She wanted to know how to answer this question. How many times have we all been asked this when someone finds out that our service member has chosen to reenlist or re-sign? How many times have people edged that question with disgust? How much does it hurt our hearts when we hear it? How many times do people ask why WE do it? How many times have we stood there with our jaws hanging open? How can anyone ask such a question? How can anyone not understand? How horrible that it is a such a foreign concept. How horrible that so many Americans think it is a pity, or unconscionable, or strange. How awful that the idea of service is something to be degraded. How incredibly sad.
This life that we lead is a life of service. Our soldiers serve in the greatest of ways. They serve a nation - a very great nation. They serve for our children; they serve for our children's children. They serve their parents, their spouses, their siblings, their friends. They serve strangers. They serve.
I never mean to equate spouses to soldiers - I don't believe we are the same. I do not believe my sacrifice is greater than his but we do sacrifice, we do serve. Every day that our soldiers serve so do we.
We serve each other. We serve our families. We serve this nation. By building a strong family - a strong marriage - we build a strong military family. By forming a strong foundation for our spouse and family, we keep a strong foundation when he is away. We build a strong soldier. When we build strong soldiers, we build a strong force. When we build a strong force, we build a strong nation. We serve.
By empowering those around us we inspire them to empower others. When we reach out to one, we reach out to many. When we offer the tools for a strong foundation to one spouse, she builds a strong foundation for her family. She inspires those around her. She empowers others who share this journey.
And it continues.
We keep passing it on.
It isn't shameful or worthy of pity or questioning.
Thank you all for being a support for me, for serving with me, for empowering me, for encouraging me.
To serve is a humbling experience. To serve is an honorable experience. To serve is a blessing. The strength to do so will be provided when you are called to this life. The tools are given and He works through those that surround you to allow you to thrive. The hardest moments allow for the greatest grace. Grace will be given for the journey. Find joy in it.
You will find it when you serve.