Today is Remembrance Day .
While anyone - and everyone remembers those
who fell and gave the ultimate sacrifce -
and all those who were injured , and who are now serving
and in foreign lands today . I thought that i would do
something a little bit different - and i have an interview
with a mother and her son , who is serving in Iraq
at this present time .

Deborah - of mid life poet kindly said she would like
to take part after i got in touch by email and her
son SPC. Ryan graced us with his presence this way too .
I have not known Deborah , for that long , so asking her
was taking a risk , but they both kindly agreed -
so i would like to say a huge (( Thank-you to both ))

Unless you get the chance to actually talk to a
soldier , even just to say Thank-you . I thought this would
shed a ray of light on and give an idea of what
their lives are like and their thoughts .

So i hope you appreciate their answers - and take away
with you something positive ;o)

Firstly here`s Deborah ...

Can you tell us , what you thought when you heard the news that your son Ryan was being posted to Iraq ?

Ryan enlisted during wartime, so I was expecting him to be deployed, especially since he chose the Infantry. He was always interested in the military growing up and was in ROTC in high school, so it was not a surprise that he enlisted. My father is an army WWII veteran and Ryan spent a lot of time listening to his grandpa's stories about landing on the beach at Normandy.

A mother/son relationship is usually a strong bond - has this helped you in any way to cope with the seperation ?

Ryan and I have always had a very close relationship and yes it certainly does help, and it makes me miss him even more. When he first arrived in Iraq and I heard some of his stories, I was in shock, but the truth is, you do get used to it. Now when they have a black out, I search the web for any news, and I know that after six hours or so, no news is good news. I completely believe in what he is doing there, and knowing that he believes in it too allows me to accept any consequence. The army has given my son the chance to become the man he always wanted to be.

Have you a message to give those out there at all?

Regardless of political stance and opinion of the war, even if you do not support our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, please support the troops serving. They believe with their lives in what they are doing, and in protecting our freedoms at all cost. If you see someone in uniform, stop and say thank you, shake their hand, and offer to buy them a cup of coffee. That means the world to them.

SPC. Ryan is 22 years old , and has been in the Army
for only 19 months . It is his first tour in Iraq - and has been
there for nearly a year .
Here is what he could say ....

Was there any doubt that you would follow in your fathers footsteps as a serving soldier , and can you say , why you joined up ?

My father didn't serve, but my Grandpa did, but I joined simply because it felt like the right thing to do … and they were hiring lol

Can you describe a " typical " day in the life of a soldier ?

The daily life of an infantry soldier varies every day, some days we get up at 0300 and stay out searching houses till 1800, others we get up 0700 and do our hygiene, eat breakfast and go out in the city for a few hours; sometimes we get hit and we fight back, but most days we come back safe and sound, then we hit up the gym - got to stay in shape, but we spend about 70% of our time out in the city and sometimes we are out there for a week or more at a time, in a old building. Sorry I have to be vague.

What things do you miss the most , being so far away from home ?

My family of course, and my fiancée. Believe it or not, the first thing I did notice while I was home on leave was the air; it made me feel like a child at Christmas … it smelt sweet......and a cold beer.

How do you spend your free time ? - As i would imagine that total relaxation is impossible as you`ll always be aware and alert ?

I usually like to catch up on sleep or talk to my mom and my fiancée, and I'm hooked on that show "Supernatural", but we all goof around like brothers (we practically are). We wrestle, play football, basketball, box and a ton of pranks.

Has being out there , taught you anything - if so , what ?

Yes it has; live life to the fullest, don't waste what God gave you! I have learned that I don't need all the fancy things in life, just the people I love.

Can you say , that you / all of the soldiers out there , are making a positive difference out there ? . I only ask this , as reports here in the UK are limited and tell the public only the negative news , that there has been , yet more tragic deaths of soldiers .

Yes, I know we are making a positive difference. The children here cheer us on as we go down the street. We have rebuilt and trained their military and they can stand on their own two feet after we showed them how. They now have structure in this country. Every soldier that has given the ultimate sacrifice here died knowing he was making a difference and truly believed in what we are doing for this country and their families knew that and they are proud of their boys and I am forever grateful for knowing them. They are lost but not forgotten.

You`ve been out there nearly a year now ... What will be one of the first things you do when you get home from this tour ?

The first thing I'm going to do is a secret. You can ask my mom about it afterwards. I'm going to give my girl the biggest kiss in the world. Then I want some good home cooking.

Is there anything else you might like to add , or i may have forgotten to ask ?? Or maybe what you thought when you were asked to do this interview ;o)

I wish I could add more on our daily activities, but I can write a whole book on that … any other person in the military knows what I mean, lol, but this is my job and I love it.

I hope that you will all be safe out there , no doubt all your familes will keep telling you all this - and i can take this personal opportunity to say . that you`re doing a brilliant job in difficult circumstances . We`re all very grateful that there are such people willing to fight , protect and serve in foreign lands . And just a thank you seems such a feeble word to express our gratitude .

Actually, when I'm in the airport and I'm approached by a complete stranger and they tell me thank you, it warms my heart, and usually they are veterans or family of a veteran and we talk forever. Thank you and take care. SPC.Ryan


Deborah said...

Awe! You did a beautiful job, my friend! Thank you so much for honorning all those who serve in the military, and those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. All my love to you, Deb

sherry ♥ lee said...

Carolyn, thank you for interviewing both Deborah and her son Ryan. Deborah is one very lovely lady and her son is making a difference. He is making a commitment and what this comes down to is not "do you believe in this war or not" but here is a young man, making a choice of what he can do to help and to make that difference in the world. It reminds me of the quote "be the change you want to see in the world". To Ryan and those other young men and women who have made this choice -- thank you so much.

Reading Ryan's words has hit home for me as my eldest is thinking of enlisting in the Armed Forces once he completes his University degree. He has strong feelings about this which at times frighten me, but I feel as Deborah does. And my heart and my faith will be with whatever he chooses.

kj said...

this is amazing, this young man ryan, son of deborah, to read his words here. no surprise: he is his mother's son--brave, articulate, confident, steady, loving.

what a totally wonderful interview. my heart is full reading this. i can imagine deborah's pride spilling up and over, a waterfall of emotion and affirmation.

thank you for an interview that words cannot capture.


Diana Evans said...

this is a wonderful post!!! may we all rememebr everyone who makes our freedom and lives what they are...

Deborah is a wonderful Mom and Ryan is such a wonderful person for his sacrifices for all of us!!!

Lynn said...

Wonderful, wonderful post Carolyn on this Rememberance Day, thank you and thank you to Deborah for sharing.

Ces said...

OMG, I was trembling from emotions when reading this. I so love Ryan's mom, my dearest sisterfriend Deborah and I am so proud of and greateful to SPc. Ryan. Thank you for honoring him.

Deborah said...

Carolyn, I had to stop back by and thank you again for this. It was a treat for me to hear Ryan's answers...especially that he believes that they have accomplished good in this past year. He certainly has grown into a good man. **kisskiss** Deb

yoborobo said...

What a great interview! Spc. Ryan is such a fine young man, and a credit to his country. Thank you for sharing his answers with us. :) Pam

Renee said...

Thank you for this informative interview.

Deborah is a very dear friend of mine and Ryan I pray for every day.

This was an amazing post.

Thank you.

Renee xoxo

PEA said...

Oh Carolyn, what a wonderful interview and it truly warmed my heart to read Deborah's and Ryan's answers to the questions. Saying "thank you" just doesn't seem to be enough for all the sacrifices these men and women make just so that we can have our freedom. xoxo

Javajune said...

What a wonderful interview. I can't wait until Ryan is home safe and sound.

LDWatkins said...

Straight to the heart! Thank you so much for doing the interviews. They are both special. Thank you SPC.Ryan and hurry home.