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Gold Star Moms & MIL's

Started by kathleen, November 11, 2010, 01:48:34 pm

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Wise Women and MIL's,

Today I want to thank all that have served in our armed forces, starting with my dad (New Guinea,) my uncle (bomber pilot, Japan,) and my father's cousin (on the beach at Normandy.)  I want to thank all the mothers and mother-in-laws on this forum who have endured their sons, daughters, DIL's and SIL's going overseas to fight.

Creme, is your son home yet?  I surely hope so.

Today I was listening to NPR en route to Target for shopping therapy.  The program was partly about the history of mothers in wars.  The speakers said that in World War I, the guys going overseas carried pictures of their mothers.  Mothers were the ones thought to be the biggest losers if their sons died. The program even featured a song that would be regarded as so hokey today, one of those highly vibratto voices (like Rudy Vallee) crooning away about dear old Mother, Mother dear.  Imagine this today!

By the time of World War II, Betty Grable, other pinups, and photos of girlfriends had replaced the Mother pix of WWI.  However, the country still honored mothers via the Gold Star Mother program.  GS Mothers got together in groups and aided each other in getting through, either the wait or the worst news.  They were cited by the government and local organizations, and honored.

However, then came the term "Momism."  This referred to overbearing mothers who were believed to live to control their adult children's lives.  I wonder if this was the beginning of the hate we see today, the discrimination against Moms and MIL's.  Psychiatrists (remember the "beware the therapist you hire" advice here) got into blaming the mother for what was wrong in the lives of their patients.  It was a cultural, rather than scientifically provable, shift. 

So there you have some information that I, at least, did not know before.

Sometimes I think about my dad, my uncle, and my dad's cousin, and I can hardly stand it.  There they were, just coming of age in our agricultural, midwestern state.  My uncle one month was living in his tiny lake town of about 1,000 people, and a few months later he was dropping bombs over Japan.  He lost his faith the day there was an orphanage in his target.  He never got over that.  My dad's cousin suffered some kind of speech defect as a result of being on the beach at Normandy.  I never knew much about my dad's service in the hell of New Guinea; he never talked about it.  But one day when cable first started I saw a C-Span of a convention of WWII nurses, some of whom had been in New Guinea.  That was the place where the wounded were flown out of the South Pacific.  Thus it was also a Japanese target.  The heat, the bugs, the lack of sanitation, the horrible food, the danger, all were factors in my father's life for almost two years.  I never knew this until after he died.

PTS wasn't discussed or even identified then, but I can tell you, it was there.

My grandpa was a soldier in World War I.  Recently my aunt and I completed a historical project about him for a national historic site.  He had saved two menus from his Thanksgiving dinners, and because Grandma, then my aunt, preserved them for 90 years, the historic site now has the names of the other men in his company for the museum they are working to open (the names of all were printed on the menu).  It gave me an entirely new view of my grandfather.  I urge all of you to search your attics and old boxes, at your houses and especially those of elderly relatives, for such relics.  Don't assume they have no value; check with a viable source first.   One of Grandpa's menus is now enshrined in glass in the coming museum, along with a photo of my grandparents; the other is in our safe.  How lovely this has been, especially for my elderly aunt. 

Thanks again Grandpa, Dad, Uncle, Cousin, and all beloved mothers' sons and daughters who have worked so hard and at such great risk to preserve the liberties we enjoy today.  Sorry if this is hokey, but it's how I feel; the older I get, the more I appreciate the danger and hardship they endured.  What other forum do you know of where these thoughts could be posted?

Happy V-Day, and all best wishes to all soldiers overseas and to those who have returned,



That was sweet Kathleen... Wonderful that you could honor your family members that have served.

Just today I have a girlfriend who called and I think it was just bad timing but she started ranting about the war etc... I stressed that whether or not you agree with the war you have to honor those willing to fight in it.   I'm not trying to make any type of political statement, but when we have men like John McCain who gave up so many years of his life for us, it's hard not to thank them for keeping us safe.   



We must honor our soldiers.  To honor one is to honor all. 



Kathleen,  Thank You for your post which is truley Beautiful and Heartfelt...  I feel our Veterans should be honored everyday of the year...for all that they have gone thru, for all that they have witnessed and for all the pain in which they carry with them everyday, not only mentally but physically as well.

They are our Hero's forever more...

Hugs, Faith


very well put ladies~very well put~I do not support the war,but support our troops...GOD BLESS THEM ALL AND KEEP THEM SAFE~I'm a Blue Star Mom and my heart goes out to the Gold Star Families~OOHRAH!!!!