To my soldier on Veterans Day:
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 KJV
It sure has been a crazy ride, living this military life. There was no way to know what we were in for back in the day. I think about so many who have served – you, our son; my brothers, your brother. Your dad and grandfather. My uncles, your uncles. Our cousins and nephews and neighbors and friends. And by default, all of the spouses and parents and other family members who serve by supporting.
There were a lot of things so foreign to me when we started out, especially all the acronyms. I remember constantly asking, “What does this mean?” And you patiently responded more times than I can count.
I didn’t know what I was getting into. But I was ready for the adventure. #VeteransDay #MilSpouse Click To Tweet
I didn’t know what I was getting into. The language, the culture, the time apart. But I was ready for the adventure.
I remember years ago, when one of your co-workers gave you a card for Veterans Day. Even though you hadn’t been in the service for a few years, I was really humbled that someone thought enough to thank you.
I was remiss in not thanking veterans back then – even you. Coming out of active duty peace time and a short stint for Desert Storm, military life didn’t seem such a sacrifice.
Yet looking back, it certainly was. As a service member, you missed a lot – even in peace time. Schools and TDYs and field time training and 24-hour duty took you away from our little family, and our extended family back home. Once we got out after your enlistment, I was looking forward to “normal.”
But then, Desert Storm happened, and we were apart for six months. Looking back, that seems like a cakewalk, since you weren’t too far from home. And after you returned, I was looking forward to returning to “normal.”
Then, life changed for our nation on September 11, 2001. I remember discussing your return to the Reserves. That was a difficult decision to make. Our little family expanded to become a large family. I was filled with pride and fear – a feeling that continues today. Because with a constant rotation of troops, orders would come down. And you’d have to leave. And we’d muddle through each training, school or deployment, as I would look forward to getting back to “normal.”
You’d like to think after all of these years, I would have learned that life in the military is unpredictable. Yet, I was always looking to get back to “normal.”
I remember sending you a Veterans Day card while you were deployed, thinking how many people here at home had the day off of work. And yet, you and your team and countless other servicemembers around the world were working. On your day off. On a day that honors you and your comrades, you didn’t get to stop working for Veterans Day. That was your “normal.”
And it was your normal to switch hats, from civilian to soldier. To leave the comforts of home. To live in cramped barracks and eat less than stellar food. To go without sleep over days of travel. To be brave for younger service members – and your family at home. To constantly look over your shoulder and be on alert. To create a normalcy in a place that wasn’t. And you did it. It was even your normal to find a way to make an espresso in the middle of nowhere – a feat you succeeded in doing.
It was also your normal to listen to me complain that you were missing out on things at home. Or complain that your pay was screwed up. Or comfort me when I’d cry, because this just wasn’t “normal.” Or that the car broke down or the hot water tank blew. You’d console me while I was trying to handle what you normally would, while I was adjusting to my new “normal.”
There are many times that I could kick myself, because I feel like I wasn’t supportive. Being a military spouse is not easy. But I didn’t have it as bad as you. I knew it then, and I know it now. And for the times I felt like I was losing it under all the pressure, I thank you for getting me through.
I thank you that you were – and are – still willing to defend all that you hold near and dear to your heart. That you continue marching on in the hopes that others won’t have to step up; that peace will happen. That even through all the turmoil our nation is going through, and in all the ugliness and infighting that we see, you find the citizens of our nation still worthy enough to defend.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for all you have sacrificed. Thank you for your selflessness. Thank you for your integrity. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your faith, and for guiding our family from near and far. Thank you being my hero. I have been truly blessed.
With love and prayers,
© Lynne Cobb – 2017
To all of our family, friends and neighbors who have served, or are serving, thank you. Because of you, our freedoms have been protected. Because of you, I can write freely. Thank you.
If you like the blog post, feel free to share using the social buttons. Sign-up for emails with posts delivered to your inbox!