Let me tell you a little about myself.  I am a single mother with just the one son.  It has always just been Colton and I.  I was middle age when I had him.   He has been the light of my life and also the reason for my murderous thoughts.  He has been a handful but really a pretty good kid.  He is an eagle scout and I have instilled in him service to your community.    For years, he talked about being a Marine.  Then one day, his senior year and after his 18th birthday, he came to me and explained he wanted to join the Iowa National Guard.  He explained his reasoning, which for him was very mature and well thought out.  We set up an appointment to visit the recruiter.  He graduated from high school in May 2015 and off to Ft. Benning on Aug.3, 2015.  And then Ft. Rucker’s to finish out the year with his AIT.
 I sometimes feel that oh, he is justin the guard and not as important as the active military.  After a little over a year and half in the guard, he was promoted to E4 – Specialist/Corporal.  Another mother told me, “Oh the guard it is easier to get promoted.” But after reviewing his life as a guardsman, I don’t think those statements are true.  Oh I know, you are thinking they only have drill once a month and two weeks annual training.  They have jobs, families, college, lives, and freedom, how hard can be it??  Guardsmen can be called up at any time for either state or national emergencies, or at the discretion of the President.  These men and women drop their everyday lives to serve, many times seeing the worst of people’s nature in times of crisis.  They are the calm and helping security that people are looking for or the ones they blame.  Iowa has two units deployed at this time, with more to follow next year.  One of those units’ is my son’s.  While he was left behind, his fellow soldiers are in contact with him and share their stories.  These soldiers are put in the same situations as full time military.  They have the same missions and level of danger, but with only monthly drills and two week annual training.
I am active in our local American Legion.  I volunteer a lot with the Boy Scouts of America.  I am active in church and the Moose Lodge.  I volunteer with Military Mama Network by sending boxes and cards.  Everyone who offers their life to protect and defend our country deserves to feel loved and appreciated.  One day, it will be my son that will need to feel that Mama Love from a stranger.  I started an Iowa MMN chapter and met some of the MOST fantastic ladies and a few good men!  I wanted to let them know that they are supported and cared about.  We bond together while creating our own missions supporting active military, guardsmen, and our veterans.  I have the same sense of worry that they will be called up to be deployed.  I have the same sense of pride you all have when you see them in their uniforms.  Who doesn’t love a man in a uniform?  Don’t worry, I am not a cougar!
Military Mama Network has provided me with a way to share, support, and grow as a person and military mama.  I believe that even the littlest act of kindness affects a person’s life.  Smile at a stranger, holding the door open for someone, letting someone go in front of you in line.  Maybe it is the Boy Scout in me, but I always try to do a good turn daily.  It costs nothing and leaves you feeling good.  To me, that is what Military Mama Network is about, doing a good turn or mission.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Thank you for letting me babble on…  Stay strong, be brave, and always know that MMN has your six.
Cynthia