Birthdays, Weddings, A Mom Misses Her New Marine

Boot camp Marine Jared Agle's sister and cousins send him a photo message from their October family gathering.

By April Agle, a new Marine Mom

(My Marine son) Jared is blessed with a wonderful family.  Someone was always sending him a letter or card.  Parents, sister, aunts, uncles, and both sets of grandparents. I know it was important that he have some mail almost every day.  I kept thinking what if he has a really bad day and that is the day that he does not get mail.

I have a whole new appreciation for the military families from past wars.  The time when the only communication was via letters.  Our generation is quite spoiled with our ability to instantly contact one another with cell phones, email, and skype.  Boot camp only allows letters – snail mail. 

It is amazing what you can pick up in letters.  You can really get a sense of the person’s feelings, whether they are happy or down.  Over the weeks Jared’s letters were up and down. 

Roger Agle (left) and 17-year-old son, Jared, August 2010 just before reporting to Paris Island boot camp.

It was frustrating writing to encourage him knowing that his mood would probably be over before he received my encouragement.  I found I had many questions for Jared after reading his letters and it was frustrating not being able to ask and get the answer right away.

Jared’s birthday is in August.  He was going to have his 18th birthday at Paris Island.  This was a hard day for all of us.  Jared was down in the dumps as his birthday was getting closer. 

I joked with him writing that this would be the only birthday that he would remember everything about.  He would always remember where he was and what he was doing on his 18th birthday.  Something he could share with his own children some day.

It was the first birthday of Jared’s that I was not with him.  No cake and no special dinner.

I heard from an acquaintance of mine, Jenny, that her husband was being deployed to Afghanistan.  They have two young children.  She is such a positive upbeat person and a true inspiration.  Jenny was encouraging me, when she was and is going through so much herself. 

Now part of the "military family," April's friend Jenny shares this photo of her children and husband before his deployment.

Jenny and her children stopped at work to see me.  Her children made Jared a Thank you card and asked for me to send it to him.  It was the sweetest thing.  Their dad is deployed and they took time to make something for Jared.  I was so touched.  I was starting to see what a close knit group the military is.

A family event was coming up and this would be the first time Jared would not be with us.  My brother was getting married on October 23rd.  My husband, Roger, and my daughter, Rylee, were going to be standing up.  Family came in from out of state.  My brothers and sisters and their spouses and children all were at the wedding.  Jared was the only one not in attendance. 

This bothered me quite a bit.  I dreaded the family picture of us all because Jared was not there.  The whole time spent with family I felt something was missing, Jared. 

Jared’s graduation was quickly approaching.  Jared had written me at one time, “time seems to be going by quickly and yet so slowly at the same time.”  I know exactly what he meant. 

I wanted to be at Paris Island as soon as possible.  It was going to be awesome.  We had a large group of family that was going to meet in South Carolina for Jared’s graduation.  I was so excited that so much family was doing this to support Jared.  We received our pass to go on base in the mail.  YES – it was almost over.

April Agle works in WUSF’s business office and among her many duties, she helps me and other staff with Human Resource issues. Her other contributions:

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