With our military family around the world doing what they do best, I keep them in my thoughts and prayers every day. Here is a Column I wrote in 2009 while my husband was deployed. I think it is more relatable than what I could write today. My husband is working today, but I am grateful he isn’t deployed. Tonight we will be a family and that brings me so much happiness. But, the deployments are never over and always in the back of our minds. A special Thank You to all the spouses keeping the home fires burning. You are loved and never alone.
This weekend we are celebrating one of the most important days of the year, Independence Day. Maybe I’m just a sensitive military wife, but this holiday is very important to me and always hits close to home.
Like many Holidays, I will spend it without my husband. Is that hard to do? YES. But on this day, I will feel more pride than sadness. I will stay true to our family traditions, and celebrate with friends.
I will take ever moment in. I will look around and watch children playing and laughing. I will smile, not frown when I see couples together holding hands and kissing. This is a choice and though some days it is harder than others, it is something we proudly choose to do. I will take time to tell my children that their father serves today so that we can have such luxuries and simple pleasures. I will remember to take the time to thank those who have served and are currently serving. And my heart will swell with pride as the music plays and fireworks go off over head. My husband may be on the other side of the world, but he will be thinking of our family while he works. He will be reminding himself of why his job is so important and he too will be picturing the day as I see it. To be a part of the bigger picture is something I will never forget.
My husband joined the Navy because he wanted to be a part of something bigger than himself. He wanted to serve. I still remember meeting my husband almost 10 1/2 years ago this summer. He was in a culinary school studying to become a chef. He claims that he told a friend that he wanted to marry me the first day he laid eyes on me. It took him three months from that day to get the nerve to talk to me.
And once he did, I knew he was the one. A year later we were engaged.
I was excited to be marrying a Chef, wouldn’t you? A few months into our engagement, my then soon to be husband mentioned that he was thinking of joining the military. It came out of no where. I really thought that he was just thinking about it, and had no idea that he was planning on going into recruiter’s offices that week. To make a long story short, his grandfather served in the Navy and my husband said it just felt right. We didn’t do it for an education; my husband was already in college. We didn’t do it for money, sorry that made me laugh just writing it. We took a huge pay cut when he joined.
And when I asked my husband, “What if we go to war?” He responded, “If there is a war, I will serve in it, but I don’t think anyone is foolish enough to mess with the United States.” We joined before 9/11. I still vividly remember the attacks on September 11th. The reason I mention this is because it was the first time in my life that I have truly felt fear. Not just any fear, but complete helplessness. I had taken for granted our freedom and safety. I sat on my living room couch holding my 4-year-old and thinking I am pregnant, a thousand miles from family, and my husband is leaving and I don’t feel safe at all. Can you imagine what it must be like to live like that every day? There is a woman with children in another country today that is sitting inside full of fear. Is it fair? No. Can you imagine living 9/11 over and over again? No. Our Independence Day stands for so much more than moments in history. It stands for our daily freedom that our service men and women selflessly serve to protect. I hope you will remember that and take the time to thank those who have served and are currently serving our country.
And to the spouses alone on this holiday, don’t stay indoors. Go out and celebrate this day. Enjoy your friends and family. And when the fireworks go off, be proud of your husband’s service. Be proud of your military branch. Enjoy the day. It might sound corny, but we really do live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Use this day to explain to your children that their Dad and/or Mom serve for a purpose. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that has served. You are never far from my thoughts and always in my prayers. And where ever you may be, have a happy, safe, and wonderful Independence Day!!!!!!