My son deserted his family 22 years ago leaving his wife with a newborn and 3-year-old. My husband and I helped our daughter-in-law raise the boys. The oldest grandson left for the Army and is currently in the Ranger program. I wanted to share his letter to us with you. You are the reason I made it through that horrible time in the beginning.
Nana Dolly and Pop-pop Ray,
"American soldiers in battle don’t fight for what some president says on TV, they don't fight for mom, apple pie, the American flag --- they fight for one another." - Lt. Colonel Harold G. "Hal" Moore, Jr.
Though I’ll be on the front lines, don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. This is my story and it’s only the beginning. I chose to be part of the .75% of this nation who took the oath to defend and support our Constitution.
You both, throughout my upbringing, have instilled within me a sense of honor and pride. Now, I’ll fight for my honor, fight for my life, and though I’ll win, still I lose until I make it home to you.
I’ll never forget where I came from: my loved ones, my mentors, and those who have helped me become the man I am. A man’s word is all he has. If he cannot live up to and back up his word, he fails as a man. Well, you have my word that I will never forget you both. I will not forget who you both have made me. I will not fail you and I will come home to you.
I can never thank you for all you have done for my brother and me. Words cannot convey my gratitude, and only recently have I matured to the point I can see what you have done. I love you both, more than I can ever display or explain.
Pop-pop, I can only hope to be half the man you are, and each day I live and strive to be someone you can be proud of.
Nana, what can I say? You’re the best and I love you and appreciate EVERYTHING you have done for my brother, my Mom and me. You’re one of a kind.
Both of you, you’ve always been more than just my grandparents. So much more. I love you both. Please don’t pray for my safety. Pray that God has mercy on those who challenge our freedom, those who endanger our way of life, who don’t want me to come home to you. Because I can assure you, I won’t.
I love you both and will never forget what you have done for and taught me.