Third Tour

Do you know how hard it is to watch your child deploy to war in the Mid-East – for the third time in six years?

Some of you do know. Many sons and daughters have served even more tours. By the third deployment, you start to wonder how many times the little buzz-haired boy you raised can walk into harm’s way and return safe and whole. I won’t say unscathed, because nobody returns without cost.

Everyone says it’s much safer in Iraq now, but every day we read of deaths from IEDs and suicide bombings. Our son wears body armor under a standard uniform that’s not cool to start with, in summer temperatures that reach 110 to 120 degrees. And I better not find out he ever goes out without that body armor, even though this is a kid who loved to goose hunt in freezing weather and used to suffer in Oklahoma heat.

I can’t know what it’s really like for our military people, how they face their fears or mark the days missing their families, how they cope. I admire them more than I can speak. But I do know what it’s like for the ones left behind.

Think of the thousands of spouses and children, the mothers and fathers, who deal with this every day. They go about their daily lives doing their best to function normally, but a big chunk of their minds and hearts is overseas, sweating out the days with someone they love more than life itself.

They also serve who only stand and wait.

9 Responses to “Third Tour”

  1. My nephew missed the birth of his first child two days before Father’s Day, as he was in the middle of “high altitude training” in CA in preparation for deployment, and couldn’t be reached. I think he learned he was a father a couple of days later. My heart aches for all those whose lives are touched by the tragedy of war. Prayers with us all…

  2. Vivian Zabel says:

    Marcia, my middle child, older son, was in the Air Force for twenty years. He was part of the Bosnia problem, Kuwait, and the fly zone around Iraq, only he was in the first plane in, taking fire and in harms way every flight.

    I spent many a night praying for his safe return. Thankfully, he did.

  3. My heart goes out to you Marcia, and all those mothers and spouses and families in that situation. Thankful for those willing to serve under such difficult conditions. You and your son will be on my prayer list.

  4. Iris Muno Jordan says:

    Marcia, will keep all of you in my prayers. I’m proud of Andy as I know you and Paul are as well. May God keep his proctective shield around Andy and his comrads. After all these years, Andy is still catching “snakes!!” Stay strong – prayers and love to you!

  5. Pat Browning says:

    Marcia,
    My heart aches for you. War is always scary but the current ones seem especially cruel, if such a thing is possible. Keeping a good thought for you and your soldier boy.
    Pat Browning

  6. Jackie King says:

    Each day when I watch the news I’m overwhelmed as I listen to accounts of unbeliveable courage. May God bless and protect your son and comfort your heart.

    We Americans owe so much to these brave men and women for our comfortable lives.

  7. Sandy Hodges says:

    Well said, Marcia! Will he be there a whole year? Will keep Andy and the ‘girls’ in my prayers. My nephew has 4 months to go in Afghanistan….2nd tour. It will be a relief to have him home……and Andy as well. I know each time you think it will surely be his last!!

  8. My prayers are with you and your son. All of our men and women who are serving this nation in war are paying dearly. Being the daughter of a WWII veteran and the wife of a Vietnam veteran has taught me that it is virtually impossible for combat veterans to return home unscathed — mentally, physically, if not both. May God watch over your son and bring him home safely.

  9. Carole Bee says:

    My prayers are with your son..I have two sisters with boys that served two missions to Iraq each with more looming.One also has a son in law the was just wounded but is okay. Thank you son for me..

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