As a new military mom, I am quickly learning a few things. The Army has a lot of acronyms and nothing compares to the moment your soldier comes home.
Our soldier graduated from Army Advanced Individual Training — AIT for other newcomers — at Fort Lee, Virginia, early this year. He was happy to leave his memories of basic training and successful completion of AIT behind him for a little while. For the next month or so, he would be able to take a much-needed break from grueling workouts, intense training, class sessions, rushed meals, ruck marches, instant push-ups, constant screaming and a lack of sleep.
The journey he started on January 16, 2019, was complete for now. Our soldier, a proud member of the Massachusetts National Guard, knows that at any time he could be called upon to lend his helping hands and newly-trained skills. Throughout the morning and into the afternoon, he kept us up to date on his arrival into Logan.
The time had finally arrived! Our second opportunity to reunite with Zachary and we couldn’t wait to take him home. As we made our way inside the terminal, we immediately found the flight arrival screen. Making our way to the correct hall, we were not successful in locating him right away. My husband and I decided to split up and head to different sections of the airport in order to try and locate him.
As my eyes scanned the area for our son, my husband called me on my cell phone to say he found Zachary. My feet did their best to keep up with the rush in my head. As I turned the corner, there he was. Our very own Pfc. Yahman. His bright smile could be seen from a mile away and on the evening of his homecoming, it lit up the airport.
As we embraced, I could feel his newly found confidence and strength, and his need to hold on for a little while longer. I did not object. His stuffed green duffle bags were the first items to fall from the conveyor belt. I was surprised at how full and heavy they were. He picked those bags up like they were 10-pound weights and swung one onto the front of his chest and the other onto his back.
During the car ride home, he took it all in. He appreciated being able to get comfortable in the front seat of the car and stretch his legs. He took pleasure in sipping a large coffee on the long ride home. I observed how he was able to relax and that he enjoyed being in the company of his parents. He engaged us in conversation and asked questions. How had the weather been? How was his brother? His grandparents? His faithful dog, Buddy? He looked forward to seeing their faces, giving each of them a hug and a firm handshake.
Upon his reentry into the civilian world, we often hear him say, “Ask me a question or two.”During the past couple of months, we have tuned into his stories like a long-anticipated radio program. He recalls certain situations, stressors and what it takes to become a competent 92Y.
He’s also skilled in the art of humility, shying away from bragging on his victories of completing AIT training. Though, he often speaks on the success of his fellow soldiers.
Ever since he was little, Zachary has been known for his storytelling skills. His latest chapter is about balancing life as a full-time university student along with being a proud member of the Massachusetts National Guard. His upcoming field work and missions will have him creating new life experiences that I look forward to following through his words. Grateful to have a son that serves, we will continue to proudly follow our young soldier’s journey every step of the way.Read comments