I remember lying in the hospital years ago, looking around at the ward full of beds filled only by a few. I wondered if the Army really thought there were so many pregnant women on this base that they needed all these beds.

I was young and naïve. Two years prior we saw the end of the Vietnam War.

My husband was on assignment. I had just had my first child, a boy, and I felt so alone. I was a thousand miles away from home and family. Not a long distance now days, but in the seventies I might’ve well been across the globe. There was no instant communications. No pictures sent across cyber-space. No text messges saying I love you, miss you, take care coming at me in an instant.

The walls of the ward were not decorated with funny characters, but were clean stark. There were no televisions in the ward. No radios. My meals were not served to me in bed, but rather placed on a long table in the center of the room where my trio of fellow new-mothers gathered to eat whatever was served in the mess hall that day. Strangely, I felt comfortable. I was an ARMY BRAT. My son was now an ARMY BRAT—born into the 101st Airborne.

With nothing but time to heal, I stared at the empty beds and wondered how many men had been treated here? My pain was nothing compared to what they must felt. Some had died in this very room.

In that defining moment, I grew. A sense of pride like I’d never felt before welled through me as a melody of taps wafted the air on base. I still get choke-up every time I hear the woeful tune.

The nurse handed my baby. I stared at his innocence while his tiny fingers curled around mine and I thanked all the souls that had given so much so that my son would know freedom like none other in the world.

Please take a few moments this holiday weekend and remember the women and men who gave so much of themselves for your and your children's way of life.

Ps: Be proud. List the branch and division of any family heros who’ve served or are serving our beautiful country listed in your post.

14 comments

  1. Mary Ricksen // May 28, 2010 at 11:21 AM  

    What a wonderful story Autumn. Patriotism is such a personal thing. But we as people should do more to express it.
    Have a great weekend all!

  2. Pam // May 28, 2010 at 12:29 PM  

    What a touching story. I can relate to everything you said. I had my children while I was in the Army. It's also where I met my husband. I didn't reenlist but followed him around the globe until he retired in 2002. We both miss the comaraderie and sense of belonging to something greater than ourselves. It really gave our lives purpose.

    My twenty year old nephew, Danny died in Desert Storm. He loved the military, and I know that if it were possible to ask him whether he would have enlisted, he would answer yes. He left behind a wife and young son, and eventhough they miss him, they are so proud of him. Along with many others, Danny was a true patriot.

    For generations, members of my family have served in the military. Today, my daughter is stationed in Japan. She just finished a tour in Afghanistan. I worry about her, but know that she has passion for the career path she's chosen.

    As we celebrate Memorial Day, remember the men and woman who sacrific for our freedom.

  3. Judy // May 28, 2010 at 12:50 PM  

    Great post...yes, I am proud, as we all should be of the men and women who are serving our country and who have served in the past. My husband was in the Army Security Agency in Japan in the 60's just out of college and I didn't see him for two years because like Autumn said, things were very different with lack of travel opportunity and communication issues. My second cousin is in Iraq now...

  4. Autumn Jordon // May 28, 2010 at 1:41 PM  

    I agree with you, Mary. Fly your flag proudly this weekend and bow your head in thanks to those have fallen.

  5. Autumn Jordon // May 28, 2010 at 1:43 PM  

    Pam, I'm so sorry to hear of Danny's death. God bless him and your family. He is the ultimate hero in my book. As are all those who serve to protect.


    (((HUGS)))

  6. Autumn Jordon // May 28, 2010 at 1:44 PM  

    Judy, Thank your DH for me and your cousin. I appreicate them more than any words can express.

  7. Mona Risk // May 28, 2010 at 2:12 PM  

    What a beautiful post Autumn. At Memorial Day I pray for those who are risking their lives to keep America free and strong. I also think about those you died and I often get upset at the futilities of wars that waste so many young lives.

  8. Mary Marvella // May 28, 2010 at 2:37 PM  

    Beautiful, Autumn! I wish were doing more to show how much we love our nation. I'm a WW II baby and still tear up when I hear The Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful. The Pledge of Allegiance puts a lump in my throat.

    The families of our military folks deserve our appreciation.

  9. Allison Chase // May 28, 2010 at 4:22 PM  

    Thank you, Autumn, for the lovely reminder of what this county is about and how we got to where we are, through the sacrifice of ordinary individuals who made the extraordinary choice of putting their country above themselves.

  10. Nightingale // May 28, 2010 at 6:30 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  11. Nightingale // May 28, 2010 at 6:31 PM  

    Brought a tear to my eye. My dad was in WWII. He was Military Police in Australia. Thanks for reminding us what this holiday is about.

  12. Autumn Jordon // May 28, 2010 at 10:17 PM  

    Thank you ladies. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

    (((HUGS)))

  13. Joanne // May 29, 2010 at 8:34 AM  

    Beautiful, touching post, Autumn. My dad and uncles were in WWII. We will be flying our American flag proudly.

  14. Patrice // May 31, 2010 at 11:51 AM  

    Autumn, that is a beautiful story and memory to share with us. You have much to be proud of.