Strength from My Mother
Callan S. • Renton, WA • Missing Mom's Meatballs
Who helped you cope with relocations and/or deployments?
My mother…she is my best friend and the one who gave me the strength and courage to join the Army. And my family and friends all sent care packages…it was nice to have something to remind you of home when you’re sitting in the desert.
I had a lot of support from my brothers in my unit, senior enlisted sergeants and officers, before, during and after my deployment. And the USO was incredibly helpful stateside and overseas, providing food and basic necessities, as well as Skype so I could talk with and see my family and girlfriend, who is now my wife.
And when I transitioned out of the service and was hired by Fred Meyer, I had the incredible opportunity of going through the MD1 Management Training Program – it was this program and the team that ran it that showed me how supportive our company truly is.
What did you learn about yourself through your military experience?
You don’t know how strong of a person you really are until you’re forced to get through certain experiences, physical or emotional. And there are definitely times where in your mind, all you’re saying is, “I just wanna quit.” But then you get overcome with this feeling and it’s like, you can do this. Keep pushing. And I wouldn’t have had my personal strength and courage if I didn’t have my brothers pushing me and motivating me. So, it’s a brotherhood…you just drive off of each other’s strength.
We often hear after friends and family, a taste of home is what our servicemembers miss the most. What home-cooked meal did you crave when you were away?
Food, I always thought about food…it creates the ultimate personal connection. I never take a hot, home-cooked meal for granted. When you were out in the field eating packaged meals in the sand and dirt, you appreciated the small things like coming together and enjoying a meal. Every time I would eat a packaged meal of spaghetti and meatballs, I would think of my mom’s spaghetti and meatballs. It would take me right back to the kitchen table. It wasn’t fancy by any means, but it was made with her love.