Military moms: Sharing the holidays with a soldier

Valerie Poteete, Las Vegas, Nevada

As a single mom, my bond with my son is very strong. We’ve been through a lot together. When he decided to join the military, I was nervous, but proud. At some point I realized I had just given my only child to a country I had never seen before. I knew it was there, but I hadn’t seen it for myself.

When he made his choice to join the Air Force, I made my choice to move into a motorhome so I could see the country my son was defending. It’s been an extraordinary adventure for us both.

So far he has been deployed twice. The first time was nerve-wracking because he had only two day’s notice and couldn’t share his location because he was on a special mission. Currently, he is on regular deployment in Qatar (although should be back on U.S. soil for Christmas).

How I feel about him protecting our country during the holidays? I’m proud. Very proud. And excited for him as well. He has seen so many new and exciting locations; has had some amazing experiences. Together we get to share our solo adventures more like friends. I’m still his mom and he is still my baby, but it sure is awesome to see him grow in his own direction knowing I taught him well.

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