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An Open Letter To My Child Leaving For The Military

When you told me about your selfless decision to serve our country, my heart cried a little while I wrapped my mind around your decision....

When you told me about your selfless decision to serve our country, my heart cried a little while I wrapped my mind around your decision.

I put that moment aside to focus on you and where life will take you as you answer your call to duty. 

It won’t be easy as you go through the grueling training designed to transform you into a well-trained warrior. You’re special and I know you can do it. You won’t let any obstacles get in the way of learning to become the best of the best. 

Knowing the challenges you’ll face will be difficult for me. My first instinct is always to protect and do things for you.

Although there will be days where you’ll struggle, I have faith and confidence that you’ll get the job done as you learn a new, disciplined lifestyle.

You’ll be in close quarters with other warriors. Some you’ll like, others you won’t, and some will just plain annoy you. Remember to never judge, and always have a kind and patient heart. Some of these warriors will be your battle buddies someday, watching your back on the battlefield. 

Photo by Sgt. Dana Beesley/Released

Know that you are part of a team now; the greatest and most important team in the world.  Your amazing ideas and inspirational conversation will only matter if you learn to work and play well with others, even if you don’t like them.

Teamwork is a skill that takes time and practice. It’s what will make your contributions that much more successful and keep your team strong.

Navigating the ups and downs of life is never easy. Instead of seeing the negatives, look for the positives and develop the skills to help you stay focused with a clear mind.

You’re carrying a torch that is so bright; it will lift you in life when things seem down. It will serve as a reminder that you are part of the one percent that chooses to serve our country with honor and courage. I will never expect anything but the best from you as you rise in your military career.

When you were a toddler, I never imagined that you’d grow up with the desire to be a defender of freedom. But you did and my heart is brimming with pride that you made such an important decision on your own. 

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Camilo Fernan

I stand with you as you carry your torch of freedom through challenging training, uncomfortable situations, and a fierce desire to succeed in your missions.

Where will your adventure take you? 

Whether you find yourself in the highest mountains of Afghanistan, the beautiful countryside of Germany, or a state-side city, cherish every moment.  Life is full of fleeting moments, don’t miss any of them. Every moment matters and gets you to the next milestone on your life’s journey.

Life can be surprisingly bountiful if you let it.

Always be true to yourself and follow your passion. I am in awe that you decided to do a job you love, serving our great country.

Should you ever feel like you can’t climb the mountain in front of you, just remember who you are and why you serve.  

Photo by Airman 1st Class Mikayla Heineck

I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. I see a strong, confident young man who is proud to serve with the best. Your vision for the future paved a clear path for you to live your American Dream.

In turn, you are helping to clear the path for others to continue in freedom and live their American Dream too. How great is that?

You are one of the special ones that keep our nation strong and I am with you every step of the way. 

I wish I could capture and remember every moment of life with you. Instead, I’ll stand by you as you take flight on your military journey, supporting and loving you.

I will be there for you no matter what. We are in this together. 

Love you forever, Mom

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