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Once upon a time there lived a young man named Ivan Irl Wilson. He is my son and also a U.S. Marine. He joined the Delayed Entry Program (U.S. Marines) on Aug. 24, 2005, and on Sept. 11, 2005, he left for Boot Camp. He landed his feet down on the ever famous yellow boot prints at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego on Sept. 12, 2005. For Ivan, this was a big adjustment in his young life. Prior to joining the Marines, he was living a wayward life. Ivan was stationed in Twentynine Palms, Calif., and began his life as a U.S. Marine. He was deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2008.
I never knew what a Gold Star parent was until … 7-21-2008. I still have dark days where I just want to curl up and die so I can be close to my son, but I have two other children who need me, so I continue to push through. … 7-21-08 around 5 am … KNOCK KNOCK … I remember going down the hallway and Jackie coming out of her room. We walked together to the door to see who was doing this crazy knocking. I asked who was there — I tried peeking out the peek hole. It was dark out there. I saw two shadows. They said it was the U.S. Marines. And as Jackie and I stood close to one another, I opened the door and they asked me if I was Denise Wilson, and I remember them saying, "We are sorry to tell you, but your son has been killed." We let them in and it all began from there. It has been such a long journey to this day, and I can say it hasn't been easy. Bearable at times, but still so unbelievable. At that point I went from a Blue Star Mom to a Gold Star Mom. Do I want to be a Gold Star, no, but I am because my son died doing what he believed in. He made the ultimate sacrifice. He died fighting for our country and our freedoms, his too.
Since http://www.militarytimes.com/valor/marine-lance-cpl-ivan-i-wilson/3642719">Ivan's death, I have done work on myself and I have opened up to other Gold Star families and talked with them and shared our feelings with one another. Prior to this, I didn't really open up to others or give feedback. Now having lost a child to the war, I feel I can offer myself to others — just sit and listen to them. I continue to support the troops by being involved in a local organization that sends care packages to them.
As I continue on this healing journey, I will continue to support the troops, keep in contact with Ivan's Marine buddies (families) and, most of all my Gold Star families. For me, I died the day Ivan died, and now I am trying to live life as he would want me too and most of all "BEE Happy."
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