Saturday’s field trip was more fulfilling than I ever imagined. At the end of November I joined a group called Blue Star Mothers, but as a military spouse I’m called an associate member. This was the first meeting I attended and I had the pleasure of having lunch with some of the greatest women I’ve ever met. We had a great lunch and everyone loved Miss O and embraced us with open arms. Since there were several of us who are new members, we shared a little about ourselves and one thing I learned is this: there is no group that loves and supports their children more than military mothers. Will’s mom works with an Oklahoma chapter and I’ve heard her share stories about working to box up care packages, meet military members as they connect through the airport either on their way home or to a duty station somewhere and just talk to someone when they need a friend. Each woman spoke about their love for their children and as each one may have shed a tear, we all shed them. It took a long time for my feelings to feel validated when Will was deployed before but after this lunch, I will never question my feelings again. As a wife it was hard enough talking about my experiences of being alone while he was gone but listening to these mothers was even harder for me. My mom always told me I would never know how great a love a mother has for her child until she has one and she was right. I never imagined the kind of love I have for Olivia and to hear these proud mothers tell the accomplishments of their children, I saw that love more clearly than ever before.

This group is a nonprofit group with chapters throughout the country who band together to support one another and our troops from toothpaste and suckers to a grieving family who has lost a loved one. They rely on volunteers and donations for their success. At this luncheon, we all took bottled water for the USO at the Raleigh airport to hand out to military members who connect through. I’ve spoken with the USO at the Charlotte airport and will be working with them to give any support I can. The Charlotte USO opened in September and, if I’m not mistaken, by mid-January or so they had served 13,000+ service members.

Once again, I’ve added to the circle of my life and to watch it grow makes my soul feel good.