Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Military wife's thoughts on Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day. For some, it's a day off of work. For my kids there will be a special program at school in honor of our military. In many cities across the U.S. there will be parades and celebrations. And a lot of stores will have Veteran's Day sales this week. With a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye, I will read tributes to our soldiers on Facebook or blogs and read words like hero, sacrifice, honor and freedom. This is how Veteran's Day is honored every year in our community and in our country. It's good to have a day set aside to remember and pay tribute to all those who sacrifice so much to protect us every day.

For me, Veteran's Day will be much like any other day. I will clean and cook, do laundry, check my email, drop off and pick up kids, and run errands. My routine isn't too exciting and doesn't change much. But those are all the things my husband is missing the most. He longs for our mundane life. He would give anything to be here unloading the dishwasher or fixing me one of his famous omelets. He would love to sit here at the kitchen table tonight helping my daughter with her math homework. He would be more than happy to be here right now fixing our toilet that is broken. But mostly he just wishes he were here instead of there. He is in a foreign land living a life that I can't even imagine. His daily routine involves never leaving his quarters without strapping on a gun. He works 13-14 hour days, 7 days a week in a room without windows. He rarely gets a full nights sleep because the deafening noise of the fighter jets taking off outside his building wake him up. In his world the squeal of mortars in the distance is a daily occurrence and when they are closer than comfortable he stops and listens to hear if they land. He's always on guard, always aware, and never has the luxury to just relax and feel safe.

And yet my husband would say that he's luckier than many of his fellow soldiers. He's not out in the field facing the elements. He has a private room with heat/air, a refrigerator and Internet service which allows us to Skype daily. He gets 3 hot meals a day and free laundry service each week. Most days he gets to go to the gym for a quick workout and he's able to attend Mass on Sunday. All of those things make it bearable for him to get through each day. And each day he is one day closer to coming home.

I am so proud of my husband. He has given up so much over the years to train for a job that is so important. As much as my heart aches to be apart from him each day, I know that they need him. It's a small comfort on the days when I just long to remember how it feels to have him here. I want to hear his car pull in the driveway or be able to pick up the phone and call him whenever I want. I want to feel his touch and look in his eyes. I want to hear his voice when he's standing near me instead of through a crackled poor Internet connection. That day will eventually get here. We can get through this. The days will become weeks, the weeks will become months. Eventually he will come home and Life will return to normal.

May God Bless all military families today and every day!


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