Mother's Day, May 9, allows everyone to show gratitude for all the ways their mothers helped them become the people they are today. Some Soldiers deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, had a chance to reflect on their childhood memories and share why their mothers are their truest heroes.
Spc. William Murray, an administration specialist
"She never told me, 'You can't do that,' about anything I wanted to do," said Murray about his mother, Kanani Murray of Wahiawa, Hawaii. "She has faith in all of the decisions I make because of the way she raised me."
When Murray, who is a reservist, decided to be a theatre actor, his mom was initially hesitant about his choice.
"She told me, 'You have to work hard to make money,'" he said about her concerns.
When he told her that he wasn't in it for the money, she became more accepting of his decision.
"She comes out to all my plays," he said. "I'm not always her favorite in the shows, but she come and watches."
Murray says he thinks of himself as a good man because of how his mom raised him – teaching him morals, wrong and right, confidence and how to be a strong individual. He said he keeps one of her sayings with him at all times -- failing to plan is planning to fail.
"That told me that I have to work hard," said Murray. "I have to plan to be successful in order to actually be successful."
Murray isn't the only Soldier on COB Speicher who feels gratitude toward his mother for raising him, so does Spc. Johnny Guillory, a computer detection system repairer, 3rd Signal Company, DSTB, 3rd ID.
"I smile when I think of my mom," said Guillory about his mother, Joella Guillory of Greenville, Miss. "No matter how much I messed up, she was always there to help me get back on top."
He describes his mother as a "supreme motivator."
"It didn't matter what situation I was in when I was growing up," said Guillory. "I knew I could always call her for help. I don't have the words to thank my mother for all she has done."
Guillory says his mother, a former Soldier stationed in Germany in the '80s, is his reason for joining the Army.
"My mom had been pushing me to join the Army – to get a jump-start in life," he said. "I didn't take it seriously until I realized my life wasn't really going anywhere."
While most people have one mother to raise them, Spc. James Wallace, 3rd Signal Company, DSTB, 3rd ID, has two mothers - his biological mother, Kristi Bonefas of Waller, Texas, and his stepmother, Sherri Wallace of Bradenton, Fla., to look after him.
"They have both inspired me to be the best I can be," he said about both his mothers. "They are very supportive and push me to be a role model for my sisters."
During the Christmas season, Mrs. Wallace had her coworkers write thank you and Christmas cards to Soldiers stationed at COB Speicher.
"I went around and handed them out everywhere," said Wallace with a smile on his face. "It meant a lot to me."
Murray, Guillory and Wallace all said they wouldn't be who they are today without the love, support and care their mothers provided.