CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRA, Iraq — Motherhood is full of joys as well as trials. Mother's Day is a time to celebrate those joys.
While many deployed mothers will miss out on their traditional Mother's Day celebrations, some remain optimistic and make the best of the situation.
"This is not forever. This is a temporary stomping ground in your overall life," said Sgt. 1st Class Angela Amundson, actions and awards non-commissioned officer-in-charge, 34th Infantry Brigade.
The Hastings, Minn., native is spending a year away from her 14-year-old stepson, Alex and her 7-year-old daughter, BriAnna. But for her, Mother's Day is about more than just her children. Every year the Amundsons have a tradition for Mother's Day.
"What I like to do is get all the mothers together and we all go to brunch on Mother's Day with all our children and my husband's sister, my sister — anybody we can get to go," said Amundson.
The Amundson family started this tradition because they were going to multiple houses for a short time.
"We're all family, whether we're blood or not. So I said, 'Let's all get together,' that way you don't have to go five different places, kind of like Thanksgiving or Christmas," said Amundson. "It's much nicer and easier to have everyone together."
This Mother's Day while Amundson's family is having brunch, she will acknowledge other mothers here.
"I want to make sure to recognize other mothers this Mother's Day," she said. "Being a mother isn't about yourself — it's about everybody else."
Motherhood has also aided in Amundson's skills as an NCO.
"I think being a mother really helps with being in charge," she said. "It helps you balance positive and negative discipline."
Amundson mentors and guides her Soldiers as she would her children. She said some of the younger males even remind her of Alex.
Whether being a motherly figure to her Soldiers or her children, Amundson sees Mother's Day as an important holiday.
"[Mother's Day] is special to me because I have the privilege to be a mother," she said. "I remember the day I got home with my daughter, I thought there was nothing better than being a mother, and I still think that."
This work, Mother sacrifices tradition for country, by SSG Debralee Best, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.