Monday, January 26, 2009

Drafted

The letter came in the mail. It was official looking. It was during the summer of 1972. Far Guys Mom began to cry. Drafted, it really sucked to have a low number. So Far Guy enlisted in the Air Force. He might be able to pick his specialty if he enlisted. He could pick his date to leave, he picked the first week in January of 1973. He left on the bus, we took him to the bus stop.

I was all alone, well I did have a small child and a dog, but I still felt that the best part of me was gone. Six weeks, it seemed to loom before me like a storm, something that you must get through, but you don't know how you are going to do it. Communication was limited. I could not even write to him until I got his address in the mail. One day it came, a post card, a fill in the blank form from the Air Force, that began Dear Wife, my address is..no smiley face, no I love you, just Dear Wife.. I still have this bit of communication, I saved it to remind me that The Air Force does not care about wives or children or dogs. After being a military wife for 26 years ..my opinion has not changed one bit either.


I wrote Far Guy ridiculously long letters, telling him about every minute of every day. About all the new things that our daughter Trica was doing, since she was just nine months old, she was doing lots of new things everyday. One of her new things was playing in Snuffers water dish and eating dog food. Far Guy's Mom would just go ballistic when she saw her beautiful granddaughter crunching on dry dog food. Of course Trica wasn't really eating it, just crunching it up and spitting it out. She would also go through the antics of trying to lap up water from the dog dish before splashing it all over herself and everything in the vicinity. Snuffer did not mind sharing her food or water. Trica would often hand feed Snuffer, we taught her early on that all good things come from a child's hands.

It was a long six weeks. I would never have made it through if the weather that January had not been sunny and warm by Minnesota standards. Two very special people made my life a whole lot easier that January. We had a wonderful Mail Man, his name was Tom. He was a Veteran. If I had a letter from Far Guy he would honk his horn twice. Letters were so important back then. The only other way we could communicate was through collect phone calls that were very,very expensive. Far Guy did call collect a few times, it was so good to hear his voice. The other very special person was Far Guys Grandma H. She was a pillar of strength for me. She was alone too. She would call me nearly everyday. She made luncheon dates for us with her friends, several times a week she would pick us up in her baby blue Ford and off we would go, gallivanting around the neighborhood. She told me " Call me anytime day or night." A Mailman and a Grandma and warm January weather all memories from the early part of 1973:)

12 comments:

  1. Wow - I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like. Glad you had some good memories and support to help you get through it.

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  2. This is really hard to imagine today with internet and cell-phones. My daughter complained that her husband worked nights and she claimed she didn't get to see him but on weekends. I remind her of the men & women in Iraq and Afghanistan who don't get to see their families for 18 months. Just trying to keep things in perspective. I will share this post with her.

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  3. That must have been hard Connie..
    Good that you had some good memories and support to help you get through it.
    I feel for the wives of men away at war..
    Julia ♥

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  4. Times were so different then. I remember my brothers calling home from college and from the army and my dad pacing around saying, "Write letters. It's cheaper"! Meanwhile my mom was so wrapped up in the conversation with my brother(s) that she probably didn't even hear him!

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  5. You write about it as if it were yesterday. I love the photo, but felt for you and what you went through. Glad he came back safe and sound so that more memories could be forged. :)

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  6. Hi Connie, I love the photo and so happy you had Grandma to lean upon at such a tough time in your life.

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  7. You must have been thrilled when President Nixon announced the draw-down in January of 1973 (if I remember correctly).

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  8. great picture. When my son was about ready to go to boot camp I started writing him letters. lots of short funny letters, then I mailed them to him after we got his address. As did his wife, and grandparents and sisters and in-laws. I didn't know he was going to have to do a certain amount of push ups for every letter --oops. I guess some of the guys helped him out by doing some of the pushups for him.

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  9. brings back my memories.. of my first marriage... and the Greetings that came. BUT... just about the time he was ready to go, President Nixon froze everything. My ex was one of the group that got lost in the shuffle. He went back to college. End of story.

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  10. Wow!! I remember that one of my pals born in 1952 was #1! But, they reached the quota before getting to him and moved on to the second date. I think they did not draft from the '53 babies. Scary time.

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  11. What a wonderful story, Connie. Thank you so much for sharing this part of your life with us. I love the part about Grandma H.! She sounds like a hoot!

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  12. Thank you for sharing your story. Being a military wife is never easy...and finding those who can help you through is the greatest blessing.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie