the power of a mom. We can move mountains or at least 5000 lbs of school supplies to Iraq with just a phone call; our communication skills will deafen the most notorious anti-American or war demonstrator with only a look; and thank God our government does not allow us entrance in a war zone with an M16 in our hand. Or, maybe they should, it would be a very short war.
Salyris (Sa-leer-is) Studios, a multi-talented Macromedia Flash and Website design studio. Our services include web site hosting, development, design, multimedia, redesigns of existing sites, broadcast video, 3D, animation and corporate identity. We design and develop quality media solutions for a large spectrum of clients from interior designers to small non-profit organizations such as Marine Corps Moms.
Sean Cook, CEO and Webmaster for Marine Corps Moms: When we finish, I hope we can help out the the Marines in this way by delivering the best Marine Corps site on the Internet!
Sean Cook (CEO) from Salyris Studios took our basic idea and built a website around it. Every time we had a new idea, he implemented exactly what we wanted within a day or two. He took our vision and made it reality.