Air Force Dads

I've made peace with my son's decision to join the Air Force, I am proud and I think he has made the right decision. Or so I thought. On the evening news tonight, they showed the first video allowed of a fallen soldier returning to the US. As the soldiers carried the casket off the plane, the reporter explained that the fallen soldier was a SSgt with the Air Force. I immediately started crying and a horrible feeling of panic overtook me. My husband hugged me, both of my sons hugged me and Wes assured me he would be alright. I thought I was doing ok, but I guess not. Anyone have any thoughts they would like to share?

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Lesa,
I get a sick feeling in my stomach everytime I hear of any soldier being wounded or killed anywhere now! I am teary now as I read your post and know I am not alone in my fears. My son will not graduate from Tech School until June. He is in Security Forces and I know they deploy more than other fields in the Air Force. I don't know if we will ever stop worrying about them.
Lesa, I have no magic words to say that will make your feeling of panic go away. I only wish I did because then I could use it on myself. My youngest was deployed and it was a very difficult time for my wife and I. Now we have both of our sons in and we are beside our selves. I spent 4 years in the Air Force loading bombs during the Vietnam War and I worry about both my boys, go figure. Like Lori I cry every time I hear about a soldier falling. I also cried when I read your blog. I am right there with you and your husband. The only thing that gets me through all of this is my faith in God. I was pleased with the fact that my boys choose the two branches of service that are less likely to be in direct harms way, the Air Force and the Navy. I talked to a mom, at work, and she said that her two boys took advantage of any and all training that was made available to them. She also said that her boys told her that some of their buddies were not taking the training seriously. You may want to tell Wes that what the military does is prepare him for any and all situation that he may encounter and that he should pay close attention and learn all he can and take it very serious. I know that none of this will help a panicked mother but please know that I will be praying for Wes and you and your whole family.
Sgt Terry
Lori and Sgt Terry,
Thank you for reaching out. I was just so surprised by my reaction. It isn't unusual for me to cry over seeing something like that on the news, but the panic was unnerving. Wes has been giving me a lot of hugs since that happened. He is a good son, my oldest, and it was just the two of us for a long time when he was little. I feel like my life hangs on his. My husband doesn't understand this and I just don't know how to explain it. I know he is proud of Wes' decision, but I don't feel like we share a lot when it comes to this issue. This website has been like a surrogate for me and I am so thankful to have everyone here.
Lesa
Lesa,
I'm not a mother or a father so I don't know exactly the panic that you're going through. But, throughout my journey you've been there for me, and I hope you know just as everyone here is for you I am also.

On another note...

Reading this post kind of gave me insight into how my mother felt during my DEP to the Marines... I'm her oldest and just as it was yourself and Wes for a time... it was my mother, little sister and I. My enlistment with the Marines was discharged before I had an oppurtunity to leave for basic training becuase of a neccessary shoulder surgery.. but I never really realized how my enlistment affected her. Thank you for sharing your panic. That sounds really weird when I read it back to myself.

We're all definately here for you.

---michael
Wes told me you had come to him upset after seeing a news report and explain what you saw, and all I could say was, "I don't need to hear that." We all just have to keep faith that he's not going to be that soldier and that he'll make it through.
Thank you all so much. I am feeling better, but mostly because I have pushed the thoughts aside, so I am sure the other shoe will drop at some point. I "self-censor" the news for now. Wes and I were talking again today about his future in the Air Force and I am positive this is the right move for him. That helps more than anything, I guess. I want to go with him to MEPS when he leaves, but am scared I will have another bad reaction and I don't want him to have to leave with that on his mind. We are about 2 hours from MEPS here and it is not unusual for parents to say their good-byes at the local recruiting office, but I want so much to see him off in St. Louis.

You guys are great! Lesa
Lesa Shelton said:
Thank you all so much. I am feeling better, but mostly because I have pushed the thoughts aside, so I am sure the other shoe will drop at some point. I "self-censor" the news for now. Wes and I were talking again today about his future in the Air Force and I am positive this is the right move for him. That helps more than anything, I guess. I want to go with him to MEPS when he leaves, but am scared I will have another bad reaction and I don't want him to have to leave with that on his mind. We are about 2 hours from MEPS here and it is not unusual for parents to say their good-byes at the local recruiting office, but I want so much to see him off in St. Louis.

You guys are great! Lesa
I just Graduated. The Pride that comes along with being in the Airforce is so incredibly Great. All the Fallen Warriors will forever be in our heart.. .They're last breaths are what waves the Flag on the stillest day. The AF is here to train Wes. He'll be stong.

We just need your support.. Because the fear of loosing our own lives is really scary..

I'm scared to death of getting deployed to the sandbox.. but i trust the AF won't throw me out there without knowing i have the skills to survive.

Just keep everything in your thoughts and prayers and we'll all see it through.


My Family is my Motivation.
Stephanie! It is so good to hear from you! Thank you for the "inside" perspective. I am trying to be strong, but it is so hard. Wes will always be my little boy, no matter how much of a man/soldier/airman/whatever he becomes. Lesa

Stephanie said:
I just Graduated. The Pride that comes along with being in the Airforce is so incredibly Great. All the Fallen Warriors will forever be in our heart.. .They're last breaths are what waves the Flag on the stillest day. The AF is here to train Wes. He'll be stong.

We just need your support.. Because the fear of loosing our own lives is really scary..

I'm scared to death of getting deployed to the sandbox.. but i trust the AF won't throw me out there without knowing i have the skills to survive.

Just keep everything in your thoughts and prayers and we'll all see it through.


My Family is my Motivation.
You're a Mother. We appreciate your feelings <3
Stephanie,

I am very proud of my boys but I must tell you that after reading what you wrote I am very proud of you as well. You have done the Air Force proud in your short time there. I am so glad that the pride of being in the Air Force is not gone. I can tell you are and will continue to soar with eagles. You go girl.

Sgt Terry
It's an Honor.

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