Wednesday, October 13, 2004

BYE BYE GABE.... and the debate, Part III

This is the bus that took my boy off to become a man and a soldier.  And yes, I cried.  Not in front of him, but as the bus was pulling away.  I felt kind of like I did on his first day of school 15 years ago, watching the school bus pulling away, and wanting to run after it...  I'm so dang proud of him, but I'm so scared too. 

Let me explain my fears to anyone who may not understand.  Its basic training, boot camp... not war, so I shouldn't be worried, and under normal circumstances I wouldn't be.  But in July of 2000 we bid a very dear family friend farewell as he headed off for boot camp.  He and Gabe were hunting buddies and were very close.   Before he could complete basic training  my husband was sent to escort him home... in a casket.  The military determined that he had an undiagnosed mental condition although he had complained several times over the phone to his family of a severe sunburn on his head that was untreated.  His life ended through an open window.

Gabe will be fine, he's a strong young man, as was our friend.  It was just a series of incidents that caused the tragedy, and yet the memories torment me now as my son embarks on the same path.  Its going to be a long 9 weeks.  I'm sure I'm bound to get some sleep sometime along the way.

I watched the debate with my husband.  The effects of my medication had begun to wear off and I got real grumpy and decided that despite the valiant efforts of his make-up artist, Kerry still looked scary.  I got a piece of paper and covered the top half of the tv screen so all I could see were his hands.... which were constantly moving... waving, pointing with the thumb, going up and down, sidewards.... AGH!  STOP IT!

And the President actually did pretty good, except when he would get surprised by a question and stammered like a shy school boy giving an oral presentation to a snickering classroom.  A couple of times I wanted to smack him on the back and yell 'Spit it out boy!'. 

All in all it was a very good debate, probably the best of them all.  And the best answer came from the President when asked what the most important thing was that he had learned from the strong women in his life (his wife and daughters).  "To listen to them?" he replied and it really came out more as a question than a statement.  I'm sure he was looking right at the First Lady when he said that, waiting for her to toss him a Scooby snack.   That will be the line I remember most when thinking about Bush.  For my Kerry Quote, it would have to be "I have a Plan!"  (actually he has two plans, one for now and one for later....)


ladydriversammie said...

I actually caught part of this debate and you know what I liked the most?  The look on the president's face when Kerry would answer certain questions.  To me it looked as if Bush was thinking "Is this guy for real?  I can't believe he's saying this stuff."  Too funny.

Sammie  :)

maxina3777 said...

Well I sure hope you tell us more about the young man who passed away from the a sunburn. Did the Military make any changes? Thts what I want to know. When my husband was in basics he said people commited suicide etc. i thought that was vry sad. Even now my dh was standing watch and afterwards he went to go eat dinner and their was nothing left...on deployment, where else can u go, especially when u just paid al your bills. Luckily they were in port, n he was able to barrow a few bucks to go buy something to eat. Things like that distub both of us, and it makes him count the days till he is out of the Navy 4 /2 months, but I kind of wanted him to stay in....if he does hopefully he will get a Great boss n not some idiot....Okay I guess I am still resentful of his last boss, and all kinds of BS...

sprite1229 said...

Maxina he didnt pass away from the sunburn, he took his life.

cathy0o0 said...

I know how u feel .. My oldest is in the Marine Corp. I was scared to death for him and proud at the same time... Will you be going to his boot camp graduation?
Hang in there, it's so hard letting them grow

mzgoochi said...

Gabe will be find Dorn, he's in all of your friends prayers.
I don't watch the debates, I know who I am voting for already.


purplectigger said...

I know how you must feel about sending Gabe off. I know it's not the same, but I feel kind of like that every time Sammie goes back on the road. I will say a prayer for him everyday.

sonensmilinmon said...

Oh boy, this entry sure took me back to when I sent both my boys off.  Holding back those tears, being a strong supportive mom when all I wanted to do was CRY.  When you go to basic to see him graduate you get to cry MORE! The pride, and just the anticipation of giving him a hug again!  I wanted to say screw the ceremony ... let me hug my young man NOW!  I sat and waited patiently ... OK, I was held back by my fiance and daughter.  I will be sure to keep Gabe in my prayers, as I do with all our young men and women who serve our country. :-)

I also send my condolences for the friend who died in basic, for the family and friends who mourn his loss.

Most Sincerely,

cneinhorn said...

I knew you'd have a good debate recap Dorn.  I have to say, I'm glad I'm not the only one totally annoyed by Kerry's hands.  There's a photo of Kerry in the NY Post today and he has this stupid pose with his hands, I don't know it's so fake.  I cringe listening to Bush talk sometimes, that boy has a hard time getting words out.  He did have some pretty good answers though.   My thoughts are with you as Gabe starts boot camp.  Keep us posted when you can about how he's doing, and how you are doing, okay?    

mosie1944 said...

I remember when my son headed off to Fort Benning, Georgia, fresh out of high school:  one of the scariest moments of my life, and yet he was getting in so much petty trouble that it was a relief to see him going.  Thanks for the memories.