Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Soldier's Mother Tells Her Story

I met Janie Reinart this past summer in Bedford, Ohio at the Pooka Arts Festival. She sat at the book table next to me and her smile and sweet spirit drew me to her instantly. When I discovered what her book was about, we had an immediate bond. We shared our stories about our sons in the military and I decided I wanted to keep in contact with her. This blog today, Veteran's Day, is from her. It's an amazing story from the mother of a soldier. I look at the picture below, the face of a young man, so very young, and my heart crys for all mothers of soldiers today. Enjoy today's guest post and then go enjoy Janie's book.

Blessings to you and yours.

Out of the Darkness by Janie Reinart

I was numb. In December 2003, my thoughts wandered to the first line of the
song, “Night of Silence” by Daniel Kantor. Cold are the people, winter of life, we
tremble in shadows this cold endless night … My father, a WWII veteran, had just
passed away and my son was being deployed to Iraq. I was in darkness.

Not knowing what else to do, I started to write about my deepest fears and my
greatest hopes. Words came pouring out. I wrote until 4 a.m. in the morning. I
wrote until there were no words left to write. After realizing how therapeutic it was
to get my thoughts down on paper, the idea for a book was born. I asked other
mothers of soldiers to share their stories.

The title of the book came from a letter my son sent me. He was in Iraq for six
months and had six more to go. His letter asked questions: Will I make it back?
Will I be the same? Will I be happy? He said, "All I know that is certain is you,
and I rely on that fact alone to get me through the sweltering reality I live in." He
signed his letter; I love you deeply, more than you know. Your son, Joe.

When Love You More Than You Know: Mothers’ Stories About Sending
Their Sons and Daughters to War (Gray & Company, 2009, eBook 2012) was
published, one mother confided that to this day, she carries her story in her purse
everywhere she goes so that it is always with her. The book holds 45 powerful
tales of love, faith, and courage, reminding our readers that our children stand in
front of our flag, risking their lives so that we can live ours.

Click here to enter free giveaways of Love You More than You Know eBooks in honor of our Veterans and their families.

About Janie Reinart

As an author, teacher consultant, National Writing Project Fellow, storyteller, and poet, words are my tools. Janie seeks ways to give people a voice to tell their own stories through prose and poetry. She and her husband, Ed, are grateful for their five children and 10 grandchildren. Most weekends, you will find Janie praying and singing with the choir at Holy Angels Catholic Church.

Janie's chapter, “Boots to Ground “ in Love You More Than You Know, won second place in the National Federation of Press Women's 2010 Communications Contest in the category of a chapter/essay in a nonfiction book. Her chapter won first place in the Ohio Professional Writer's Communications Contest.

Janie's blog Love You More Than You Know is a finalist for the 2012 Milbloggies (6th Annual) Best U.S. Military Parent Blog Award.


In these stories, 45 mothers of U.S. service men and women open their hearts and share what it feels like when your son or daughter leaves home to fight a war.

Some were stunned when they learned that their “baby” had enlisted. Others had long been familiar with military life. But all of these mothers knew their world had just changed the day their child called home and said, “Mom, I’m being deployed . . .”

They discovered the strange mix of pride and fear. The anxiety of not knowing exactly where in Iraq or Afghanistan your son is, whether your daughter is facing mortar fire or enduring heat and boredom. Elation at the arrival of the briefest postcard or email message. The daily dread, when returning home from work or a trip to the grocery store, of seeing a government car in the driveway and two soldiers at the door . . .

Anyone who reads their stories will admire their faith and courage–and better understand the sacrifices made by our U.S. service men and women and their families.




Janie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janie said...

Thank you so much for the kind words and for letting me be a guest today. I felt that same instant bond with you as well! Thank you for your son's service.
Go to my blog to enter the giveaway of eBook copies of Love You More Than You Know.
God bless our Veterans!

Lili Richey Willard said...

Pam, you so know my heart! Thank you for allowing this sweet, dear military mom to post today, Veterans Day. When one of my sons is in harms way, I am in continual prayer mode, crying out for safety, for purpose, for peace. We don't realize the sacrifice until our loved ones are at war. I am in my fifth deployment between two sons, as one is currently serving in Afghanistan. There are days filled with peace...then there are those unexpected times when I wake in the middle of the night with the fear constricting my throat. These are the days in the lives of a military mom, and the family. God bless!

Janie said...

Thank you for raising such brave young men that serve our country. I will hold your sons and family in prayer. Please consider sharing your story on my blog. Send stories to