This Sunday is Gold Star Mother Day in the US. A Gold Star Mother is any American woman whose child has died in the line of duty of the United States Armed Forces.
I received the poem below from a Marine mom friend, who knows the author. Keo wrote this a few years ago, as she read an obituary of a fallen Marine, which once again included a common comment from a family member...that he wanted to be a Marine since he was young. (Keo herself is a former Marine, the sister of a soldier killed in Viet Nam ('70), and her son is in the Army.)
There's no better way to honor the these special Mothers...
GOLD STAR MOTHER
By Keo R. Gathman
As she stands beside his grave
On yet another Memorial Day,
She remembers the boy she sent away
And how he became the man resting here today.
His heroes didn't become famous playing ball.
In fact most of their names were never well known at all.
They went to work wearing camouflage green and desert brown,
Earning their reputation as the toughest warriors around.
When he first saw them in dress blues
The heart within her little boy knew,
That nothing short of becoming one of them would do.
Time all too quickly passed by
As childhood things were put aside,
And his heart's desire would not be denied.
"I love you, Mom" he said one day
"But the time has come for me to go away,"
And she knew his decision she couldn't sway.
Through tears she tried so hard to keep inside
She told her baby boy goodbye.
Writing him letters nearly every day
She often took the time to pray,
"Lord be with my boy today."
"Help him clearly see the man I know that he can be,
Grant him his most cherished dream,
Let him come home, a United States Marine."
When the time came for him to go to war
She feared as she had never feared before,
Prayed there would be no knock on her front door.
They came that day dressed in their blues
And though in her heart she already knew,
She cried out "No, it can't be true."
The man child she had sent away
Was at last coming home to stay.
He never doubted what they did was right,
And he never wavered in the fight.
Forever and always as in his childhood dreams,
Her boy remains a United States Marine.
Copyright 2006 Keo R. Gathman ( email@example.com ). Permission is granted to send this to others, with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.