I am the mom of an infantry soldier. In the back of my mind, I knew from the moment my son sent in his application for the Forces that the life-changing day would come. I was told that the process might take up to two years, but two months after having dropped off his application at the recruitment centre, the phone rang.
My motherly intuition knew that this phone call wasn’t just a normal phone call. The government phone number seemed to jump off the display screen…tears filled my eyes instantly, and my heart jumped into my throat as I answered the phone.
I was emotional, vulnerable and with very little notice, I became the mom of a soldier.
The day is engraved in my memory, and the feeling of fear remains. I inhaled and have yet to exhale. Tears sit ready to be released at any moment. I find myself paused waiting for the next phone call… “Mom, I am being deployed.”
My baby is now a soldier in the infantry. We knew he wanted to be a soldier, but the question was…when? When did he grow up? Why did he choose this line of work? Can I be more proud than I am at this moment?
My feelings were sometimes uncontrollable as a result of this life-changing phone call. That is why I began to search for information, education, and support for parents and found nothing. I came across the Military Family Resource Center Nation Capital Region in my search, and another wonderful journey began. The MFRC-NCR realized parents were being left out of the support system and together we created the group Parents of Military Members. Our group consists of moms, dads, uncles, aunts, and grandparents.
We meet every two months to discuss, support, and learn about topics related to our situation. Discussions will arm your toolbox with some tips and tools needed to be mentally ready and strong to face the military lifestyle with your loved one.
We hope to share our experiences to create a safe space of discussion related to the emotions that arise when the people you love the most choose the military lifestyle.
Do you live in the Ottawa area? Are you a parent of a military member? If so, register for our next meeting. Contact Heather Cudmore-McCarthy at (613) 998-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article written by Sharon Taylor, Proud Military Mom.