Let's Come Together and Honor the Mothers of America's Wounded Veterans

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ByLee WoodruffAuthor, "Perfectly Imperfect"

I entered my 17-year-old son's room to wake him for school the other morning and as I bent to kiss him and ruffle the hair on his head, I began to cry. Immediately, he was awake and concerned. This wasn't a position he saw me in very often. How could I possibly explain to my eldest child all of the complicated emotions I was experiencing as it hit me that this would be his last May under my roof as a child? He would be heading off to college in the fall, and I realized that his life had sped by in what suddenly felt like one giant, multi-colored streak.

Somehow in what seemed like just a season, while I was washing dishes and helping with homework, driving kids to sports practices and reading bedtime stories, he was ready to take the stage of his life as an independent person.



All across America, there are mothers who would give anything to trade places with me. These are mothers who would offer an eye or swap out a limb for their children to leave the nest, attend college, get a job and move forward into an independent life.

These are the mothers of America's wounded veterans. And in the two years since we founded The Bob Woodruff Foundation, I have been honored to meet countless wives and mothers who imagined a life completely different for their loved one. They wanted only the most basic things for their children. These weren't lofty hopes and dreams, just the stuff of ordinary lives.

Instead of the sons and daughters they care for who are paralyzed or amputees, brain injured or breathing on a trach tube, these mothers' dreams are for their children to utter a word again, walk independently or maybe even attend a few classes at a local college. These are the thousands of veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who find themselves back at home with lives interrupted. Depression, anger, the inability to hold a job, communicate effectively or organize a day are often the hallmarks of those with the signature injury of this war--a brain injury.

This Mother's Day, instead of receiving flowers or presents from their children, thousands of military moms and wives, many with young children, will be providing around the clock care for their loved one.

Our veterans and service members are the only ones who have been asked to sacrifice after Sept 11th. And this Mother's Day, I believe all of us need to come together and honor the mothers of America's wounded heroes.

And while you are honoring the mothers in your life, think about donating one dollar for someone who risked his life for you -- regardless of your politics.

The goal is to raise a dollar for each of the 1.65 million service members who have cycled through Iraq an Afghanistan. The money goes to local support services and resources to assist their recovery from the physical and psychological wounds of war.

I can't think of a better way to honor America's hero Moms on Mother's Day. And I'm going to guess that after you've done something so good, those dogs and burgers at the BBQ will taste even better when the world feels a little brighter.

Lee Woodruff is the mother of four children, author, "Perfectly Imperfect," co-author of "In an Instant" with husband and ABC Newsman Bob Woodruff. To learn more about Lee, click here. For more about Lee and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, click here.