After one last phone call, they official started SFAS last Saturday night, or Sunday morning I guess. I haven't heard from him and that makes me SO proud. Whether he gets through or not, he has made it almost a week and that is something to be very, very proud of.
Late yesterday, he arrived at Fort Bragg in North Carolina for Special Forces Selection. Yes, that SFAS that was profiled in the series Two Weeks in Hell. On the upside, it's now three weeks in hell because as he says, 'too many people were breaking when it was only two weeks."
So, this is scary for a lot of reasons. I don't know why he wants to do this, but he really, really does and he had to work hard to even get sent to Selection. If all goes well, I won't hear from him for 18 days.
So, to my baby boy, whatever happens, I am SO proud of you. Stay safe and kick some butt.
I don't pretend to have the answers about when we should get involved in things, but as the parent of a solider, it seems like a week doesn't go by without another possible deployment destination.
You won't remember, but I will. . .
Read this beautiful post today. It really rings true for me, with all of my kids, but especially him because we lost his older brother and as the article says, "You won't remember the way you healed my broken spirit. The way you completed my heart. I was weak before I had you, and you made me whole again."
Yet another 'breaking news' ticker, yet another promise of 'no boots on the ground' in Iraq. And it's true, most people say it's probably not going to happen. But they won't stop talking about it. All the time. As many times as they say 'no boots on the ground,' someone pops up on TV in the next minute and says it can't be ruled out, or that, it still may come up again. I get it. I know. I just wish people would shut up about it for a while and let things play out. The speculation may get advertising on the news networks but it really doesn't mean anything or help anyone. /vent
I just read about an anniversary taking place right now. In July 2008, during the Battle of Wanat, nine Soldiers lost their lives. One was from our area. Rest in peace Spc. Gunnar Zwilling.
"Each of these heroes stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live and grow and increase in its blessings."
-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
So, he survived Ranger tryouts. I am SO proud of him. He passed the PT, which included doing a 5 mile run in under 40 minutes. He made it through two of the three swimming trials. He needs some work on Land Navigation. And finally, on day three, he finished a 12 mile ruck (a march/hike with all of his gear) in under three hours, which was the required time. He said he had to run, or 'more like waddle,' to finish in time, but he made it. It was the hardest ruck he's ever done, but he said when he knew it was close time-wise, he found the motivation to speed up and finish. Unfortunately for him, he has a ruck again today with his regular unit. I cannot even imagine how exhausted he is going to be.
So, at this point, he doesn't know what the future holds. He is definitely going to Air Assault school. A Seargant at the Ranger School tryouts said he would help him work on the swimming and Land Nav, which is awesome. It is clear that his hard work is paying off and I know he is excited about his future opportunities.
After a bit of a lull, a lot seems to be going on. And let's be honest, a lull, when your son is in the military is not really a bad thing. He was selected for Air Assault School last week. Because his unit has Stryker training this month, he is not sure when he will go, but he is going. For me, this, of course, brings on the usual mix of pride and terror. He works very hard and stays out of trouble, so of course he will probably continue to be selected for further training - training that could qualify him for more dangerous work.
Then there are the Ranger tryouts. Going on right now. He just texted that he passed the first leg. Again, a spot at Ranger School is something most soldiers covet. Again, more dangerous work. (UPDATE: He passed the PT and 2 out of 2 swimming tests. Land Nav is tomorrow at 3am. Not sure what this all means yet.)
And then there's the two trailers I watched this weekend. The Hornet's Nest bills itself as 'not based on a true story. This is a true story.' Usually within five seconds of watching a trailer like this, the tears start. Truthfully, I always get pretty emotional about stuff like that. But the whole thing, the danger, the emotional trauma, the risk of death, the heroism, the bravery, it's a lot to take in. I wish more people would see movies like this and see what the troops are really going through over there.
And finally, there is Bowe Bergdahl. Right now this story is everywhere and seems to be constantly unfolding. I cried tears of joy when I saw that he was coming back to his parents. How could I not? But, I agree with the conclusion of the writer of my linked article.
"What Bergdahl’s motivations were is something for Army investigators and possibly the military judicial system to determine, but these are questions which must be asked."
A Soldier's Mom
This is a journal about my experiences as a soldier's Mom. My son gradated OSUT at Fort Benning in October 2013. He is currently stationed at Fort Carson, CO.