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A Legacy of Service

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“We’ve decided to go to West Point.” 

Drenched, I looked up, wiping water from my eyes. Tears or the wet from the upstairs shower leak now pouring out of my kitchen ceiling fan? Hard to know, but it meant watery eyes, nonetheless. I remember looking down at my hand, hanging onto my kitchen counter as my brain tried to process and catch up. Did he just say that they were going to West Point?

I felt my breath catch, and I immediately slipped into actor mode. Play the part and process later. I swooped across the kitchen floor and wrapped my arms around his tall, muscular frame and buried my face into his chest. How did we get here? Wasn’t I just wiping dirt off his face and kissing boo-boos a second ago? How is he this big? How has he grown into a man? How in the world did they decide to join the Army? We had taken them on college tours all across the country, making sure that they saw all the possibility, all the opportunity so that they could make an informed decision, a good decision, the right decision for their futures.

So Proud of You

“I am so proud of you, buddy…. So proud. Are you sure that this is what you want?” 

Is this what I want? We had just left it all behind us. Jamie retired three years ago, and we let it go. All the days, months, years apart, the uniforms and boots, the constant unknowns. I had worked to put it all behind us. To write the end of that chapter and start a new one, one that didn’t involve so much sacrifice, and now here we are. Right back where we started, only this time, it was my twin sons raising their right hands and joining the Long Grey Line, the Army. My heartbeats. My loves.

The twin boys who were my constant through every one of the five deployments, the ones who were the reason that I got out of bed some days. The boys who moved for the first time at ten days old and moved ten more times after that. These boys who were forced to grow up fast and adapt, change, pivot. Boys who packed the van with me, off on another trip, another visit, another move. They put their sisters to bed at night while I did the dishes. They wrote letters to their dad and crossed off dates on our Daddy Deployment calendar. They hugged my neck when I couldn’t hold the tears back anymore. They made me visit more principals’ offices than I care to admit. They made me laugh and laugh when all I wanted to do was cry. They ran and jumped, and I ran and jumped right along with them in gyms and on baseball fields all across America. These boys were mine, and I didn’t want to give them to Uncle Sam. Hadn’t we already given enough? 

"The military is a family business. There is a legacy of service passed down through military families, and apparently mine would be no exception." @iwillwaitvsp Click To Tweet
“R-Day” (Recruitment Day) at West Point for the twins, June 27th, 2022

A Family Business

30% of the Army’s ranks are filled each year with children of service members. Regardless of current politics, presidents or wars, those numbers don’t change. The military is a family business. There is a legacy of service passed down through military families, and apparently mine would be no exception. Watching water pour out of my ceiling and flood my kitchen, all I could do in that moment was hug him tighter and remind myself that I knew how to do this and so did they. This is their time to write their own chapter to the story, and I would be here waiting for them- to cheer them on, brush them off, put them back together, and remind them that this country, no matter how broken and flawed, is still worth a fight. 

Do I wish that my two kids weren’t doing the fighting? I do. I can’t help it. But do I stand in awe of their bravery for following a legacy of service after their dad? I do that too. Bitter and Sweet. So I will do my part. I will hold them close and then send them off. Praying once again, and over and over, that America will do its part and continue to be worthy of their sacrifice. 

Tags :
Army,Family,Military Children,Military Family,Military Mom,Military Spouse,Recruitment Day,Soldiers,West Point
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9 Responses

  1. Your words have always been ‘just right’ and eloquent. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story. Miss you, Olga. ~Ana

  2. Love you all! Thank you to each of you is not enough but know that you are loved and supported! God bless you one and all!

  3. Amy,
    You also fostered these young men. You inspired them with how you kept going on the home front. Jamie could not have done without you. All of your kids are stronger than you know – just trust that❤️

  4. So, Mom, keep a stiff upper lip and pray lots! I think it was great that they both chose West Point. I am pretty sure that both you and Jamie are just as proud as you are fearful. Knowing you both, I’m sure that the young men they turned out to be, did not make this decision lightly! God bless and keep this family during this new chapter in their lives!

  5. I watched Miss Amy grow from a girl to a college student to a woman to a wife to a Mother. In every role that God gave her in life, she knocked it out of the park. Her Parents and siblings were the rock she built on to start life, her husband took the reins and together they built a Family, oh what a beautiful Family. The years past in a quick hurry, the Army once again brought changes, new addresses, deployments, so alone raising her children, never for long. Her beloved Parents and Jamies’ family, siblings, and all the people that touched her life, each came to bring life and hope. Then the man of her dreams would come home safe… again restoring the light of life in the heart of sweet Amy. Jamie wasn’t the only Soldier in their beautiful family, they all were, God Bless you ALL and Thank you. Now begins a new chapter, may God let me watch from afar and cheer for you All. My sweet beautiful Amy Lou I’ll love you Forever and a day, “STAND PROUD” for all of your accomplishments, keep your arms and prayers wrapped around all those you love. Your LOVE is a BLESSING.

  6. Beautifully written. Thanks to your husband, my co-worker, for his sacrifice, to your boys for the sacrifices they’ll make and to your girls for the support to them and YOUR support and sacrifices as well. I’ll do my part to keep America worthy.

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