Featured Story: Proud Momma

Submitted by: Marsha Malo
Our son, brother and uncle Harley Emery is scheduled to be sent off to Kuwait ( he has left for his training 6/2/2011), this is his 2nd deployment since becoming a member of the Army National Guard…his 1st tour was in Scania, Iraq 4 years ago. Harley is my brother and our family couldn’t be more proud of him! On May 22, our mother was brought to the hospital and we learned she was having a heart attack, she was to be taken to Rochester Mayo for surgery. Her words to the Dr. “please….not this week, my son is being sent to Kuwait”. It broke my heart. At that time, my brother was up at Camp Ripley for his two weeks and was scheduled to come home the following week for a few days before being sent to Kuwait, so Momma was pretty stern when she said “please don’t tell Harley”, she didn’t want to worry him unnecessarily. So we didn’t. We got to the Rochester hospital and the surgery went well and she was so excited to be able to get out in 3-4 days…just in time to be home to see Harley off. Then things took a horrbile turn, she didn’t take well to the medication and slipped into a coma about 3 hours after her surgery. The doctors told us she wasn’t able to breathe on her own and she would have to be taken off life support as soon as all our family members were there. We had to make the calls to family and try to get a hold of Harley, his SGT drove him all the way to the hospital from Camp Ripley. I will never forget seeing him walk down that hallway still wearing his camo…Our Dad, and all four of Momma’s children were there to say “goodbye” as we prayed and held her as she took her last breath on May 23, just 10 days after her 58th birthday. She was so proud of all of us kids. It seems not quite real yet and my heart breaks for my little brother who had to leave to serve our Country just a few days after our Momma’s passing. Our family will never be the same, but it has brought us closer as Harley has had to leave and we have had to help care for our other little brother Jake, who is disabled at home and depended on Momma for his care full time. What an adjustment we have had to make. We want to thank the (Red Bulls) BRAVO 1/125th (Fairmont/Jackson, MN) for all of the support and help they have given our family, especially the SGT who drove Harley 5 hours to be able to say goodbye. The Army National Guard was something Momma was so proud for Harley to be a part of, even though she worried when he would have to leave, she still supported him with all her heart. Our family prays for a safe return of our little brother, son, and uncle. We know that Momma with be with him as an Angel to watch over him while he is deployed. Thank you Mom for all you have taught our family, love, loyalty and respect, you will truly be missed by many. The picture attached was taken one week before Momma passed away….it was the Send Off Parade for our Troops going to Kuwait.

Our family will be proud to hang this flag in the window of our home, for our brother, all of the people in his troop and especially for my mother who couldn’t be here to send him off, thank you for giving us this opportunity to show our support.
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