Monday, September 26, 2011

The National Anthem

Saturday night Charlie and I attended the OU vs Missouri football game in Norman, OK. The Pride of Oklahoma marched onto the field in true OU fashion. They played Oklahoma then Grand Old Flag. After Grand Old Flag the three OU ROTC color guard units took the field to present the colors. The announcer asked for everyone to join the band by singing the National Anthem. As I proudly began to sing I thought about every word and the tears started to roll down my cheeks. As all 80K plus OU fans were about to comfortably enjoy watching OU play football, many men and women were fighting to protector the very freedom that we were singing about. At the end of the National Anthem at all OU sporting events the Home of the Brave is replaced with the Home of the Sooners. I have for years participated in that OU tradition until Saturday night when I realized how very disrespectful the alteration of our National Anthem is to our service men and women. I apologize from the bottom of my heart for disrespecting this Nation's National Anthem and the brave service men and women fighting for my freedom.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blue Star Mothers of America

Tonight I spent a few hours with my fellow Blue Star Moms. I am a member of the Blue Star Mothers of America, Chapter 6. We work to support our troups deployed as well as supporting vetrans, POW/MIA and fallen military familes. Tonight we discussed several ways to raise money and obtain donations for the care packages that we send to the troops. I will post more info in the days to come about these events and ask that all of my friends help me to get the word out.
Many of these Mom's have sons and/or daughters who have been on several depoyments. They are so good to listen to your concerns and give you a hug and tell you that they know how you feel. They really do know how I feel. I was able to get a few phone numbers and email addresses so that I can start to build friendships with these ladies who share the same passion as I do...supporting our troups.
Today has been the hardest day since Michael deployed. He's heavy on my heart and I'd give anything to hear his know that he's know that the Marine's that he's responsible for the care of are safe. I keep reminding myself that each day that passes is one day closer to my boy coming home.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The News Reports

Last night after watching the Dallas Cowboys CHOKE I watched the local news. One of the headline stories was about a car bomb in Afghanistan that injured 77 US Troops. The news didn't state where in Afghanistan this occurred and all I could think about was WHERE in Afghanistan did this happen. I grabbed my laptop and started searching the internet for any information I could find about this attack. As I was searching all I could think about is what if it's where Michael is. What I found was that this attack happened on Saturday at a combat outpost in central Wardak province. Where in the world is that? So more Googling for me. I needed to know if Musa Qala is Wardak province. Musa Qala is in Helmand province. I took a deep breath and thanked God for keeping Michael safe. I also said a prayer for the 77 US Troops that were injured in this car bombing.

I wonder if the US government notifies the families of injured Service Members before the story is released to the media?? I would sure like to know the answer. It would make me feel more at ease when I hear these news stories on TV. Don't get me wrong, I am still concerned for ALL Service Members and continue to pray for all fighting the war on terror. God Bless all of our Troops across the world. We are forever indebted to them.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Beast II is CLEAN

Michael's Jeep Grand Cherokee has been home in Oklahoma for several weeks. It's sat out in front of my house with all of his stuff still in the back seat. I just couldn't bring myself to cleaning it out. To clean it out would be admitting he wasn't going to be home for a while.

The weather today has been beautiful so this evening after Alyssa and I got home from her volleyball lesson I decided it was time to clean the Beast II. All of Michael's cars have had similar names. One might ask why?? Well, he's still not figured out how to keep a car clean inside & out. He had a black Toyota Corolla his senior year in high school. I named it Black Beauty, he called it The Beast. He drove that poor car into the ground. Charlie & I told him before he left for Boot Camp to be sure to clean the car out. Well....guess what, he left us with a big nasty mess. Sunflower seeds, chips, etc, etc. I took everything Charlie & I could muster up to clean the car out. We got rid of the car and hoped that when he had to pay for his own car he would take better care of it. forward to Michael's graduation from Boot Camp and A School. It was time to head for his first duty assignment after he completed FMTB Training at Camp Pendleton. He came home and wanted to get a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I tried to talk him into getting a car that got good gas mileage like a Honda Civic or Accord. He knew what was best as most 19 year olds do so he bought himself a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It was a one owner vehicle and was in relatively good shape. Off to California he went. While out there he had all kinds of things done to it...low profile tires with big wheels, grill and lights changed out, and I think it became the "party jeep".

When I went back to help him move most of his stuff and his dog Roxie back to Oklahoma, the car was pretty clean inside. I was relatively pleased with him. BUT....when we went back a few weeks ago we found a Jeep Grand Cherokee trashed out in true Michael fashion. Miranda and I sucked it up and drove the nasty thing back to Oklahoma and it's been parked in front of my house ever since....until tonight.

I pulled out all of the clothes he had piled in the back and will wash and fold them so they will be ready for him when he comes home. I cleaned out all of the trash and then headed for the car wash. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed it until it was good and clean. Then I vacuumed it out. It now looks like a half way decent vehicle.

As I was cleaning it out I could have been angry with him, I could have been disappointed, but why? He's a 20 year old man who hasn't quite figured out that he should keep his car cleaned out....big whooptie deal. It's not the first time I've had to clean up after him....and I'm sure it wont be the last. I'm just thankful that God so richly blessed me with a son named Michael James Maples Jr.


It's hard to believe that it's 9/11 again. I remember that morning like it was yesterday. Alyssa was only 12 days old and I sat here in the livingroom with my 12 day old baby girl in my arms watching the terrorists crash into the Twin Towers. I remember crying and the pain of knowing our country had been attacked. Ten years later my son is heading out for his first mission in his war on terror. Michael was almost 11 years old when the terrorists attempted to destroy this wonderful country we live in. He was playing basketball, riding his bike and just being an 11 year old boy. Now he's fighting for us...for our freedom...for his country.

Tonight was the last phone call I will probably receive from him for several weeks. It started off with trying to clear up some website password issues so I can take care of his business. Then it turned to how proud I was of him and the Marines he is serving with. I told him that I loved him, to be careful...extra careful, and to not worry about anything here at home. He told me he was ready, ready for the challenge. There was no fear in his voice...just determination.

He and I have been through so much together. The first year of his life was very difficult for me as his father was not able to be with us. I was alone raising this little boy. He was all I had....all that I lived for. I went to work and came home to him...his infectious little laugh and his precious smile. He could melt my heart with those big brown eyes. He was such a happy boy despite the sadness that his Momma lived with. He was my calm in the storm. Of course that lasted about 13 years and then he became my storm...but we'll save that for another post. I love that boy...who is now a man. He will always be my first son.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Late night calls

I had just fallen asleep when my phone rang. You know my phone has been by my side every moment just incase I might get a call or text from Michael. With the time difference texts or facetime calls come as the strangest times here in Oklahoma. With all of that said, the text conversation tonight when something like this...

"Hi Mom"
"Call and wake Miranda up for me"
"I can't wait to get to the PB (patrol base)"
Why I asked
"Cause there's no internet there"
Why would that be a good thing I asked
"So I don't have to talk to no one which means I wont get upset as much"

Of course I think I've done something to upset him so I inquire what have I done to upset you..and he informs me it's not me but Miranda. So what does this persister Alpha personality type do but send Miranda a text reminding her that Mike needs to be focused on doing his job and coming home alive with both arms and legs.

Guess what happens next....Mike tells me to mind my own business and that he can handle his relationship....he's a big boy.

Guess I chalk this up to another tearful moment in my life. I worry 24x7 about him...I pray for him continually....and I need for him to come home in one piece just like he left.

Friday, September 2, 2011

He has arrived.....

Michael posted on Facebook that he arrived. There is a a 9 1/2 hour time difference and I'm sitting with my laptop (Facebook) up and running anxiously awating a chat session with him. It's 7:45 am on Saturday right now. He's tried to contact me a couple of times today. The first time was at a little after midnight today and the second time was a few hours ago, all via Facebook messaging. I so badly want to hear his voice, but I'm certain that isn't going to happen. I don't think he took a prepaid phone card so there's no way he could call me. Not to worry, there will be a couple phone cards in his first care package that I will be sending in the mail off to him on Tuesday. I'm going to have to go to the store and get some of his favorite snacks to include in his box....things like sunflower seeds, cookies, and ramen...yes...I said ramen. I will aslo be sending him baby wipes, AA and AAA batteries and a few sports magazines. I can't imagine not being able to enjoy all of the things that we take for granted living in America. Our troups have sacraficed those things to fight for our freedom and combat the war on terror. For this I will forever be indebted to our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. We are truly blessed to live in this United States of America.