Holding Down the Home Front

Holding Down the Home Front

by November 9, 2014

Written by Dixie Fortner

Photography by Lora Wills

This lady decided to Hammer Down the Home Front for her soldier and the many before and after him too. Tammy Busby is a single mother of three who has settled in Kerrville Texas, but it hasn’t always been that way.

In 2005 she found herself swept up with the 3rd wave of Hurricane Katrina and Rita refugees. While the war in Iraq raged on she made a decision, lots of them actually, based on one firm foundation. “I have always believed that any of my unhappy situations have been a chance to make a choice.” She declared her independence from the gasoline war and donated her 1991 Pontiac Firebird to the National Kidney Foundation in New Orleans and moved home to San Antonio Texas.

She chose her new steel. It would be pink with pedals and a bell and she would begin a personal journey to ride one mile for every soldier who died in the war in Iraq. She road to work, to the grocery store, to the movies and home again, sometimes over a hundred miles in a week and often with her children pedaling along beside her. When she hit her goal, she decided to ride a mile for each of their mothers. With the money she saved on gasoline and vehicle expenses she was able to apply her $15,000 savings to send herself to college where she earned her associates degree in Radio, Television and Film.

In 2009 she sent her oldest son off to war where he served two tours in Afghanistan. She became a Blue Star mom and proudly hung her banner in the window of her home. She satisfied her goal to pedal her honorary miles and purchased her first motorbike. All the time saved commuting was dedicated to internships for school. One of these internships was working for OWL Radio reading books on air and is piped into Brooke Army Medical Center for soldiers being treated for war injuries. She became active in the Blue Star organization in her community helping to serve families whose soldiers are away from home. She became a Silver Star mom when her son was sent home from the war injured and changed forever. In addition to the physical wounds and PTSD, she notes that there are struggles for him and many others coping with survivor’s guilt. She states that one of the more complicated ones is the loss of team. “Learning to reintegrate your family and co-workers into your team to help you along seems to be a difficult transition, without support many lose their way.”

As our interview ended she was notified her time off from work had been approved to ride in escort and stand in a flag line with the Patriot Guard for yet another veteran. She has proudly served several years as her way of honoring the soldier’s family the right to grieve and offer the soldier his or her honest due of a dignified and respectable funeral.

With a handshake and a smile this Lady of Steel simply states, “If I have a rat’s nest in my hair then I have been somewhere.”

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