Sunday, January 7, 2007

January 7 2007

My intention for this blog is to share the feelings of all parents of individuals serving in the military.
Everyone is welcome to join in and offer their thoughts, feelings, and what ever you feel like getting off your chest.
I know there are thousands of us with sons and daughters in the service.
I'd like to hear from anyone who wants to talk about it.
I hope to come up with ways to show support through online groups etc.
The more the merrier. Hopefully we can make the time away from our loved ones pass a little quicker.
A little about me!
My name is John.
I am 57 years old, married, (36 years), with three sons.
I served in the U.S. Army Reserve, 76th Division Infantry SPTC, from 1970-77.
I trained at Fort Jackson South Carolina, where I graduated, BCT. (Basic Combat Training), AIT, ( Advanced Individual Training), 3rd Army Leadership School, and earned my Cadre Badge from the 3rd Army Drill Sergeant School.
I am now employed as a general manager for a petroleum company.
We live in the south west corner of New Hampshire.

I stated why I started this blog above. (to communicate with other parents in similar situations).
My reason is my son Mathew.
PFC Mathew Rider 2nd infantry div. 4th Stryker BDE, FT. Lewis Washington.

As the dad of a soon to be deployed infantryman, I find my feelings running the gamut from lonely, worried, scared, remorse and every other feeling imaginable.
I've never been overly religious, but sometimes I pray.
Not wanting to be selfish I pray for all of our men and women in the military wherever they may be.
My son wanted to join the Marine Corps when he graduated from high school. We asked him to give college a try, which he did.
He attended the University of Southern Maine. Mostly because of his love for Maine from family trips there over the years, and because a cousin was enrolled.
After his sophomore year he came home and announced that he had joined the Army on the college first program. Upon graduation he would serve three years active duty, and the Army would pay off his student loans, and give him a signing bonus. Or he could enter as an officer and attend OCS. No loans re payed but he still got the signing bonus. He opted to go as an enlisted man to get the loans repaid!! Disregarding the higher pay rate of officers and how he could make enough to pay his loans off and still be a lot farther ahead on an officer's pay.
He didn't major in economics!!
He was a Criminology major. I figured he would sign on as to go to MP school. Get a head start for police academy when he gets out! Nope! Infantry, wanted Airborn and Ranger school.
Well, I told my wife, if he's going to war, he might as well be in the best fighting outfit in the Army!!
Trying to convince myself!!!
I've been reading up on Iraq. It seems that MP is not a very safe MOS in theater, as they ride around in Humvees, which are a lot less armored than Strykers..
Well that's the beginning of my story, I hope to hear from others with theirs.

Interesting reading, My War, by Cory Buzzell. A book of his journal entries and his blog from Iraq which gained him national mention.

Till next time pray for the safety of our military personnel, and peace.

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