13. While recycling, (a Ranger School word which means they did not pass a phase of training), we learned that our son had perfected his painting skills. I’d like to think he was responsible for the impeccable craftmanship on this door just outside the barracks. We joked with one of Nate’s buddies that if the whole Ranger School thing didn’t turn out, they could easily get a job at Home Depot.*
14. We greeted our guys with hearty hugs and upon entering the car, we began feeding them.
15. In addition to fresh glazed donuts, they were served green smoothies without complaint. Before leaving Camp Rogers, our fellas had already ingested donuts, spinach, berries, peaches and bananas. It’s a mom thing. Yes, I did write on our car windows. Again, a mom thing.
16. Nate told us one of his buddies needed a little help and we gladly agreed. Basically we told our gang that we were here to serve. Boss us around, we’ll do anything. They were very appreciative.
Do you want to know something else? Not one complaint the entire time. No sleep, little food, physically, emotionally exhausted and we never heard one harsh word or observed any impatience toward us or each other. True, the Hubs and I had a few rough patches due to stress during the day** but these men were simply grateful and humble. Maybe everyone needs Ranger School, just sayin.’
17. It warmed my heart to see people out there supporting their Ranger School guys. I know several people who weren’t able to make it to Fort Benning for the eight-hour pass but they still found creative ways to love their Soldiers. Some sent video messages, others got perfectly timed letters, I even know a girlfriend/mom team that sent their guy a package of gourmet chocolate fruit to greet him at his apartment.
18. One of Nate’s buddies is originally from the Chicago area and is also a West Point grad. Since I grew up in a suburb near his hometown and we have a son at school in Chicago, we wished we had some deep dish pizza for him. It was an honor to serve B. and care for him as his family would.
19. Upon arriving at Commando’s, our three charges frantically began getting gear and refits. We spent a considerable amount of time there. One of our guys purchased nearly $600 on supplies. This was a necessary visit but wow, the growing stench in the back of our vehicle was proof that another big priority was laundry. That particular event is worthy of at least one solitary blog post.
20. I had been pushing turkey jerky, homemade chocolate chip cookies while in Commando’s. This is my boy with a green smoothie smile. He won’t be having those for quite a while and they all seemed to appreciate our efforts to feed them well. #momthing
21. The guys struck a good balance between allowing us to take care of them and taking responsiblity for their day. At long last, with their tummies slightly full of nutrition and their supplies re-stocked, we continued full force into the day. Tick, tick, tick…
* My husband worked the graveyard shift at Home Depot following three consecutive job lay-offs so Home Depot holds a special place in our hearts.
** Laundry induced stress, stay tuned.