“Special moments” — that’s what I call events, some big and some small, that stick like a photo pasted in my memory.
They rest there, an open scrapbook for reminiscing.
Such was a “moment” that I experienced recently in Phoenix, Ariz. — and I’m so glad I was included.
The austere room was filled with young men — a few women, too — who waited in row upon row of metal chairs. Anxious parents, grandparents and friends hovered nearby, their conversations hushed in the nervous quiet.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Tri-City Herald
Each soldier-to-be was there for one purpose. This was the day they would be sworn-in to serve their country as a member of the U.S. Army. My grandson, Justin, was one of them.
It didn’t seem that long ago that he’d sat upon my lap, reaching his hands into the air as I smiled and said, “Sooo big!”
Now, here he was “so big” and making a momentous decision with confidence. At any moment, his name would be called; the journey would begin.
Word was relayed to us to join him in a private room, one where our American flag displayed its colors. At the center stood our Special Forces son-in-law, Eddie, dressed in uniform, Justin facing him. The hearts of loved ones found a place to stand in support.
I leaned on my husband’s arm as the ceremony began.
“Do you solemnly swear ..."
My emotions stirred as I saw the strength in these two men, each understanding the commitment — one knowing more of what lay ahead.
The major led the young soldier — his stepson — in serious statements that were repeated in the quiet.
Justin promised to obey and protect the United States of America; an oath that meant loyalty and devotion wherever the path may lead.
I couldn’t help but brush a tear when the final words were said — a phrase that can be omitted if a soldier so chooses.
“So help me, God,” Justin said firmly.
How thankful I was that He had been included in this “special moment” too.