July 5, 2011Joining the Military
Dear Dr. Laura,
Posted by Staff at 12:00 AM
I just listened to the call with the mother who was upset about her son's desire to join the military. I so appreciated what you had to say to that mother who was struggling with her fears, as I know you struggle with your own.
The reason I am writing to you today is because in 2004 my son, Aaron enlisted in the Army with a MOS of 18x, Special Forces. I was surprised when his recruiter insisted on meeting with me before he signed the enlistment papers. My son was 18 years old and I believed he had the right to make his own decisions, but I went anyway because my son insisted. I was so proud to watch him interact with the recruiters, and even prouder when I watched him graduate basic and two years later receive his Green Beret. I knew the risks of his job, but I was also amazed at the man he became when he joined the military.
You may not remember, but my husband called your show about this same young man. Aaron had been caught driving our car before he had his license. Because of his actions, we did not allow him to get his license for another year. At that time, I was very concerned about the type of person he would turn out to be when he was turned loose on the world after high school.
Although I already knew what a fine young man he turned out to be, it was confirmed for me when I attended his memorial service at Fort Bragg this past week. Aaron was killed in action on May 29th when he was on a mission. He was the first Special Forces Dog Handler to be killed in action. Aaron told me how dangerous his new assignment was, and he had reservations about his deployment to Afghanistan. He told me this in April while I was visiting to celebrate the birth of my first grandchild.
A part of me wanted to tell him not to go - to find a way to stay home with his son. But I didn't do it - I did not want my fears to become his fears. Aaron deployed on May 1st when his son was five weeks old. He never considered turning back. He talked to his wife and son nearly every day on Skype.
I am so proud of my son and what he accomplished in his 25 years on Earth. He could have done so many things had he lived, but I have to focus on what he did while he was here. He proudly served his country. He married a wonderful North Carolina girl (he is from California), and together they have given me an amazing grandson.
Please keep encouraging honorable men and women to serve our country. We need people who will stand up for what is right. I love my son and I did not want him to die, but if he had to die, I am thankful that it was in the pursuit of a noble cause.
Thank you for what you do.