In Memory of those who heard the call to serve our country and gave their all. They packed duffle bags and footlockers. They gave hugs and kisses. They fought in trenches, tanks, ships, and planes, hospitals, bunkers, make-shift huts, and city streets. They traveled thousands of miles and walked through foreign lands. They heard sounds and saw sights that most cannot imagine. They took their last breath far from home. They went. They served. They gave their lives. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.
In Memory of our service members who are still missing. They followed their orders overseas and put themselves in dangerous situations. We do not yet know the details of their experiences; we do know they embody courage, strength, and honor. Their homecoming is anxiously awaited. Their stories are not complete. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.
In Memory of the men and women who went to fight the fight and although they returned home, they returned home a different person. Whether changed in body or in mind, they gave of themselves for our freedom and security. They may be home now, but they continue to fight to find their new normal. They deserve to be remembered as who they were before and honored for who they are today. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.
In Memory of all who gave their lives in service for our country but will not be honored by statue nor memorial. For those we lost in training exercises, mishaps, and missions we do not hear about. They worked hard. They pursued excellence. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.
In Honor of families and friends of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. For the conversations left unfinished, the inside-jokes lost of humor, and lives left incomplete. Today is more significant to them than most. Their loss is real and deep. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.
One month ago today we moved into our home. I’m sure there are many military families out there experiencing some of these moments right along with me….
- You can still spy one or two (or fifteen thousand, if you are like me) of those pesky moving stickers that never seem to EVER go away completely!
- While checking out at Bed, Bath, & Beyond (because you need stuff for your new bed, bath, and… beyond) you pause for a good ten seconds when asked what your zip code is. Zip code… right. WHERE exactly am I again?!
- The idea of going school supply shopping is entirely daunting because, didn’t we just get here?! Now I need to be organizing myself and family for a new school year?!
- Your bucket list for the summer is ten miles long. You MUST see all the new sites RIGHT NOW! Because you know, before you blink you will be looking at a new set of orders and your bucket list will still be about nine miles long.
- You assume all your neighbors have lived in the neighborhood for ages, until you remember it’s a military community and it’s summer and almost everyone is new too!
- Signing your kids up for summer camps and after-school activities feels like the ultimate test of your Mom-hood. This dance studio or that one? We missed soccer try-outs but will they still allow my child to play? Where, exactly, does that swim team compete? Wait, what time does school get out anyway?!
- There is a sense of immense possibility with each new person you meet and each new road you travel.
To all my fellow military spouses out there who are settling in and exploring new hometowns… may this new adventure be your best! And in the words of Matsuo Basho, remember:
“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”
My best deployment blues fighter: the One Armed Pillow In A Dress Shirt
I have a special group of friends. I’ve written about them time and time again, probably because they are so dear to my heart. They are my fellow Navy wives. Today, though, I’m thinking of a particular set of women in this group… the spouses of my husband’s previous squadron. You see, these good friends of mine are squeaking out the last few hours before they have to send their husbands off on a looooooong deployment aboard the USS Carl Vinson. Bleh. It’s more than “Bleh.” It’s all capital lettered: BLEH…. times 10,000. It’s even worse than that but I don’t think there are words to sufficiently encompass the suckiness of it. So I will have to leave it at “BLEH.”
The thing is, I know these women. While my heart aches for them and my stomach ties into knots for them, I know, without a shadow of doubt, that they are going to be okay. They will make it through the send off moment. They will make it through the walking into their home whose walls will not house their husband for the next several months. They will make it through the waking up the next morning and knowing theirs is the only coffee cup that will be used that morning. They will make it through hugging their kids when they miss their daddy already. They will make it through because they are strong and fierce. They are loyal and loving. They are, perhaps above all, resilient. Continue reading…
Several people have recently asked me, “How can the “average Joe” support the military community? In particular, they want to know the best ways that they can be helpful to a military family whose service-member is deployed. My first thought was buy the spouse a bottle of wine! But then I thought seriously about it and realized it’s kind of a tricky question: while we (military spouses) certainly appreciate and could totally use a helping hand, it’s hard to coordinate. When I am trying to keep the house in working order, keep the cars in working order, keep the kids in –somewhat- working order, figuring out how to let my neighbors be helpful can get kind of overwhelming. And when I’m already overwhelmed, adding another bit of overwhelming-ness isn’t awesome.
So, I decided to sit down and try to come up with things that were/would have been helpful to me while my husband was on his 8-month deployment. They start out easy and get a little more complicated, but even the smallest acts of kindness go a long way… My List starts here…