You’ve heard of helicopter parents? Always hovering over their children? My mom was the opposite. I told her I was joining the Army. “That’s nice. Don’t get shot. Come back in four years.”

Now my youngest cousin is in an aviation battalion in the National Guard. They got activated to go to Afghanistan. My aunt and another private’s mother went along with the unit. They rented a condo in Kandahar and pestered theirs kids’ platoon sergeant. “Why did Jones get promoted to spec 4 before my Peterson?”

They pestered the mess sergeant. “T-rats again? My boy deserves better.”

“Moooom.” Their sons would protest.

“We’re not just Army moms. We’re helicopter parents.”

“You don’t know how right you are.”

One of the Apache pilots gave serious thought to letting a stray missile hit their townhouse.

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