It would have been wiser for me to title this post, "Friday Night, Part II"...but this will simply have to do!
To recap yesterday's post; on Friday night I had the honor of welcoming our troops home at BWI. As I have stated many times, attending an Operation Welcome Home event is always no less than amazing! To be in the presence of our heroes and shake their hands is an honor. They truly deserve so much more than the welcoming we offer...however, I feel blessed to be able to do this much for them!
Allow me to briefly describe an event: We meet in the International Terminal, approximately half an hour before the plane is scheduled to touch the ground.
With lots of enthusiasm; a human conveyor belt line forms, and we fill goodie bags with items such as granola bars & packaged snacks, bottles of water, and handmade 'Welcome Home" cards which are made by children from various schools and Churches. The hosts of the function then make a few announcements; introducing new volunteers and special guests. We then say the "Pledge of Allegiance" and then in proper military tradition...we wait. Once the call comes in that the plane has touched the ground we form a welcoming line, directing our soldiers out of the International Terminal. The clapping, hollering and cowbells make quite a ruckus when the first of our soldiers come through the doors. This celebration continues until the final soldier has come through our welcoming line.
Friday night, while waiting for the plane to touch down; I wandered over to a group of ladies who were wearing Blue Star tee shirts. Oh my goodness, this is my Maryland Chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America! I recently transferred to this chapter, after the folding of the virtual chapter. This was so cool! Six brand new Instant Friends! By the end of the OWH event, we had shared laughs, tears and hugs. We are proud Blue Star Mothers, there to support each other.
Each and every one of these moms, understand me and I understand them. We have a child (or children) in the military. Our children who not so long ago were in our arms, are now holding an M-16. Our children not so long ago, walked into their first day of school; they now have been through Basic and Tech Schools. Our children who not so long ago were ours to hold tightly during a thunder storm or bad dream, are now protecting our nation. Our children who at any moment we would lay our life down for, will now place themselves in harm's way for our country.
We are still their moms.
We will always love them so.