In September of 2005 when Pokey joined the Army as a delayed entry recruit I adopted the recruiters here in town. They were just such a nice group of guys how could I not. I would bake them cookies and monkey breads and go visit. Monkey Bread became an office favorite. Sgt S would drool when I brought one in and cuss me because he had a PT test coming up, between bites that is. They in turn would give me t-shirts and such. In time we became friends. I’ve attended weddings, been called from the hospital when children were born. Listened to personal problems. Cried with them when they lost family members and they came and cried with us when we lost Pokey. In time I became such an Army cheerleader they would ask me to talk to the parents of young men and women who were considering joining and share with them what positive things my son had gotten from joining the Army.
I remember once before Pokey left for bootcamp he had gone in to check in which was required and I headed on down to the hobby store as I cam e back a half hour later Pokey was laying onthe floor in front of the first desk with an airsoft pistol in his hand. I opened the door and asked what in the world was going on. He grabbed me and yelled Down down down.. I had walked into a battlezone.
Another time when Micheal first got home from bootcamp he was scared to death of going in and seeing the guys. They were after all NCOs, ohhh scary. LOL We went to the mall and he peeked in the window and saw Sgt S. sitting there and decided since he was so cool he would go in. So we walked in and around the corner comes the First Sgt. Poor Pokey wanted to run and when I walked over and gave First Sgt a hug and asked about his family I thought Pokey was going to crawl under a table. First Sgt took an hour or so and talked to Pokey about Ft Campbell and what to expect since he had once been stationed there. That was an important lesson for Pokey.. he learned that day that a good leader is a valuable thing and not to fear rank but to respect and listen to their experience.
I have seen many recruiters come and go from this station.. we now have our 5th station commander since I started being the station Mom and a completely new staff than the one that was there when I started going in. Last year the Battalion Commander and Command Sgt Major showed up for a function we were holding for future soldiers and to hand out awards. I was introduced and it was explained to them how long I had been the station mom and finally that I had lost Pokey in Iraq. A few days later I received an invitation to attend the Annual training Conference and Ball. And I went a few months later. I was again invited this year. One of the new recruiters wife has a problem with my attending.. she has never taken the time to understand fully How long I’ve been a part this station.
Anyway last year as we sat down to dinner the lights dimmed and the ceremony for the Fallen Comrade Table began. I was blindsided. No one had thought to warn me. You see it is a part of all military dinners so the guys had just assumed I knew. I sat holding the hands of two of my recruiters as I tried not to let the tears fall. It is a beautiful honor filled ceremony. It is touching how the military remembers it’s own. They truly NEVER FORGET.
As I said I am invited again to attend the conference and this year I have been asked to participate in the Fallen Comrade table ceremony. I am truly honored and touched to be able to do this. Not just for my son but for all those who have lost their lives for this great Nation. Each act in this ceremony is meaningful. From the white table cloth on the round table to the salt representing the tears.