Welcome Home Son Even YOU Will Never Know

“Tonight I shall sleep well. I shan’t dread the sound of cars stopping outside, with doors slamming & footsteps approaching. When the phone rings after 10pm my blood won’t run cold whilst I hold my breath. I will no longer imagine the scenario of a uniformed man telling me that he has bad news… Tonight I shall drink that bottle of champagne I have been saving. I will laugh without immediately worrying something terrible will happen. You see my son has finished his third and final tour of Afghanistan. To all of you people who have helped me cope over the years, I cannot tell you how you have saved me……for all of you who have said the “right thing” whilst thinking “it IS his job,it’s what he signed up for” you are quite right, ‘xxxxx’ DID sign up for all the shit he has endured………..I however, did not x welcome home son, even You will never know x “

This is the Facebook status of a military mother, whose son has just returned from Afghanistan. It struck a chord with me and I want to share it with you all because when the serving deploy until they come home we, the emotionally entangled, sit and wait for the knock on the door, hold breathe, bury head, crack open the wine, clench jaw, head down, push on until the moment they land in England’s green and pleasant land and the unravelling begins.

She’s right the serving signed up for it and the rest of us did not. However, I do believe in a person’s ‘right-to-choose’ even if the choices are not ones that I would make but it doesn’t mean that we, the emotionally entangled, don’t suffer as a consequence of those choices.

Welcome home to all those returning and be vigilant to all those deployed or deploying. And the battle continues on…..


  1. It’s not easy being the parent of a deployed son and few outsiders understand what you endured. My son did 5; both Iraq and the ‘stan, some worrisome days seeing the casualty counts being so blithely tossed about on the TV…these aren’t just numbers; they are our sons!

    As you know, they don’t need distractions from home, so while what you and (too) few others did will never get listed in a parental “How To” book – you can’t imagine how he appreciated your support.

    For some of us, supporting one’s child goes far beyond helping with homework – Parents Forever!!
    Semper Fi

    1. It’s not me but my friend – I think you are right. To be honest I think it’s worse for parents then spouse – parents love their children unconditionally. It wasn’t until I became a parent that I could have empathy for my mother-in-law.

  2. I can imagine you feel so relieved. I know I did. Mind you I never know where he is these days. He’s out of the Royal marines and he’s doing private fleet protection. I always knew that if my step son wasn’t in this line of work he’d be doing something like throwing himself of tall buildings for fun. It’s in his nature.

    I hope you enjoyed the champagne. Time for some relaxing and celebrating now.

    Much love to all the families who are still waiting. xxx

    1. Thanks – I’ll pass the message onto my friend. It’s not me – I am a spouse but I call myself a modern military mother because my parenting choices are impacted by decision to marry a serving member of the military.

  3. My boy came recently back yey!!! And this is exactly how I felt, I just couldn’t believe how much stress I was actually under until he returned and I could see him with my own eyes.Alas he only went and got promoted and is off on short tours several times next year as well…booo!! People don’t understand exactly why and what I do for him and I get that. I am sure I myself used to look at others like me and think “what an idiot putting yourself through that for a bloke” but then again I haven’t met a civilian man who matches him in anyway…therefore now I think” what an idiot going out with that lazy no mark” when some of my friend being their gentlemen to meet me.. oh how these things go in round abouts! But to be fair I had to a point, a choice..parents of those in the forces do suffer so much especially if their child is married and they have relay on other people for information…put it this way I would happily marry a solider but would I want my child to join the army? NO! I would go (even more) insane! I salute the military parents very much xx

    1. Yes – it’s true – we have choice and they don’t. I wouldn’t want my son to join the military if I was given the choice. But at the end of the day – it’s his choice and my husband’s choice. I respect people’s choices. The strain of deployment runs deep – I think we all breathe a sigh of relief if they survive it and don’t realise until afterwards how stressed we truly were!

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