On this Veteran’s Day, I am thankful for those who are and have been willing to serve our country in the Armed Forces. As the daughter of a veteran and spending 12 years as a military wife, I do have an “insider’s view” of what military life is like.
Feeling somewhat sentimental today, I got out my husband’s journals from his deployment to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom I – Feb 2003-Feb 2004. A flood of memories came back to me, and I thought I’d share what HIS journal entry was from Iraq that year:
Veteran’s Day – November 11, 2003
“Today was Veteran’s Day and being a veteran now, I will say that it has a new meaning. No, I don’t feel special, instead I remember those who have been badly injured or killed; it’s a Memorial Day for those soldiers to me.”
His journal entry from the very next day, November 12, 2003
“Some days it seems like a never ending deployment, and this is one of those days…I really miss my family and realize that my children are growing without me, but I can do nothing about it. I’m not in control…I suppose most deployed soldiers felt that way at some point in time. I really miss my family.”
I am not sharing this brag on him – or me. I am only giving you a tiny glimpse of what we experienced, but it is only a fraction of the suffering and separation that many, many military families have faced and are currently facing. I have friends whose spouses have been deployed two and three or more times. I have friends whose husbands’ jobs are to be traveling constantly, separation constantly for the cause of freedom.
My husband worked in a Combat Support Hospital (C*S*H) while he was in Iraq, and he was an observer of TRUE SACRIFICE over and over in the course of his deployment. He helped carry in the stretchers and held the IV poles of those who sacrificed their limbs and their ability to function normally ever again … and he was responsible for the effects and paperwork and transport of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice – their very life. He felt privileged to serve those who served. It was an honor.
To all of them, today, I say: THANK YOU.