Friday, February 4, 2011


The journal you are about to read is part of an ongoing dialogue.  The words are a conversation between "the family" of
the soldier experience.  It's Dads, Moms, Sons,  Daughters,  Relatives and Friends sharing their thoughts of a particular day and/or it could be the soldiers journal entry detailing his or hers.  I believe there are many, many people keeping a journal through the Afghan War.  If you want to share an entry of yours email it to  Your post will be strictly confidential,  no names will be used.  In addition, locations overseas will not be mentioned for security purposes except the country of origin.  Some editing may be done to further protect the journal participant.

Growing up leads our sons and daughters to hopefully make decisions on the career path they'll take. Some lead to college, others to the workplace, some decide to start a family and others take the military route.  I can recall the people our son ran with in school and how they impacted choices he made.  I wanted to share some thoughts with you that I put to paper several years ago.  These ideas came as I watched....took notes and wondered about the road my son would travel years later.  He has made some great choices and some not so great choices in "learning" the ropes of manhood.  Perhaps you can see your parenting or a neighbors parenting in the story I relate.


Our son brought home a new friend last night from school....and I was curious who he'd be.  When the two of them hit the front door, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.  After our introductions, I already had a great impression of the "new" person in my boy's life.  The eyes are what did it.....they just radiated life and happiness.  The voice was pleasant, respectful and it was evident, that talking to adults was something he was comfortable with.  I felt relieved to know that my son had someone who could help in the peer pressure area. 

In the days and weeks that followed, I had more and more reasons to feel, see and hear that this friend would be a good impression on my boy.  He must have parents that cared and emphasized good morals and character, I thought.  Mr._______, this friendship, now two months old  is something I cherish.  I just wanted you to know you've done a terrific job with your gift.  God's present to you has been a blessing and one you've nurtured.

That's a far cry from the other boy I met four months ago.......His shoulders slouched, his eyes never met mine and I could tell he was uncomfortable in any question that I asked.  That young man, was the first acquaintance my son brought home his first days in a new school.  The surroundings were different and the students all seemed curious of the new one in town.  As the days wore on, our son asked daily about bringing home "that" boy.  Some days I said yes, reluctantly, and other days, NO!!  When I met his parents, I understood why  their son was.....without.  His mother and father were both career people, locked into work and had little time for anything else.  No wonder things were unsettling for me, why I could understand their son was looking for something to catch on to, anything to catch on to.  I came to find out, this boy had sought acceptance in so many ways....and truthfully he had, but not along the lines one would hope.  He stole things, got into fights and challenged nearly any part of authority he could.  He had no boundaries and his parents were either absent or didn't care.

Accountability can be learned in many places

So, Mr._________, this is the letter I should have written you many years ago.  I should have taken the time, then, to thank you for the job you did in raising your son, because frankly, he was partially responsible in helping me raise mine.  I wonder how kids can be so different when all God asks us as parents to do, is to take the Gift he has given us....and to mold it.  AND you sir, did just that!!


How often do we thank parents for the molding they've done of their children?  and how that development played such a big part in our own children becoming responsible men and women.   Now as my son fights for our freedom, I can look back and see that his desire to do the right thing and make a difference came through many trials and errors.  He is accountable, now..  He knows that....and he knows that I know he knows that.




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