Happy Veterans Day! I have always loved today. Seeing all the poppies people in the UK wear, countless facebook posts with very loving photos and comments about how much it means to a citizen of any country to know that there’s people in the military willing to die for their country. So much respect. But it doesn’t stop with those men out there fighting and risking their lives. There are a lot of people directly impacted by what they offer up their lives to do.
This last year I have to say that my respect for army wives has escalated dramatically. I hadn’t really thought about it before I got married but since getting married I realized that having a spouse in the military means not only do they leave for months if not years at a time but there’s always the dreaded thought that they might not come back. They have to be a single parents for large chunks of time. When their spouse comes back they have to readjust to having somebody else back in the house and another parents around their kids. I just went back to Alaska for 3 weeks for a friends funeral and while I was gone got a wee glimpse into what it is like to be separated from your spouse for an extended amount of time. Also, seeing my friend lose his wife and him now being a single dad to a 3 week old little girl I just couldn’t stop thinking that this happens to many people who have a spouse in the military. I knew I was able to go back to my husband, I was not in harms way at all, I got to see some amazing friends, and even got to see my family again. Even with all these lovely “perks” to my trip it was still difficult. Maintaining good communication, having to make life choices and decisions that could impact us for years. Trying to catch up with each other over a bad Skype connection for our 20 minute scheduled slot. Having no physical contact and not being able to hug after a tough conversation. There’s a lot that goes into being separated from your spouse for a long period of time (and 3 weeks is nothing on 12 months!) Even when you are joyously reunited the difficulties do not stop there. There is an adjustment period where you have to learn to cook together again, manage chores, delegate parenting, and much much more. There is a lot that is involved when your spouse is in the military.
I could go on and on in my observations. There is much more to talk about but here’s what I would ask you to do. Pray for these girls and women who have a husband/boyfriend who is deployed. Pray that they wouldn’t grow apart and that they would have clear conversations. Invite them over to your house and be a loving friend to them. Even if you don’t know them well, nobody ever got their feelings hurt by getting invited to somebody’s house for dinner. Give them hugs. Tell them they’re beautiful and are doing a good job. There are a lot of things that husbands and boyfriends do for their girlfriends/wives that they can no longer do from overseas. I can understand this from dating my husband long distance for 13 months, then living overseas away from my family for the last few years. It’s tough. But there’s a lot you can do. It’s easy to think that “oh, well they’ve made that choice and I’m sure they’ll be fine” or “they’ve done it before they probably have the hang of it” So I encourage you to reach out to them.
It’s also my birthday! I’m 22 now which means I’m officially old 😦 Well…that’s what my brain thinks. Though, I still feel like I’m about 18…so I’m not sure what that’s all about 😛 The last 4 years has been tricky because I’ve always been in a new country and it’s hard not being around friends for my birthday. So I’ve had quite low key birthdays. But this year I have a wonderful husband who is currently cooking me breakfast in bed. Plus it’s a beautiful day outside and I’m gonna go enjoy it 🙂