Tuesday, July 6, 2010

home for a month now

Steven has been home for a month now. He is working M-F at Pendleton...coming home nights and weekends. He is doing well but a bit more quiet in group settings. All the attention could overwhelm anyone! I am just breathing so much easier...knowing he is out of THERE! The holidays have so much more meaning I must admit. As I think about the last year I am not sure how I made it...just one day at a time. Feels good to breathe full breaths again!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Steven's homecoming was AMAZING!!

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Today is THE day!

A friend who recently greeted her son after returning home from Afghanistan told me it was like holding them for the first time...their birthday all over again. At 4 in the morning I thought I heard the doorbell ring. I jumped out of bed thinking Steven was surprising me - maybe the Marines were coming home early to be stealthy ya know? Turns out it was just my anxiety and excitement about the day ahead. I have been awake ever since, like a woman in labor...pacing...excited...anxious...wanting the baby to hurry up already! I remember the day Steven was born and the first time I held him. They put him in my arms and his eyes popped open,(it startled me actually), and we locked our gaze on each other. He looked at me as if to say, "Oh there you are mommy". I looked at him and realized I had just been part of miracle. He made a scrunchy face that looked exactly like Doug :) I knew we were about to have a grand adventure together. As I hold my son again today, and look in his eyes, I will feel the same awe, the same relief, and the same miracle as the day he was born. I bet he might even make that scrunchy face like his dad. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010


Steven will be home VERY SOON! I can't say the date, officially, but just know I am beyond excited!
I'm worried I won't let him go! It a sure thing I will be crying my eyes out - "bucking up" isn't even an option. I would implode! Reunion pics will be posted as soon as I can!
Woo hoo!

All the "fun" has gone out of it!

newest pics

Friday, April 23, 2010

count down!

Steven will be coming home at the end of May! He won't have much time off but at least he'll be HOME. I can't tell you how excited I am. I feel like I will finally exhale when I see him. I thought having him away at boot camp was hard...and it was... but deployment has been really challenging! For me, the really cool thing is that about the time Steven comes home, school will be wrapping up and summer will be here! AAAHHHHHH!
Pictures of his homecoming will be posted here as well as on facebook.
Thanks for being so supportive during this very difficult time.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A call and a letter

Steven called Amber last night and said he was doing fine and NOT to watch the news. I know why. I also got a letter today dated 2-24. He sounded good and was happy to have received a package with paper and pens because he was running out! Can't have that!
He always sounds good. I'd talk about the details of all the funny things he puts in his letters but there are sickos out in the world who are contacting families with specific information pretending to be from the Red Cross. The thought is they get personal info from blogs and such so I keep it very non-specific for a reason. A friend I met on Facebook,(another marine mom), was the victim of one of those calls. They told her that her husband had been injured...luckily she knew enough to check it out. Now the FBI is on this. Unbelievable. Anyway. All that matters is that Steven is doing ok and we have heard from him. I know letters and packages from home mean a lot to him.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A letter a letter!

I got a letter from Steven. I can't give details for security reasons but I can tell you his sense of humor is in tact. He did mention the dust storms. His letters sound like...letters from camp and not...LETTERS FROM CAMP, ya know? If I had to pick a positive outcome in all of this, it's the wonderful connection you get when you correspond via letters with your child. It's a beautiful thing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New pictures from Hell!


Steven called Amber a few days ago. He is fine but the mail is not being delivered or is very slow. HE was worried something was wrong back home. That makes me so sad. Amber was able to explain the mail situation. I'm not sure why it wasn't explained to him! My poor baby thought we forgot about him! If he only knew, right? In addition, we have gotten some recent pictures of a huge, SCARY sand storm that blew through their camp recently. Yikes! On a very sad note, another 19 year old lost his life. Hurry home Steven!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Feb. 21, 2001

Good evening. I haven't heard anything from Steven in awhile. I was really feeling down and even anxious, and it was getting worse everyday. A wise person told me to live in healthy denial about any negative thoughts that might be invading my serenity. It really helped to put a stop to wanting to know something and thinking negative thoughts because I wasn't. It began to take me over. I know as a mom this is such a challenging time. Then again, Steven is being so brave and tough! I think it's a mom thing and I get that but suffering helps no one!One day soon, Steven will be home and I'll be all up in his business about school, jobs etc :) Actually, I'll probably be begging him to come over and do his laundry, have dinner,and I'll scratch his back...like the old days. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I have no idea where Steven fits in with all this but this video is very compelling. One Marine tells about almost drowning because he fell face first in an irrigation ditch with his huge pack on. So hard to imagine what they are going through. Makes this mom so anxious.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

heavy sigh

This last incident really brought the realities of what Steven is doing home. I have to stay positive and focus on Steven's safe return. Some days it is tough to stay positive but my struggle is NOTHING compared to Steven's challenges. When I feel down I start to beat myself up, but then I realize I can allow myself to feel my feelings and they will pass, they are normal...the more I fight them, the longer they last so if I spend a few days in the dumps...no harm to anyone else. Keep sending your love!


Battalion Commander Deployment Message

Families and Friends of 4th LAR,
On January 23, 2010 a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Zherand Kalay bazaar, a town we had occupied only days earlier. Two men, LCpl Jeremy M. Kane and HM2 Xin Qi died of their wounds that day, and Sgt David J. Smith succumbed to his wounds on January 26th. Four other men were wounded – Cpl George O’Sullivan, LCpl Kevin Miller, LCpl Michael Hoey, and LCpl Wilton Nhek.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of our fallen comrades. They are, and will continue to be greatly missed, but certainly not forgotten. We also pray for a speedy recovery of our wounded Marines.
In spite of this attack, the Marines and Sailors of 4th LAR continue to work extremely hard securing the people of Afghanistan from Taliban influence. They have not been deterred from their mission nor have they “given up hope”. We just don’t do that.
The memories of Sgt David Smith, HM2 Xin Qi, and LCpl Jeremy Kane live on in the hearts and minds of Iron Horse Marines and Sailors.

Semper Fidelis

M. S. Martin

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Camp Pendleton Marine

Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Camp Pendleton Marine

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Terrible news out of Afghanistan

We don't have too many details yet. At least one Marine from the B co. 4th LAR was killed by a suicide bomber. He held the same rank, and job title as Steven. Steven is fine. He is with a different company of that battalion. We don't know if Steven knew him well or at all. There are news stories out there - He was 22 yr old Jeremy Kane from Cherry Hill, Maryland. There has been NO official news yet! His mom has been posting the the 4th LAR facebook site. This is so scary! I so want to talk to Steven! Apparently he spoke to Amber after this happened but before we knew about it and he didn't mention it. I am not sure what that means.
I will keep this blog updated. I am not sure what I can and can't say on Facebook. Their safety could be jeopardized. I don't know how but I won't take any chances!
Trying to stay positive!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New photos

New pictures from Afghanistan. I think Steven looks really good, although cold in a few...my poor baby! I just stare at them. His face is still that of my young son...I see a man and yet I know the infant, the boy and now the man. It is amazing how so many memories come flooding in when I see these pictures. I think of all the times he played at being a "soldier". He was always a sharpshooter with his airsoft gun when I needed icky spiders eliminated! I just want to hug him and tell him how proud I am and most of all...WELCOME HOME MY BRAVE SON!Counting the days...many to go.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Remember when...

Some pictures of the boy who would become a Marine.

Music added

I chose these songs because they all have meaning to me with Steven. I always sang "You are My Sunshine" to him when I put him to bed and he would interject "when the skies are grey". It was a nightly routine for many years. "I'll Stand By You" represents the support I will continue to give Steven. When he was talking about becoming a Marine I was beside myself and I did try to talk him out of it. As time passed and he demonstrated his thoughtful commitment to the service, I knew my only course of action was total support.Now the ONLY job I have as a mother is unconditional love and support for him. "God Bless The USA" speaks for itself.
I received another short letter and those always make my days a little brighter while he's away. But when I'm cold, I think of how cold he must be, and he has mentioned it! When I eat I think of how good a home cooked meal will taste to him (I can send out for one of those - haha). When I get cozy in my bed I know how that top bunk must really feel good at the end of a long day, but nothing compared to his own bed at home. I know he can't wait to come home and yet, there will be challenges in the transition. I just want to be able to call my son whenever I feel like it! I want to hug him tight and rub his head and scratch his back...like mom's do. I want the brothers to be able to hang out and laugh together. I want my baby home!