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May 12  2013-

Happy Military appreciation month!

I am recognizing someone in my life associated with the military everyday. Today is Mother’s Day so I thought it only fitting to recognize a military mom.

So today,  I am recognizing my friend Connie Secor. Connie and I met while attending Leadership Greater McHenry County.  At the time, her son Daniel was in A school  to become a Navy Corpsman.  She was proud of her son and all he had accomplished. Towards the end of the program, she shared with me that Daniel had received his first orders. He would be attached to a Marine unit as their field medic.  This is a noteworthy duty for a Navy Corpsman. Daniel was deployed to Afghanistan and Connie did what all military moms do- hope, pray, and Shoulder on.  Daniel returned safely.  He was changed by his experienced, no longer an unsure boy, he was unmistakably a man. As a Corpsman, Daniel is the first responder to his units medical needs in the field- it is an incredibly difficult and unfortunately critically necessary job. He came by his calling honestly; he followed his mother’s footsteps. Connie is a trauma nurse.

Connie and I had lunch recently. She shared that Daniel is in work ups getting ready to deploy again. The second time is much harder. A first deployment is filled with questions and curiosity. What will it be like? Will they be changed? What will they face?  With the second tour, you are all too familiar with what is involved. Those awkward responses from your friends when you share why your child missed your birthday. That need to avoid the news so you don’t hear about a bad day in Kabul.  The jump of your heart when you receive a letter- proof that they are alright.

There is something very special about being a military mom. You are bursting with pride that your child stepped up, leaned in and were willing to stand point.  But that pride comes at the cost of being able to protect your child from the bad things in life.  The roles reverse- it is now your child doing the protecting.

At lunch Connie told me, “I remember when Daniel landed home safely, I could finally breathe. I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time he was gone. “

And now he is getting ready to go again.  I ask that you say a prayer for Connie and Daniel and all the other mom’s who celebrate today with a child deployed.  There can be no greater Mother’s day gift than the safe return of their Soldier, Marine, Sailor or Airman.  We thank them for their service. I thank you for raising your child to be willing to serve. Happy Mother’s Day, Connie.  I will keep you both in my prayers.