I have had these letters (copies of emails) sitting in my file cabinet for over ten years now. I have been given permission by my son Justin to share them. I will post letters once a week. This was a very difficult time in my life having my son join the Marines in 2002 and then quickly be deployed to Iraq in early 2003 upon the aircraft carrier Bonhomme Richard. For some reason I did not save or print all MY emails to him so you will see more of Justin’s writings at 21 years of age, a new Marine, going off to war. His MO was mechanics on the Harrier jet. His squadron was the Tomcats based in Yuma, Az.
Email from a worried Marine mom…that is me. Sunday February 16, 2003 1:19 PM Subject: Hello from Chico
Justin were are you? This is the 4th message I’ve sent you. I’m assuming you have not got my messages. I am just trying to connect. Please respond. We love you and want to know you are OK. Love MOM
From “Canter LCpl Justin M @BONHOMME-RICHARD.USMC.MIL Re: Hello from Chico
Mother, it is hard to write you while maintaining our intel integrity. There is not a lot I can tell you about our location. I can tell you how well I am getting along with my fellow Marines and I am learning so much from those above me. I can also say that I have had the opportunity to visit an island in the Pacific. We may hit a few more ports on our way home. I need to take more pictures but I am so busy.
It is a hard thing to imagine sometimes how important my shops role plays in this war. I feel like the fate of the world rests in the work I do and the Marines I work with. I have a lot of confidence in them and know we will triumph.
Mom these deployments are something you are going to have to get used to. The world seems to be turned upside down. It is hard to keep in touch with the whole family especially when I am so isolated. I’ll leave that up to you. Never stop praying for peace. Love Justin
Chills. “Never stop praying for peace.” The wisest of words. Thank you so much for sharing them.
Peace is right. This is near and dear to my heart. Not exactly lighthearted tales from this sunny ridge. But they are feelings that have become a part of me.
Tales from deployment. What a reminder they are. When you’re in a combat/hazard zone, it does feel like the world upside down. The routine, however, does keep your mind straight.
Sounds like you are speaking from first hand experience.