Blue and Gold Stars

December 8, 2010
By , Puyallup, WA
I drove down the street of my small town, everything had changed since the start of the war. People had become much more patriotic. There were American flags hung everywhere. People had started doing food drives and saving their money more. People were saying things like “green is the new black” to promote recycling. I had changed since the beginning of the war. My life had become a whirlwind of changes. My beloved husbands number came up at the beginning of the war, he had to go. She shipped out, leaving me and our nine month old baby boy named Jack behind. This changed me. I never thought I would live so long without him by my side. As I drove down the road, I noticed the stars in the windows. I had one in my window also. Every day, every hour, and nearly every minute of the day, I prayed that the star in my window would not become a blue star. I was terrified it would. A few of my neighbors had replaced the blue stars for a gold one. I never thought I would become an Army wife. But now I was, and I was proud of it. I was proud of my Samuel Wilson.
I got home and made dinner for Jack and I. We watched the six o’clock news on TV. Tonight was one of those nights that I wouldn’t watch footage of the war. Even though my heart longed to know what Samuel was going through, I couldn’t take it tonight. I couldn’t think of the men and women darting in and out of exploding buildings, dodging bullets, on a day to day basis. It was a part of their daily life; to dodge bullets, run out of an exploding building, deal with hearing people screaming in agony, crying for their loss, and then hearing the stillness of death.
I rocked my now one year old Jack, he was learning to talk now, and learning to walk. I wished that Samuel could have been there for the days that he began to try to talk. He now could say small words. He could say “mommy”, “dada”, “food”, and other important words he needed to know. Jack was a quiet child, he wasn’t shy though, but when he spoke he was quiet. Jack looked up at me with his gray-blue eyes, the eyes he got from his father, “Mama, where Dada?” He asked me, it was the first thing he had said to me in a full sentence.
I looked at him, for one of the only times, I was unable to smile at him. Finally a weak smile stretched across my face, I had to be strong, and I had to be proud for Samuel. “Jack, your Dada is far away, he is fighting for our country.” I knew none of this would make sense to him.
Jack looked at me with his big grey-blue eyes, he nodded. I knew he didn’t understand.
There was a knock on the door. I hoisted Jack up and had him propped on my hip, I unlocked the door. Then I saw them. Two soldiers in their dress uniforms. They were standing at attention, looking sharp in their crisp uniforms, their boots shined and their pure white gloves. I then found my heart was somewhere in my throat region. Jack blinked at them, he must’ve been mesmerized by their shiny buttons. I knew what this meant though. I hoped that maybe it was a letter saying that he was hurt but able to come home and would be on his was as soon as possible. But how often did those come? I doubted that they would come often. The tears came. The soldiers hadn’t even begun to speak and I was crying. I was a wreck.
“Are you Mrs. Ericka Wilson?” The soldier on the left said to me.
I nodded weakly.
“Ma’am, I am terribly sorry to announce that Private Samuel Wilson was killed in action. I am sorry for your loss.” The soldier on the right said. He handed me a telegram confirming this. The soldier said this without showing any emotions, his face was stone. His voice was deep and solid, it didn’t quaver or shake. How could he say something like that without showing any emotion?
I nodded and began sobbing. My Samuel was gone. My love was gone. My baby’s father was gone. My baby would never have any memory of his dada. I would never see him again.
“We’re sorry for your loss ma’am.” The soldier on the left said.
I nodded. The soldiers turned down the path and went back to their car. I closed the door and broke down and began sobbing. The tears I had back for months, trying so hard to be strong and proud for my Samuel, the tears just came out.
The next day, I found myself replacing the blue star in the window for a gold star. The neighbors saw this, and they brought over chocolates and pies. They all volunteered to help take care of Jack and help me cope. I allowed them to help me, but I said to each one of them, “We need to be strong and proud of our soldiers both fallen and surviving. They need us.”

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LastChapter said...
Dec. 11, 2010 at 9:38 am
this was good! i especially liked how you had the gold stars that she saw in the windows of others stand for something she was both proud of, yet feared for all her life. all throughout the story, you say how terrified she is of her husband not coming home. maybe if you showed how the thought haunts her, day and night, all the time. you could say how she pictures the military car driving down her road, and sees it pull in her driveway. she hears, she cries, and so on. just something to show how ... (more »)
smilesunshine replied...
Dec. 12, 2010 at 8:50 pm
Thank you! :)
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