Happiness That I Learned in the Military

Kim Seung-hyeok from Busan, Korea

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When I joined the military, my parents didn’t look sad while seeing me off. I entered the training center, thinking, ‘It’s good that my mom and dad didn’t get too emotional.’ But on the day we had the completion ceremony of the basic training, my parents ran to me, looking like they were about to cry, and gave me a hug. That was when I realized that my parents were actually hiding their feelings at the admission ceremony. Ever since that day, I tried harder to get myself adapted to the hard trainings, thinking that they would be very concerned if I couldn’t adapt myself there. I called them four or five times a week at least to ask them how they were doing and let them know that I was doing well.

Time passed, and I submitted my first leave request. Ever since I told them that I would take a leave, whenever I called them, they said, “Is there anything you want to eat?” “Time is going so slowly,” or “Son, we miss you a lot.” They were waiting for my leave more than I was.

Finally, the day of my leave came. I wanted to see my parents as soon as possible, but it was quite a distance. I had to travel from Hwacheon in Gangwon Province to Busan which was about eight hours, by train and express bus. On my way home, my dad made time to call me though he was busy at work, and showed me his concern, asking me to have a safe trip home. And I could tell how my mom was only thinking about me as she said, “Do you want me to come and pick you up?” “Did you eat?” “Aren’t you hungry?” I could feel that they had been waiting for me a lot. The three-day leave was too short. Time passed fast, and it was already time to go back to the base. My mom waved her hand until she could no longer see the bus I was in, gulping back her tears.

With the energy I received from the happy time with my parents, I made more efforts for my military life. Three months later, I was able to take my second leave. I thought my parents would be calmer this time since I had gotten quite used to my military life and it wasn’t my first leave. However, my parents were as happy as they were at my first leave. When they said they missed me so much, I realized once again the love of the parents, which is hard for a child to understand fully.

The eight-day leave flew by. My parents expressed how much they wished I could stay longer, while looking at me getting ready to get back to the base. It was hard for me too to say bye to them at the thought that I wouldn’t be able to see them for quite a while. Before I got on the bus headed for the base, my mom gave me a big hug.

My parents pretend to be strong in front of me, but wipe their tears from the back. They are always very happy to receive a call from me though they have just talked to me the day before. They only think about what I will want to do and eat while waiting for me to come back. I didn’t realize how much my parents love me and cherish me until I joined the military.

I could also fathom a glimpse of the heart of our Heavenly Parents. Heavenly Father is preparing a place for us, wondering what His sons and daughters will want to eat and do when they come back to heaven. Heavenly Mother has been only thinking about Her children for a long time, hiding all Her pains behind Her gentle smile. I don’t think there is any word that can describe the love of our Heavenly Parents who are only waiting for Their children to come back.

How happy will we be in the kingdom of heaven with Heavenly Father and Mother? My heart flutters more at the thought of our happiness that will last forever. Imagining the moment I will be with Heavenly Father and Mother and brothers and sisters, today too I take another step toward our heavenly home.