This is Kelli, Jinece’s daughter, updating to remind everyone how proud I am to have such a smart, beautiful, and fierce mother.
She was 16 when she went through basic training–these days they call that a child soldier (these days, it’s not legal). But she spent nearly my entire life serving in the military.
We always thought is was a blessing to have our mom in the Army. She woke us up early every drill weekend to say goodbye, and I always told her how beautiful she looked in her BDUs. As military kids, we never missed a family day. I’ve won TONS of cake-walk cakes. I’d get excited when she came home with MREs because the hot chocolate or hot apple cider was like having a science experiment we could eat! We were raised shopping at the PX, and we were delighted by the stories our mom would tell when she got home from her summer duty. Truthfully, I always imagined I would join the military too, because I knew how important the miltary was to my mom. She was loyal to us and the Army.
The Army saved us. Without the Army, we wouldn’t have had enough food to eat. Certainly, I would not have the opportunities I have now. It provided her with the means to go to nursing school, and eventually pulled us from poverty (sorry to air our dirty laundry, mom). So today, on Veteran’s day, I am grateful for my mom’s service.
As much as I admire her hardwork, I cannot imagine how hard it was to juggle the military and motherhood. I remember waking up on the day of my fifth birthday at 4 am to tell her goodbye. I was crying and screaming; I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t spend my birthday with me…just one more day. That year, she spent 3 months away from her kids while she was on duty. She was providing vaccines for indigenous people in Honduras. I am now the same age she was then (30), and I am thinking of having my own children. It must have broken my mom’s heart to leave that morning. But I know she did it to provide us with a home.Love you mom! I love your new profile pic! Also, Happy Veteran’s Day!