Thursday, November 11, 2010

We're Veterans too.

Every month I send my soldier away. For two to four days he works and trains for eventualities and possibilities that others go to sleep at night never worrying about. I've been doing this for close to eight years now.

Three years ago we started the dance of deployment. For National Guardsmen the steps are more brutal on homelife than other military branches because for us the training days that make up a full time soldier's work are only once a month. Which means when deployment stretches it's fingers over our units, pulling them into its grasp, training becomes a long event of multiple MUTA's shoved into weeks, tossed across a year. The soldiers are thrown between home and readiness and back again. We never knew when he'd be home. We never knew what he would miss when he wasn't.

Then the four hundred day deployment was upon us and those sporatic, handfulls of days we had the previous year seemed much too few and far between. During that training time we got pregnant and knew he'd miss the birth. The only one out of five that he wouldn't be right by my side for.

Some of that time the minutes were all I could get through, just one at a time. Counting each tearfall as just one less until he was home. The struggles and bittersweetness of parenting was shared alone. Other times the weeks slipped by into months. Seasons changed and celebrations came and went. Though there was a void in our lives, a space someone should have been. He was away doing things larger than ourselves and we comforted each other with that thought even while we prayed he would quickly come back to us. I never thought, at twenty-nine, I'd be the wife of a war veteran.

Deployment is more that one soldier leaving to do a job. It's everything that person leaves behind as well. While they are fighting and struggling and working to repair and replace, they have offered up to everyone that benefits from it a part of their lives they will never get back. Their families give this to the world as well.

My children gave you their father. They gave you every missed hug and kiss, every bedtime story that never got read. Every birthday when all they wished for was their daddy to walk through the door. All the tears they shed because part of who they were was missing. They selflessly put aside their wants and needs for a dad to come home every night, to cuddle and share and gave that to you instead. They gave theirs so yours wouldn't have to. Every memory they could have shared with their father and couldn't because of his absence was their gift to the world.

This Veteran's Day I'd like for you to add a few more people to your thoughts and prayers, I'd like you to take a moment to remember the silent supporters that wept alone, that birthed alone, that grew and experinced life missing that special person, that woke up every day hoping to hear from their loved ones. Praying to any and every God that it wouldn't be the last time they did.


jenplusfive said...

Thank you for your post and blessings to your family on Veteran's day!

jane deere said...

Thank you to you, your husband and family and all veterans who sacrifice for all of us everyday!

Fujisawa Rob said...

You are my hero!

Kitschy Coo said...

Really powerful post. Best wishes xx

Sarah said...

This made me cry :( I can't imagine!

Michelle said...

I really appreciated your post. I have a hard time with Veterans/Memorial Day. All I can think about is my friend Josh from HS who died in Iraq and how stupid it all was. He died 10 hours after his son was born. He saw a picture on a phone, and then went and got killed by a IED. It's so stupid and pointless. So thank you for giving me something uplifting to share on this day :)

Jessica said...

Thank you for sharing this- It helps me understand the life of a military family, something I know nothing about. It truly is the whole family that sacrifices for our country.