MIDLOTHIAN, Ill. (CBS) — It’s been said that the death of Osama bin Laden came from the collective sacrifice of tens of thousands of Americans serving in the military and their families. The story of those sacrifices has been especially emotional on Mother’s Day.
As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, it was a special day for all mothers, but it was a particularly emotional day for the mothers of U.S. soldiers who’ve just made it home alive.
For the Gorski family in Midlothian, there was every reason to celebrate on Sunday. Their 26-year-old son has just returned home safe from Iraq. There is also the concern that for others, the war on terror continues.
At the Gorski’s home, there were all sorts of signs on Sunday that a military family lives here, but the image of Randy Gorski hugging his mother, Theresa, when he returned home for Mother’s Day really said the most.
“There is no way to describe the happiness that he’s finally home and he’s gonna be safe in the United States,” Theresa Gorski said. “He’s my baby and he’s got to be home with me.”
Theresa Gorski’s baby is really a tough as nails army engineer. Pfc. Randy Gorski was back home this weekend after a three-year tour of duty, repairing bombed out roads in Iraq.
“We actually got to work with the Iraqi special forces. I got to train the Iraqis on how to operate the equipment,” he said.
Randy Gorski shared war stories and showed off his medals to his dad and brother when he got back.
“There’s always work that has to be done over there. Right now we’re trying to win the hearts and minds,” he said.
But on this Mother’s Day, there was also a mother to set at ease.
“It’s very nerve-wracking. Every time you hear on the news somebody got killed you are sitting; sitting and waiting, almost in tears ‘Is it my son, is it my kid who got hurt?’” Theresa Gorski said.
Soldiers can now speak frequently by phone to their families at home, times when Theresa proved bravery is a family trait.
“I had tears coming down my eyes at times,” she said. “My husband kept me smiling as I was talking to him so that I didn’t show I was a nervous wreck that he was over there.”
Although Osama bin Laden himself might no longer be a threat, Randy Gorski said he knows other dangers remain.
“To me, I think that there will be another person that’s gonna take his spot,” he said. “The fight continues.”
Randy Gorski is stationed in Washington state and returned to the U.S. just a few weeks ago. He was able to make sure he could be with his mom on Mother’s Day.