A mothers son goes to Iraq, part 3.

Tags: HeroStories

We want to thank Melody Pigg for her extraordinary journal about her son, Marshall. We feel her thoughts and experiences echo what millions of parents have gone through as their children leave home to fight in a foreign land. And just as important, she sheds a great deal of light for those who's children are not in the fight. We believe we should all share her experience and understand the sacrifices so many have made. - CG

Marshall and Michael"This last week has had alot of ups and downs for us. The nightmares continue and now we're starting to be flooded with memories of Marshall's life. It seems like anything can trigger the memories. The tree that he and his friend, Ben, used to jump over in the backyard is now a good 20 feet tall. Seeing pictures of him around the house reminds us of time that in some ways, seem so long ago, and in other ways, seem just like yesterday. A professional picture of Marshall and his brother, Michael, reminds me that Michael was crying as I was picking out the pictures and paying for them. I heard Marshall singing to Michael to entertain him and soothe him. As I listened closer, I discovered that Marshall was singing, "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman." It was hilarious! Last night while watching television, I heard someone use the expression, "When pigs fly." It reminded me of Marshall's Junior High coach ribbing Marshall when he was trying to learn how to pole vault. The coach told Marshall that "pigs can't fly." Marshall replied, "But we can try!" That was always Marshall's attitude. Any physical activity was a challenge to him and he would give everything he had plus some.

We both called Marshall alot last week. We never really had much to say, we just wanted to hear his voice and absorb it. Probably bugged him to death. It also felt like time to put on our Hero Bracelets. Even though he hadn't been deployed yet, it just seemed like the right time. I guess we were getting ourselves ready. We also started gathering items for his first care package. That was fun. It's like buying for Christmas. We also ordered him a kit for his helmet that will help protect him from the IEDs. The current helmet protects him against shrapnel and small caliber ammunition only.

There are some things that I feel relatively good about. Marshall is very much like his Dad. He has alot of common sense, is quick witted, and does what's right. The things that concern me are that they both will unselfishly put themselves in harms way to help someone else. I guess that's why he's a Marine. There are very few people in the world that would put their own well-being on the line for someone else.

On the other hand, there are things we absolutely can't think about because we would go crazy - how far away he is, is he scared, what experiences are going to haunt him the rest of his life, is he homesick, how incredibly far away he is, will be come home safely. We need him to come home safely. Michael has had a couple of nights where he's really distraught about his brother. He'll cry, "Bubba's going to be gone a long time! I need my Bubba! What am I going to do?" It tears your heart out. In Michael's little innocent mind, Bubba is fighting the bad guys and putting them in jail. We need Bubba to come home safely. We need all of our troops to come home safely.

Marshall was deployed earlier this week, and it's extremely difficult. We are honored to be his parents. We just selfishly want him home."