Heroes may be at the forefront of conflict, but mothers are at the forefront of everything.
It takes a lot of strength and selflessness to be hero. These qualities also hold true for mothers. You see, moms are everyday heroes; providers of constant support and fulfilling needs that are as basic and as complex as one could imagine. Now, if you look at mothers of heroes, the already long list of motherhood “to-do’s” (and “to-don’ts”) grows longer…
Sally's eldest son
Just ask Sally Campbell, mother of two firefighters. She knows firsthand how her call to duty is as instantaneous as her sons’: there is no task too small, no alarm ever false. Sally’s oldest son is not only a fireman, but is also a former Marine with the United States Marine Corps. A decision he made despite his mother’s pleas, Sally is proud nonetheless. “My attempts to steer my son away from a career in the military were because of the death of my cousin Kevin Dugan, a soldier in the Army, who was killed in Vietnam.” Kevin Howard Dugan, Specialist Four in the United States Army, sustained fatal injuries after his convoy ran over a landmine trying to deliver supplies to other soldiers. “Kevin’s death wasn’t immediate. He survived the trip from Vietnam to a hospital in Japan, even calling his mother, my aunt, to let her know that he was okay, but shortly after their conversation he succumbed to the wounds.” Though Sally’s perspective on the military hasn’t changed, she says she will forever be proud of her sons for having the courage to do what they do. “As a mother, I am extremely proud of my boys. What they do is remarkable. As scary as it may be for me, it's incredibly brave of them.”
Bernadette with her son
In a post-9/11 world, no one community appears to be “safe.” This is a hard concept for many Americans to accept, but it’s a reality we must live with. Bernadette Buatti, a mother to a former sailor in the United States Navy, can tell you how uneasy life became after September 11th, 2001. “My son, who was only enlisted for nine months in September of 2001, was suddenly deployed for war,” she says, “and to my amazement - and horror - he spent the majority of his enlistment in the Middle East between battles in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
One of several homecomings
Though the military is different from that of the fire department, Sally says that the worrying never stops. “Firefighting is a job on the home front. Yes, my boys get to see their families more frequently than that of a soldier, but the sacrifice spans over a lifetime, just like that of a combatant.”
Sally and Bernadette agree that making care packages is the best way of providing comforts of home for their heroes. “It shows your support. That you care about them and what they’re doing,” Bernadette says.
If you or someone you know is a mother of a hero in any branch of service, Bernadette and Sally recommend joining a support group. “Navy Moms, an online support group, helped me tremendously during my son’s deployments,” Bernadette says. “I can’t say thank you enough to those women.”
Photograph of Sally with her sons is courtesy of Amanda Marie Artistry. For more information on Amanda's services, please click on the photo or her name above.