Where do I start...my name is Leigh Van Etten. I am the mother of 5 wonderful children and many, many wonderful unofficially adopted children, many of which are in the military. While ALL my children have my heart and soul and mean more to me than anything, this story is about one of my children in particular and his/our family's journey back to a new normal.
Our son Chris went against the Air Force grain of our family and choose to join the Marines. Which I really was okay with. He is stubborn and needed something more stubborn than him, definitely not the Air Force! On 13 July 2009 I handed my son over to Mother Marine Corp, one of the saddest, yet proudest days of my life. A day, even knowing what I do now, I would do all over again. Who would have thought that 2 years and 11 months to the day later and almost to the hour I received his first call from basic telling me he arrived safely, I would have gotten a call from HQ Marine Corp telling me that my son was seriously injured in an IED explosion while deployed to Afghanistan.
This is a mother's perspective on our journey from the first phone call and on. I hope this will inspire others in whatever journey they maybe on and show there is always a way around any obstacle, over, under or around, but there is always a way.
This is about our family's journey to a new norm after our son Chris was seriously injured in an IED explosion while deployed to Afghanistan. I chose the title "A Misfit's Mother's Journey" to honor some small way all the amazing young men in his squad, "Martin's Misfits". I owe a debt to these amazing men who worked together to save my son's and his buddy's lives and to the young man who sadly lost his life. This is a debt I can never repay. I hope you will find inspiration in our story and admiration of the young men who understand the consequences and are still willing to risk life and limb in the hope of protecting others.