Yesterday afternoon, our little family of three drove into the desert to say we love you. To say GOOD-BYE. To say STAY SAFE. To say TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. To say a lot of things, really, but most of all: WE LOVE YOU.
Because somebody we know is shipping out.
This is not the time or the place to discuss war. Nor is it the time or place to discuss the many complexities of deployment, our military system, and politics. Most of the time, these are topics about which I will happily converse. Most of the time, I want to know what everybody thinks about everything – and why. But not today.
Today, I hug my little girl and I think HE WILL MISS THIS. Today, I wake up beside my spouse in bed and I think HE WILL MISS THIS. Today, I feel the sun warming my back, dig my toes into the dirt, smile at my family, and feel grateful that somebody like him is willing to give up something so precious to protect somebody like me. Like my husband. Like my child.
Sometimes, this family talks about bases and forts like other people talk about films and restaurants. This family volleys tales about MREs and boot camp and wars long past like some families share ghost stories around a fire. And when you belong to a military family, this is the reality.
The fact that this is the reality does not, however, take away the jumble of fears and worries and hopes that lodge themselves in your throat when you wave good-bye that one, last time. The fact that this is the reality does not take away the overwhelming frustration at being powerless to stop this from happening. The fact that this is the reality does not take away your knowledge of the dangers.
So today, I am thinking about every man and woman who is sacrificing to keep my family safe. I am thinking about the people who love them and who are hoping patiently for their safe return. I am thinking: THANK YOU.
Thank you for what you do. And come home safe. All of you.
*** I was recently invited to contribute to the Perspectives blog on Dr. Alan Greene’s website, which was so awesome that I nearly died from excitement on the spot. Some of the words and photos may be familiar to you, but if you are interested click here. My posts are listed beneath my bio.
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