I don’t even know what category to put this under. I have spent almost five hours at the V.A. today, endeavoring to ‘fix’ my broken child.
My son is now twenty-nine. He went away from my home at nineteen, strong, brave, healthy, intelligent, and whole. He has come home eleven years later broken. He has post-traumatic stress disorder. This can cover anything from severe sleep disorders, (he stays awake three days at a time when memories flood in), to short-term memory loss, anxiety in crowds or stores. In so many small areas, I can see how he is different than when he left our home to join the military. He absolutely loved being a soldier. If he could go back tomorrow, he would be there. He was blown up and shot.
He wears a Purple Heart on his uniform for his service.
He carries a broken heart within his uniform for his brothers who died there, and his marriage, which was over before it had a chance to begin.
I will sit next to my son at every appointment. I will listen to his stories. Laugh at his jokes. Remember with him all that he has been through. I will sit outside, wait, and pray while he is with his psychiatrist, helping to heal his mind. I will cheer him on as he works through his physical therapy to heal his broken body. I am there because I am, quite simply, his biggest fan. I look at our fragile freedoms and I am thankful for men like my son who sacrifice so much, so that we may have SO much!
Thank you, son! I love you with all the love that is within me!