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If You Give A Mom A Soldier . . .

She Can Never Be Prepared For That Dreaded Phone Call

Mom Drops Everything to Care for Wounded Son

This heart-wrenching headline popped up on my face book page today, & I wanted to share. The story,  by Joseph Andrew Lee, USO Staff Writer, was posted on September 14, 2011, on the USO.org blog site under Wounded Warriors.  (read the article)
“Just two days after Thanksgiving in 2006, Luana Schneider  [received the dreaded phone call] that her son, Army Staff Sgt. Scott Stephenson, had been “hit” by an improvised explosive device in Iraq.” She was told that he was severely wounded and badly burned. She was also told her son was going to die. …
“Reality sucks,” Schneider said, reflecting on the moment she received that horrific phone call. “Even though I was waiting for that sort of call, I wasn’t ready for it. Nobody is.”
I cannot even begin to comprehend the level of grief this Army Mom experienced upon receiving that dreaded phone call. The hours and days to follow, determining the level of injury, all the “what if’s” and “what now’s” must have been a haze of overwhelming & inconceivable emotion. 
“Finding out your child has been severely wounded in combat is something no mother can prepare for. In fact, the news alone can be just as traumatic to the parent as the actual injury was to her son or daughter.”
I do not know this pain and grief, and I hope I never do. Just being an Army Mom has taken me to a whole new level of crazy I didn’t even imagine was possible. In fact, the very real possibility of  “That Dreaded Phone Call”  has to stay filed away in the darkest recesses of my mind or I could not function on a daily basis.  We, my boy & I, have taken a vow of sorts to just not go there – we take one day at a time and do the best we can with the cards we have been dealt, which in the end, is all any of us can do. I am inspired by this Army Mom’s courage &  ”drop everything” attitude to care for her adult son.  I know I would absolutely, with ZERO hesitation, do the same for my son. The bond a mother has with her child, no matter their “title,” is like no other. The bond runs deeper than even we are aware of until circumstances arise that bring out the Mama Bear in us.
“It’s not about you,” she added. “It’s about your child, your husband, your sister or your brother.” …. “When you have an adult child that you have to lift, you have to carry, you have to hold, have to bathe … the things that you have to do change you.  “That creates this intimacy that normal people cannot comprehend. An intimacy that, while amazing how it bonds us today, I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.”
This is an inconceivable scenario, but I am inspired by the strength and courage of this Army Mom, & the self-less dedication she  has to care for her son. And the best part of this story, the part that makes it all worthwhile:
“She’s a warrior,” Staff Sgt. Stephenson said of his mother. “She didn’t visit me in the hospital, she lived there. We’re closer now than we’ve ever been.”
My heart goes out to each & every mom, past, present, & future, that has received a dreaded phone call.

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3 Responses to “She Can Never Be Prepared For That Dreaded Phone Call”

  1. September 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm Posted by Nancy

    Much appreciate the information and sharing!

  2. November 14, 2011 at 6:45 am Posted by katablog.com

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    and a warrior she is. I’m Luana Schneider’s friend. I got the second phone call – she called me after receiving the call hoping we could help get her in touch with the right people for more information. Ms. Schneider indeed dropped everything and lived side by side with Scotty at Ft. Sam Houston for almost 2 years. She was also there when Scotty returned home to KS.

    Check out more about Scotty and other wounded soldiers at the organization started by Scott and his mom: TemperedSteelInc.org

  3. November 14, 2011 at 11:02 am Posted by Proud/CrazyArmyMom


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    Wow. This article was so emotional just from an Army Mom perspective, I cannot imagine being up-close-and-personal with such a scary scenario. Kudos to you for being there, being strong, and being helpful to Luana and her son.

    I do intend to check out the link further. I took a little peek & realized today was not the day to go to such an emotional space.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

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