Five years in the army: congratulations to my son!

This is a very personal post. All my posts are personal to some degree…after all, it is my blog, so I get a lot of say in what is said. But this is not about me. It is about my son, Alex. Alex, who, marching to his own drummer, declined our offers and our pleadings to go to college after high school, and determined for himself that he wanted to join the army, is getting out of the army today. September 30 is his last day. He has served five years and a few weeks. He spent 13 months in Iraq with an infantry unit. He has done his share, he served his time, has his honorable discharge.

I am proud of him. I’m relieved that he will be in civilian life again, but anxious that he is coming out at a difficult time for the US economy in general, and veterans in particular, if news reports are to be believed. But most of all I am happy that he survived his enlistment and is ready to make a new life for himself, to create a new plan.

I don’t know what his next choices will be. I’m still hoping he’ll decide to invest in education, but that will be up to him at this point. Whatever he chooses, I know that he will have a different point of view than many people his age. He’s seen some difficult things, seen friends die, lived in extreme circumstances. So have a lot of other people. There are many men and women who deserve our thanks and our support for voluntarily serving in the armed forces. And I do appreciate all of them. But today, I’m focused on just one.

Welcome back to civilian life, Alex. Thanks for doing your part for the rest of us.

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6 thoughts on “Five years in the army: congratulations to my son!

    • Thank you MJ! It’s so great to get these wishes from so many sources for him. I have to say that has been one of the nicest things about being a parent of someone in the military…there are so many people who support the military with kind thoughts, in many tangible ways, especially at holiday times, and in thoughtful ways like buying a meal for them or doing other thoughtful things when the opportunity presents. I have been able to witness some of these things, and have been the recipient of many messages to pass on to Alex. Truly heartwarming! ~Sheila

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  1. I love real stories…My husband came home from Viet Nam…not many jobs …people wondering why we got married before he left…and the world a little crazy… because not many Viet Nam veterans were honored when they returned… they were treated badly for doing what their country had asked them to do…I want to congratulate your son as well…I know the sacrifice…

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    • Thank you for your thoughts and wishes for Alex. I know he has been fortunate to be in the military at a time when there is a lot more support for military service in general; I have heard so many people express kind thoughts and good wishes toward Alex over the past five years. It is truly heartwarming and reassuring that the sacrifice and service that so many give does not go unnoticed.

      Though Viet Nam was a long time ago now, it does not lessen the sacrifice you and your husband made. I hope that he and others of his time are able to share in the better attitudes that seem to prevail today toward military, and veterans. Please thank him for his service. ~Sheila

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