Elaine Lowry Brye is a mom who knows about letting go. Like many moms, she cried when her kids left home, wishes they’d call and write more, and spends sleepless nights worrying about them. But Elaine’s tears and concerns are even more poignant than most mothers’—because Elaine is the mom of four military officers, one each in the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marines.
An Army brat turned ROTC candidate turned military wife, Elaine never expected her kids to have a call to serve, and certainly didn’t expect all four to join up. Three of her kids—two sons and a daughter—attended the Naval Academy, and it was there that Elaine got her own calling: she joined the Naval Academy Parents’ Listserv, and began a fifteen-year journey of helping moms and dads adjust to their strange, new, lonely lives as military parents. She also spent a year teaching in Kabul, Afghanistan where she experienced life in a war zone. Her love of her country and desire to support her fellow parents led to her to write Be Safe, Love Mom: A Military Moms Stories of Courage, Comfort, and Surviving Life on the Homefront and create this web site to further support and connect those who love their military children.
A note from Elaine:
Eight deployments and another looming-with four children in the military, one in each branch, the multiplier effect can magnify the weariness that comes with being a military mom. I thought perhaps once my children were no longer toddlers I would begin to sleep through the night. But bad dreams and monsters under the bed lingered for a while. Then there were the teenage years where I lay awake waiting to hear the crunch of gravel on the driveway. And now –well you understand-glimpses of news reports and flickers of fear can wake us at the most ungodly hours.
But I know I am not alone. You are out there scattered across the country-even the world. You are my Sisters in service. You know the immense pride that comes from raising children with honor and a desire to serve and protect our nation. You know the pain of losing control of your precious child and the worries you store in the invisible backpack we all carry. I wrote my book Be Safe Love Mom: A Military Moms stories of Courage, Comfort, and Surviving Life on the Homefront for you.
I hope to encourage, inspire you and remind you we are in this together. THE BOOK (as I fondly call it) chronicles my experiences as an Army Brat, veteran, and military mom. Along with other moms’ voices we celebrate the unique bonds of the Sisterhood of Military Moms and also share the tough stuff that comes with loving a military service member. Our friends and neighbors need to know the sacrifices we make, whether it is not having our children be able to come home for visits, or have them changed in mind and body forever as the result of their duty to country.
How do I cope? I learned growing up in a military family that I had a responsibility to do my duty—it meant supporting my dad through two war deployments and 17 moves. It meant honoring my country. Now I do the same thing for my children. I know that they don’t need to worry about me. I need to be Brave and Strong. So I take it a day at a time. I find things to absorb my worries—knitting therapy works wonders for me, especially when I’m praying as I stitch. When I lose it, I have friends—other military moms and battle buddies—who calm me, and I am married to the calmest man on the face of the earth who just spent three years flying in Afghanistan. I hang onto my faith and the knowledge my children are living out their calling toward a higher purpose. And then there is the knowledge that you are all out there sharing the burden with me.
Welcome to Be Safe Love Mom. Rest a while and be encouraged. Share your pride and concerns. We are in this together in the Sisterhood of Military Moms.