“We regret to Inform you”

My youngest son – age 19 flying out of San Jose International Airport – destination: Great Lakes, Ill – to boot camp – 2004

I hope this Monday finds you well – I feel a bit sad today after watching the return of our 13 heroes to the US. It’s hard for me to shake that off. I watched a video of a father who told his story about when the marines came, with the “We regret to inform you.”

Years ago, we lost a neighbor boy in Vietnam. I was outside in the yard – it was July 3, 1967. We saw the black limousine drive by slowly – everybody knew something was up. A few minutes later we could hear the blood curdling cry from his mother. I’ll never forget that howl, yell –

Just a terrible time. I remember attending the military funeral – his sisters were friends of mine.

When I lived in the Bay Area, I always tried to visit his grave at Golden Gate National Cemetery. I brought my sons with me.

Youngest son, the husband and Foodie (before he was a foodie) saying goodbye at the airport

When my youngest son, decided to join the Navy, I felt secure knowing he would be somewhat “safe” on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. He worked on a busy flight deck, guiding the planes on and off the carrier. While he may not have been under enemy fire, the accidents on the flight deck were horrific. Plus I was always afraid he would fall of the carrier. I was assured by my husband who served 10 years Navy (and 10 years Cost Guard) as well as my son and the Navy recruitment, that he would be safe. It wasn’t until I watched a documentary about an aircraft carrier that spelled it out for me. Plus years later, my son tells me all the close calls and scary stories. There were a few, who fell off the flight deck and were lost at sea.

He served 6 years – on 1 aircraft carrier – the USS Theodore Roosevelt. 2 deployments in the Persian Gulf. It was tense, and we had blackouts but I belonged to a group of Navy Moms and that support helped.

To lose a son or daughter the way, the families of those 13 heroes, unquestionably has to be the worst kind of pain – I believe our feckless president is responsible. The exit plan was not a coordinated effort. They had no solid contingency plans. If I was one of those parents, I would be livid. IT would be hard for me to try and find closure, which btw, there is no such thing as “closure.” I always hated that term – you just learn to live with the pain.

I lost a son at the age of 25 – but not to military battle. From a undiagnosed heart issue. I do know that pain in a different way. He was living in Long Beach, Ca and I received a “regret to inform” phone call from the police – I was driving my car at the time with my other son. I almost wrecked the car – I’ve played those words so often in my head – horrible words.

I joined a grief group after losing my Michael – it was a small group of parents who lost adult children, around the same age. One woman lost her son to a suicide and another was the victim of murder. While we all shared the grief of losing our child, each one of us, was coming from a different place. It was interesting to me, as I listened to their stories.

I feel so helpless – I know how hard it is to lose your son or daughter. My heartfelt prayers go out to their families.

2 thoughts on ““We regret to Inform you”

  1. Sparky August 30, 2021 / 12:04 pm

    Gosh, I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child. That just breaks my heart. I wish no parent had to go through that.
    And I completely agree with “feckless”. Our Country is no longer a Super Power. We’ve reaped what we’ve sown. I pray the Lord returns soon. We sure are in a muddle.
    Blessings. ❀

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  2. cheriewhite September 6, 2021 / 10:32 pm

    My heart breaks for you, Debby. As a mother of sons myself, I can’t imagine the pain you feel. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. πŸ™ Secondly, your description of “feckless” is dead on. And to top it off, he looked at his watch as the deceased was being taken off the plane and turned over to their families! It absolutely hurts me for these parents. To lose their child in the mishandling of Afghanistan then to have Biden insult them by looking at his damn watch? There are no words! My prayers go out to these families. May God give them strength! πŸ’”πŸ™πŸ˜’

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