If You Give A Mom A Soldier . . .

If You Give A Mom A Soldier . . .

 

She may laugh, cry, & everything in between, but one thing’s for sure . . .

Her Life Will Never Be The Same.

  • She will very quickly learn many ARMY ACRONYMS, the most important being OPSEC
OPSEC – OPERATIONS SECURITY: Basically, be careful what you say: no details, no positions, no leave & return dates, etc. Please keep OPSEC in mind when posting anything online!!! (OPSEC: A Guide For Family and Friends)
(this link does work, you just have to scroll down a bit for it to load – go figure – lol)

Crazy Army Acronyms

Some Basic Military Terms & Acronyms
As provided by Alison Lighthall, PESI Training, March 2008

ACU: All Climate Uniform (digital combat and work uniform)
  (a.k.a. Army Combat Uniform)

AO:
Area of Operation

AOC: Area of Concentration (professional job description)

APFT: Army Physical Fitness Test (mandatory level of fitness to remain in the service)
  (a.k.a. PT: Physical Training)

AT: Annual Training

AWOL: Absence Without Leave

Bird Colonel: O6

Boots on the ground: Time served overseas on deployment, starts upon arrival

Briefing: Factual update on current situation

Butterbars: Second Lieutenant

Coasties: Nickname for Coast Guard service members

CONUS: Continental US; See Garrison: A military post, especially one that is permanently established
(aka HOME!)

CSH (pronounced CASH): Combat Support Hospital

Deployment: Being sent on orders to serve on active duty.
  (Re-Deployment: Returning to PDS-Permanent Duty Station)
(Funny Note: Randy & I both thought Re-Deployment meant going back to Fight Zone, which makes sense, but as Randy says, ‘Yeah, another one of those Army things that doesn’t make sense!” lol)

Debriefing: Discussion post-incident that focuses on fact

Devil Dogs: Nickname for Marines

FOB: Forward Operating Base

Fox Alpha: F.A., short for “you better believe it.” (a.k.a. Fu**’n A)

Fraternizing: Forbidden socialization between enlisted and officers or anyone who is under someone else’s command

FRGs: Family Readiness Group, support group for all military families

FST (pronounced FAST): Forward Surgical Team, small unit of about 15 doctors, nurses, and medics who deploy into the areas of fighting to do emergency patch-ups and stabilizations, so that the injured troop can be transported to a higher level of care. They mobilize fast and work fast, so the name suits them.

Garrison: A military post, especially one that is permanently established
(aka HOME!)

Groundhogs Day: From the movie, meaning the days all seem to be exactly the same
  (
a.k.a. Same Shit, Different Day)

Grunts:
Nickname for low level, front line guys or new recruits

Hooah:
Shout of recognition (thought to be from the acronym HUA—Heard, Understood, Acknowledged)
(While in Iraq, The Boy's Unit exchanged ”Hooah“ for “Warhorse Sir” as identified with 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Warhorse Brigade)
LMAO: Laughing My Ass Off
("Hooah" reminiscent of the Wal Mart Cheer; Imagining The Boy participating in such an activity – OMG LMAO Everytime I think of it!!!)

IED: Improvised Explosive Device (homemade bombs, getting bigger every day)

In country: Being in the location of OCONUS deployment

In theater: Being in the location of OCONUS war deployment

Jarheads: Nickname for Marines

Leathernecks: Nickname for Marines

Light Colonel: Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) O5

LMAO: Laughing My Ass Off

LT: Nickname for Lieutenant

Medevac: medical evacuation helicopter

MOS: Military Occupational Specialty (job title)

MP: Military Police

MRE: Meals Ready to Eat

MWR: Morale, Welfare, and Recreation department

NBC: Nuclear Biological Chemical

NCO: Non-Commissioned Officer

O dark thirty: Early in the morning

OBC: Officer Basic Course

OCS: Officer Candidate School

OCONUS: Outside Continental US

OIC: Officer in Charge

PCS: Permanent Change of Station (transfer to another base)

PDS: Permanent Duty Station

PMCS: Preventative Maintenance Checks and Service

POTUS: President of the United States

PT: Physical Training (physical fitness)

Redeployment: Returning home from deployment

RPG: Rocket Propelled Grenade (usually a shoulder-held launcher)

Sandbox: Iraq and sometimes Afghanistan

Troops: Soldiers, Marines

Weapon: Word used for gun, knife, rifle

Wiskey Tango Foxtrot: WTF, as in, “What in the world…?” (see below – lol)

WTF, as in, “What in the world…?”
  (a.k.a.What the F**K)


  • She might break down & cry when she gets that final text from her child that reads “I have to turn my phone off now but I want you to know I love you very much” as he pulls into the gate for Basic Training.
  • She might feel indescribable pangs of angst when the reality sinks in that what used to be normal (& always available) methods of communication have been severed with her child/soldier for periods of time that seem to go on for eternity.
  • She might beam with gratitude that her child/soldier does, in fact, know how to use snail mail.
  • She might be shocked at the level of communication & depth of emotion that is expressed when snail mail is the ONLY choice for communication – far exceeding that of any previously “normal” options.
  • She might hold her breath for a very long time because she’s not sure her child will CHOOSE to “make it” (No doubt he CAN make it, but WILL he?)

Ummmm … Yeah … He will … & did!!!

  • She might experience an indescribable, inconceivable range of emotions she never, ever saw coming.
  • She might feel so completely Isolated within her own circle of friends because she has No One that can even begin to relate to her New Normal.
  • She might learn that you can put the soldier into the child, but you can’t take the child out of the soldier (a messy locker even in the Army!)
  • She might shake her head to the point of appearing to have Parkinson’s Disease at this inconceivable turn of events.
  • She might experience Proud Mom Moments when she sees that her Boy/Soldier actually did pick up a few good organizational Skillz along the way – AND applied them!!! (Major Happy Dance)
  1. Ziplock Bags are amazing for keeping things together & protected!
  2. An Accordian File Folder is the PERFECT way to keep Important Documents Organized & Handy – Leaves me speechless!!!
  • She might feel conflicted at the thought of her child/soldier camping outdoors when she knows her child despises the Great Outdoors
    (Do I laugh at the irony, or do I cry at the extreme discomfort he must be experiencing, & my helplessness to change this situation, or am I bemused at this Character Building situation?)
  • She might LAUGH & wonder how the child who refuses to use a Port-A-Potty is now, as a soldier, left with no other alternative.
  • She might laugh & shake her head, yet again, as the Germ-o-phobic Boy is now confined to extremely germy situations.
    (“Mom, it’s soooo gross – EVERYTHING is covered with germs!!! Don’t touch the handrail, or anything else – ew ew ew!”)
  • She might laugh hysterically that her child is the reason that the Hand-Sanitizer dispenser now has to be refilled EVERYDAY!
    (“Thankfully they at least have hand-sanitizer!!!” says he – lol)
  • She might feel indescribable pangs of angst that the ability to communicate is OFTEN extremely severed, for periods of time that seem to go on for eternity, even after Basic Training, & Especially during deployments.
  • She might laugh at her own self when she decides she really doesn’t care if she looks like a crazy person talking to herself with a blue light flashing by her ear, pretty much 24/7, on the off chance that The Boy might call & she is bound & determined to ALWAYS be available.
  • She might learn to sleep on her cell phone.
  • She might decide that sleep is over-rated.
  • She might feel indescribable sympathy for anyone within earshot that is bombarded not only with her story, but also demanding-ish that they send a letter to The Boy; a request that is made almost impossible (hopefully) for them to NOT act on since she is shoving a packet at them with a pre-stamped & addressed envelope, a piece of stationary, and a business card with his pic & mailing addy for future reference.

(Could she really be this crazy??? YES!!!)

  • She might feel indescribable sympathy for the poor lady that unfortunately ended up across the aisle from The Hysterical Mom who was on a flight back to see her boy prior to his first deployment.
  • She might feel indescribable gratitude for the Starbucks napkin & glass of wine handed to her by the poor lady that unfortunately ended up across the aisle from The Hysterical Mom who was on a flight back to see her Boy prior to his first deployment.
  • She might discover that walking around in a daze & on the brink of hysteria has become her New Normal, in the beginning, at least.
  • She might slowly realize that the initial hysteria has gradually lessened over time as “The Army Way” is an inconceivably perfect fit for The Boy.
    (“Don’t worry mom. I’m a Tank, remember?")
  • Her heart may swell with pride to the point of bursting over her (directionless since high school 4 years ago) Boy's decision to become
    The Best Soldier He Could Be!

Accord 6

Content 6
A LONG, Life-Changing, Successful, Mind Numbing 4 Years Have Gone By … Already

border: 3px dotted #FEF7CD; border: 3px dotted #FEF7CD;
And Succeed he has!
April 2, 2012 was The Boy's 4 Year Anniversary as a Soldier,
& he received The Most Amazing Report Card (aka NCOER) – Check it Out:
A Long 4 Years … Already?
And Succeed he has!
April 2, 2012 was The Boy's 4 Year Anniversary as a Soldier,
& he received The Most Amazing Report Card (aka NCOER) – Check it Out:
A Long 4 Years … Already?
  • She might Shake Her Head Everyday (to the point of appearing to have Parkinson’s Disease) at this inconceivable turn of events.
  • She might think that Life As She Knew It is OVER – & she would be correct.


( I realize there are some repeats in this list, but I think of those things every single day!)


I Am a Proud Crazy Army Mom!

 

This is my story & I want to share.
I want to share my totally unexpected & inconceivable foray into Army life as “The Mom.”
I want to share some things I’ve learned along the way.
I want to provide a community of support & understanding for all Proud and/or Crazy Army Moms – where we all “Get It.”
I want to provide a place for you to share your own story.
I want to provide a place for you to share what you have learned along the way.  


You are Officially Invited to join me on this

Proud Crazy Army Mom Adventure!

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT OPSEC IS A MAJOR CONCERN SO BE WISE IN ANY INFORMATION YOU SHARE. (Do not let OPSEC concerns keep you from sharing information – I will preview all comments before they are officially posted. I am by no means an expert, but I do have inside sources for advice :-)

52 Responses to “If You Give A Mom A Soldier . . .”

  1. September 16, 2011 at 8:39 pm Posted by The Woman

    This is something I saw that was funny. Some doesn’t apply to mothers, but I can say that as “The Woman” most of it applies to me (especially the legs thing…ewww)

    You know your soldier is deployed when…
    1. You wear old sweatpants and sweatshirts to bed.
    2. You can watch whatever you want on TV without arguing with him first.
    3. You get up in the middle of the night to check your e-mail or you stay on the computer all night waiting for them to get on.
    4. You sleep with your cell phone incase he calls in the middle of the night.
    5. You love watching cute love movies because it reminds you of all the cute things he does when he’s home.
    6. You haven’t shaved your legs in weeks.
    7. The mailman knows you because you are always out waiting for him to come.
    8. You start paying close attention in class when the words “military” or “Iraq” are mentioned.
    9. You suddenly have an obsession with anything military related.
    10. You see someone wearing an army, navy, or USMC shirt and you get this overwhelming urge to talk to them.
    11. You make friends with strangers online just because they are in the same situation as you and are the only ones that can truly understand what you are going through.
    12. You can’t decide what to wear when you meet him at the airport because his flight comes in at a ridiculous hour in the morning and you want to look cute, but not too cute, because your cutest outfit you want to save for your first full day together.
    13. Your first Christmas together is…. apart.
    14. You find yourself checking your e-mail every fifteen minutes. (hah more like every 5!!!)
    15. You know all the time differences between where you are and Iraq, Ireland, Kuwait, Italy, Germany, Korea, and every state in the U.S.
    16. The highlight of your day is getting a letter that was mailed a month ago.
    17. And if you don’t get a letter, the highlight of your day is writing him a letter that you know he will be able to read in a month.
    18. You realize that HOMECOMING is so much more than a football game.
    19. You want to hit any happy couple you see together.
    20. You get excited about “unknown” phone numbers calling you
    21. You’ve exhausted every idea a brain could have of what to put in a box.
    22. You see a “support our troops” sticker on a car when you are stuck in traffic and you find yourself guessing about who they know that is deployed and thinking about their entire life story.
    23. When the clock says 11:11, you find yourself wishing for the same thing every time: a call from your soldier.
    24. You get excited when its only 9 months until you see your soldier instead of 12!
    25. You can’t stand girls that talk about missing their boyfriends who live a few hours away. You just want to yell “drive and go see them them” because if you had the chance, you would jump on the first plane to go see your soldier no matter how far it is.
    26. You don’t know what teams are on top for football, basketball, etc.
    27. You wouldn’t dream of walking out of the house without the cell phone and every number you have is forwarded to that cell.
    28. You find yourself randomly crying from just looking at a picture of the two of you together.
    29. You find yourself randomly crying and you sometimes have no idea why.
    30. You stay on the Internet for hours searching for anything and everything about the military.
    31. You talk to your friends about him so much that they know his full name, birthday and even his favorite color.
    32. You are reading this and smiling and nodding because you know it’s so true!
    33. You sleep with his favorite blanket so often it’s starting to smell less like him and more like your perfume

    • November 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm Posted by Lainey

      I enjoy this website very much. Like the header says, it has made me laugh, cry, and I have been inspired not only by the stories, but by your courage to share. Thank you so much.

      • November 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

        Hi Lainey, Glad to hear my blog had made a difference for you. :)

  2. September 17, 2011 at 11:35 pm Posted by Squirrel

    Love Love Love it! Love you, Army Mom :)

    • September 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      Glad you like, since you, my dear friend, have been my rock since becoming an Army Mom, & you already know all this crazy stuff! And, you still like me – lol :)

  3. September 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm Posted by The Grandma

    As a gramdma and mother-in-law I have had a few learning experiences. First, don’t send cute, musical cards to your soldier. It only causes him/her unnecessary grief from combat buddies on their end.
    Second, how to support you army mother daughter during her stressful, obsessive periods without worrying yourself sick about her mental health and heart ache. I know all military families survive this, and we will too.

  4. September 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

    Well . . .
    “It only causes him/her unnecessary grief from combat buddies on their end.”

    Sometimes I just can’t help myself – lol :)
    . . . No, Most of the time I can’t help myself – just too darn tempting to dish a little (or a lot of) grief – I view it as Distraction Therapy!

  5. September 23, 2011 at 9:11 am Posted by Marty Petz

    Do you have a Facebook page or Twitter? Would love to follow you there, I’m on my iPhone and love reading your stuff!

    • September 23, 2011 at 11:35 am Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      Hi Marty. I do have a Facebook page, but . . . I don’t post anything on this topic, or any other for that matter – I’m just an occasional lurker – lol.

      As I mentioned in my introduction post, I really don’t have anyone in my circle of friends that can even remotely relate to my situation, which is why I started this blog.

      I am in the process of gathering specific links for resources, as well as various stories from the many sources that have been inspiring to me during this process. The stories I’m most excited to share are the LOL stories My Soldier tells me – he is quite the character, always makes me laugh.

      My plan for this weekend it to (have my husband – lol) figure out how to send an email update to the registered users of my site. If you register (there’s a link at the bottom of the page), that would be a way for you to track my postings.

      Glad you enjoy! :)

      • November 10, 2011 at 11:08 am Posted by Dolly

        Thanks for sharing such personal experiences.

        • November 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

          You’re welcome! :)

  6. September 27, 2011 at 10:58 am Posted by LadyDel

    I adore your wordpress web template, where ever did you get it?

    • November 10, 2011 at 10:03 am Posted by Roxie

      Thanks for spending time on the computer writing. This is obviously a very emotional journey and I’m glad you chose to share with others.

      • November 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

        Hi Roxie, You’re welcome, yes it is, and I will be happy if it is helpful to even one other Army Mom who can relate.

    • November 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      Hi LadyDel, this website is actually based on a wordpress template which I customized with my own digital creations. Thanks for asking :)

  7. October 30, 2011 at 11:58 pm Posted by Zane Maisano

    This article is blue ribbon material as far as I’m concerned … very interesting content.

    • November 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      Thank you!

  8. October 31, 2011 at 4:44 pm Posted by nba

    Thank you for this post. It was just what I was looking for.

    • November 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      You’re welcome. Hope it was helpful.

  9. October 31, 2011 at 11:12 pm Posted by Hoyt Rendell

    I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this post. In reality your inventive writing skills have inspired me to begin my very own blog now.

    • November 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      You’re welcome. Always a compliment to be able to inspire someone else. Best of luck to you on your blogging journey.

  10. November 9, 2011 at 8:16 pm Posted by Connie

    Your article was just what I needed. It’s made my day!

    • November 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      :) Glad to hear it!

  11. November 10, 2011 at 7:31 am Posted by Debra

    As a fellow Army mom, you’ve helped me sort things out. Thank you. :)

    • November 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      You are welcome. Best of luck to you with your Army Mom journey – oh what a ride, a crazy roller coaster of a ride – lol ish.

  12. December 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm Posted by The Grandma

    Amazing! You have had some wonderful comments, now the whole world will know the talent we have been blessed with in our family.

    • December 5, 2011 at 8:24 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      Thank you much. :)

  13. April 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm Posted by carve vegetables easy

    It’s the second time when i’ve seen your site. I can understand lots of hard work has gone in to it. It’s actually great.

  14. June 5, 2012 at 11:35 am Posted by Nutz

    TEST

  15. December 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm Posted by Anonymous

    nice job. Thumbs up!

  16. December 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm Posted by Anonymous

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

    • December 13, 2012 at 10:02 am Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      Thanks much! :)

  17. December 11, 2012 at 8:32 am Posted by Anonymous

    I like this website – it’s a masterpiece! Glad I discovered this on google.

    “Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic.” by Dan Rather.

    • December 13, 2012 at 9:34 am Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      Thanks much! :)

  18. December 13, 2012 at 9:27 am Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

    Sorry about that. I’ve had that happen numerous times myself – grrrrr. I’ve now tried to get in the habit of! preparing my comments in a separate text program & then the copy/paste thing. Glad you like the blog! :)

  19. December 13, 2012 at 9:35 am Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

    Glad you like! :)

  20. December 15, 2012 at 7:14 pm Posted by Tracy Lynn Vent

    Just wanted to thank you for such a great blog! My middle son just went to basic at the end of October in Missouri. I sure do miss him and so thankful he will be home this Christmas!!! Had to laugh when you mentioned becoming obsessed with anything military,and waiting for the mail….so very true!!!! Going to bookmark you,thanks again!!!!!!!!!

    • December 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      Best of luck on this new, exciting, scary adventure – your life will never be the same – just a new normal. Very happy you get to see him for Christmas – cherish the moment :-)

  21. January 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm Posted by Jackie

    Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging
    for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is great,
    as well as the content!

  22. February 15, 2013 at 8:53 pm Posted by jol brooks

    Thank you for another fantastic article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such information.

  23. February 22, 2013 at 5:37 pm Posted by raymond arce

    I am always browsing online for articles that can help me.
    Thank you!

  24. February 22, 2013 at 8:01 pm Posted by disque dur sata

    I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s very easy
    on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often.

    Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Fantastic work!

    • May 9, 2013 at 7:47 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      Glad you like! This website is created using WordPress, and the paid theme is a customized version of The The Shot, by The The Fly – here is a link to their website: http://thethefly.com/3567/themes/portfolio/thethe-shot/

  25. February 24, 2013 at 11:42 pm Posted by Emziah

    This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  26. March 11, 2013 at 6:49 pm Posted by kathie conte

    Hello! I know this is somewhat off-topic but I had to ask. Does operating a well-established blog like yours take a massive amount work? I am completely new to writing a blog, however, I do write in my journal everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my experience and feelings online. Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it!

    • May 9, 2013 at 7:10 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      Operating a website can be time consuming, but worth it. This website is created using WordPress, and they have tons of information to help you get started, including many free themes. The theme I chose for this blog is a paid theme (which I customized) and is called The The Shot, by The The Fly – here is a link to their website: http://thethefly.com/3567/themes/portfolio/thethe-shot/

  27. April 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm Posted by pauline

    Verу nice post. I simply stumblеd upon your blog and ωished to say thаt I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts. I’ll be subsсribing in youг гѕѕ feed аnd I’m hoping you write more very soon!

    Feel free to visit my webpage … seo company

    • May 9, 2013 at 1:10 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      Thank you for the feedback – much appreciated! It has been about a year since I’ve added any new posts, or even checked out my website (she says, hanging her head in shame). It’s been a good year – just a bit crazy. I am now ready to go at it again. Please check back soon for some new, & very funny posts re – The Boy and his new family. Cheers! :)

  28. April 1, 2013 at 9:03 pm Posted by keenan

    I’m not sure exactly why but this web site is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later and see if
    the problem still exists.

    • May 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      Thank you for the feedback – much appreciated! It has been about a year since I’ve added any new posts, or even checked out my website (she says, hanging her head in shame). It’s been a good year – just a bit crazy. I am now ready to go at it again, so I will take your comment into consideration & see if I can make some adjustments. Please check back soon for some new, & very funny posts re – The Boy and his new family. Cheers! :)

  29. April 16, 2013 at 7:11 am Posted by geraldinemiles

    I do not know if it’s just me or if everybody else is encountering problems with your blog. It appears like some of the written text on your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This may be a problem with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen before.
    Cheers

    • May 9, 2013 at 11:57 am Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom

      Thank you for the feedback – much appreciated! It has been about a year since I’ve added any new posts. or even checked out my website (she says, hanging her head in shame). It’s been a good year – just a bit crazy. I am now ready to go at it again, so I will take your comment into consideration & see if I can make some adjustments. Please check back soon for some new, & very funny posts re – The Boy and his new family! Cheers!




Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>