Finding Strength in Boot Camp: A Military Mom’s Story

I came across a post recently, one explaining that their son had just joined the army, and was away at boot camp. “Boot camp” is a very American way of saying, basic training.

This person went on to explain that her son had been calling her during what limited down time he was allotted, and remarked that he had made a “terrible mistake.” He wanted to quit, and come home.

The original author of this post indicated that they too had served in the military, albeit many years ago. They empathized, but also noted that they did not recall feeling so poorly about their initial voyage into military life. They did not want to sway their child one way or the other, but also stated that they were struggling with paternal instinct, and almost told their son to simply request for their release and come home.

This was my response…

“Hi, Jean. Thanks for sharing your story with us. That does sound stressful, and it’s a lot to take on, emotionally. If I may, I’d like to offer you some words that came to me during my time in service…

Joining the army is a bit like jumping into a cold lake — at first, everything in your body laments and demands that you escape, and get out. But, if you’re able to tolerate the discomfort for a time, then eventually you start to acclimatize to your surroundings. You begin to realize that the waters aren’t so bad…just a little shocking at first.

There may be times where you start to get tired, maybe feel like your drowning, that’s where driftwood comes in — it’ll help keep you afloat for as long as you need…and this is what you’re brothers will do for you also.

Hang in there. It may be tough, but there are no waters like it anywhere else in the world. Eventually, you’ll swim to the other side, and find land. Once you do, a whole new adventure awaits — and it’s worth it!

Hope this helps. And tell your boy, ‘thank you for your service'”.

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