Peg Bruhn and Marge Amey

Peg Bruhn
When It Is My Child

Watercolor, 10 x 14 inches

By Marge Amey

Inspiration Piece

It is 1968.  He is my husband.  He is a Marine Corps helicopter pilot.  He is flying medevac and reconnaissance insert and extraction missions in Viet Nam.  He has been there for ten months and there is no doubt in my mind that he will come home safely when his thirteen month tour is finished.  My confidence is derived from remembering when we were in high school and he played point guard on the basketball team and quarterback on the football team.  In so many games when the score was close, time was running out, and the fans were in frenzy, he never lost his composure.  He kept himself under control and calmly completed the plays.  This is what I know he is doing in Viet Nam.  When he has to fly into a “hot” zone, I am sure that he will not make any careless or risky decisions.  He will, as carefully as possible, get the injured out and return the helicopter, his crew and their fragile passengers safely back to base.  But, yesterday when I received an audio tape from him and invited his parents over to listen to it with me, I learned that they did not share my serenity.  While I heard only his voice, they primarily heard the noises of war in the background. To them, he was their child. To me, he was an adult, my husband and father of my children on whom I relied and whom I felt sure would return and continue to share in raising our family – all the while he helped defend our nation.  Fortunately, my optimism was rewarded; he did come home safely.

Now it is 1991.  My older son is a Marine like his father.  He too has gone to war – this time the war is in Iraq.  Again, I have rationalizations to keep my worries at bay.  He is a logistician.  As the saying goes, he is “in the rear with the gear.”  He directs supplies to the more dangerous forward areas where fighting is taking place. I tell myself that, though no area is secure in a war torn country, he is in what is probably one of the safest positions.  But this time my rationalizations are not as effective.  This time, the Marine is my son.  I know he’s an adult and as level headed as his father, but he is still my child.  This time, my concerns loom larger and stronger and I am less able to push those fears away.  Now I know what my in-laws were thinking those many years ago. My son, too, will come home safely, but this time the wait for his return will seem much longer and more stressful.

Perspective is everything.

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