AT SEA -- There is an old adage that goes “if at first you do not succeed, go back and try the way that your mother originally told you to.” For many Marines in the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, that rings particularly true.
Deployed since February, this will be the first time that many of the Marines will be out of the country for a number of holidays, Mother’s Day included.
“I always try and do something special for my mom on Mother’s day,” said Sgt. Mitchell Sanchez, a legal clerk with the MEU. “Whether it’s taking her out to a nice meal or just sending her flowers, I always do my best to check in on her and make sure she knows that she means the world to me.”
Although gifts are a nice addition to Mother’s day festivities, the true sentiment of the holiday is to recognize mothers for everything that they have given their children.
“My mom is my role model and taught me what it means to be a good person starting as far back as I can remember,” Sanchez said. “There is no way that any amount of gifts I could give her could ever repay her for what she taught me.”
Being away from home during the holidays can take a toll on Marines and their families. Mother’s Day is no exception.
“It’s definitely tough being away from my mom and not being able to see her in person on Mother’s Day,” said Sgt. Jake Arreaga, a Joint Terminal Attack Controller with Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment (BLT 2/6), 26th MEU. “She’s the hardest working person I’ve ever met and I wish I could be there to show her how much I appreciate her.”
Since immigrating to America when she was 20 years old and raising her children on her own, Arreaga’s mother has always been his role model.
“She raised me and my five brothers on her own for the most part,” Arreaga said. “She is either working or taking care of them and she never really has any time for herself. She taught me so many things and I can’t wait to hopefully be able to spend it with her next year to make up for lost time.”
Although thousands of miles away, the Marines of the MEU make sure that they are doing everything they can for their mothers today to make sure that they’re appreciated.
“I want to thank my Mom for working so hard to give me and my brothers the best life that we could possibly have,” Arreaga said. “She taught me so much and even though we’re deployed right now, I’ll be thinking about her all day. I hope she has a great mother’s day and I can’t wait to get back and see her with the rest of my family again.”