Being an Army Mom on Memorial Day

Carrie Jones
13 min readMay 30, 2024

In just one week in July, 2016, three soldiers died in training for war and conflict, but not actual war or conflict.

All of them were seemingly physically fit men. The first one was 2nd Lt. Michael Parros. He was 21.

It was three days into Ranger School. Lt Parros had abnormally low sodium levels. This can happen to runners who over-hydrate. But it happened to him.

Another soldier collapsed at Fort Jackson, which was where my daughter Emily was going. The soldier collapsed after a two-mile run, which is a standard part of the physical fitness test. Emily had to run two-miles before she went to basic training as part of her qualifications to enter into the officer program.

Somehow, this does not make me feel any better.

The third death happened at Fort Carson in Colorado. He collapsed, too.

“We take every death seriously and look into the circumstances to determine what may be done to avoid them in the future,” Army Forces Command spokesman John Boyce told

Somehow, this did not make me feel any better either and on this Tuesday morning as I sat in the military entrance processing station in Portland, Maine, all I could think about was death. I sat with a bunch of other family members in a plain white room with a tv…



Carrie Jones

Internationally & New York Times bestselling novelist. Writing tips. Podcasts. Poems. Psych stuff.