"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown

"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Healing Waters

In my last post I spoke about the importance of understanding and recognizing the last image you give to your soldier. Of understanding what your reaction, what your actions, can mean to him. How important it is to provide a strong front, a calm sadness, a reassuring smile. If you haven't read it yet, I would encourage you to. 

There is a part to this that may have been misunderstood or missed in total. If you have read through all of my posts (which, of course, I encourage you to do!), you know that I cry - a lot. In the days and weeks before C left this last time, I wore waterproof mascara every. single. day. It was the little things that got me - dressing Eli in the morning, wondering what size he would be wearing when C came home, wondering how different he would look. Watching Logan play on the playground, wondering how much more he would learn to do while C wasn't there. Seeing him updating and adding ribbons to his Blues ... 
I cried when I was in the shower. I cried when Logan put on his PC as C was packing up. I cried when we watched certain shows, when I tripped over his boots, at the grocery store buying orange juice because I don't drink orange juice, C does, and would I remember to stop buying it? What if I bought it on accident? What if I never had to buy it again ...  

The day I said "goodbye" I hugged him and stood on my toes to whisper, "I love you. I'll miss you. Come back to me."

And in the army way with the softest but deepest breathe I whispered one more, "See you soon."

And on the day C left, I stepped up into my car, and cried harder than I thought possible - the hot water pouring down my face, soaking my clothes, the snot mixing in, gasping for air between heaving sobs. Because no matter what had just happened in that assembly center, no matter what image I just gave him, I needed to feel it. My husband was leaving to go to war. My husband was leaving to live with Afghans - not Americans. My husband was going to be vastly outnumbered. My husband was entering into that situation barely a month after several Afghans (in the area he was going to) went rogue and turned on their trainers and advisers. In my mind, there was a very real possibility that he wouldn't come home to me, to our boys. That that was the last time I might see him. 

There is no healthy way to hold that in. None. 

I cried it out. And I didn't care who could see or what people thought. I needed to feel it, to let the sadness and fear and dread wash over me so that I could - at least for a time - let them go. It was healing for me. To cry until there was nothing left. To physically feel the sadness leaving my body. 

I cannot say how important I think it is to acknowledge the difficulty and sadness and pain that exists in this life. I do not think that ignoring that is in any way healthy or strengthening or smart. While in my heart I had to believe that he was coming home, I had to believe that God would watch over him and his men, you cannot know. You just do not know.

I do not think we should wallow in that. I do not think we should think every day, "What if he is gone today." No, no, no, no, I do not think we should ask that! But I think there needs to be a time - or times - when the what-ifs become too hard to bear, when the sadness begins to eat at our strength,  that we need to let it go. To sit down and let the pain leave our hearts.

It is in these moments, when I can barely breathe, when the sobs are so heavy, that I find myself in the truest, rawest pray. When in my core, in the deepest part of my gut, I am begging God to "Keep him safe." "Dearest, Dearest, God, bring him back to me. Let his children KNOW him."

Let him hold them. Let him watch them grow. Do not take him from them. 

Those are the vulnerable moments. When at the time we are at our weakest. The moments we don't talk about or don't share. The moments that are just "ours". Intimate moments between a loving God and a humbled human.

These are healing moments. Strengthening moments when we acknowledge that we feel broken. That our hearts are too heavy. That our road seems too dark.

Allow yourself to feel this life. Allow yourself to let it go. 

Tears are healing waters; prayer in agony is a powerful thing. He will strengthen you for the journey. He will wipe the sadness from your heart. 

You only need to ask.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Farewells and Fairy Dust

Within the last two days two different people have brought up how they handle farewells. What it is to show and hide emotion. What is "normal". What the movies make it seem like, like the fairytale side of us wants to believe things to be. 

We all say goodbye in different ways. We all have a different way of handling those last moments. That last hour, the last minutes, last seconds - they twist your heart. We all react differently to how it feels.

K (a reader) emailed me wanting to know if she did something wrong - because she had just said goodbye to her fiance and she didn't cling to him for dear life, or cry her eyes out holding him, or run back to him, or beg him over and over again not to go. She held him, she quietly told him she loved him, that she'd miss him, for him to be safe, and she walked away. 

There is a picture - and I have mentioned it before - of C kissing my forehead for the last time before he deployed to Afghanistan. One of my closest friends took it with a very simple camera in an assembly center filled with hundreds of people sharing the exact same moment. In this picture, there is a look on each of our faces that words do not exist for. There is so much sadness and pain and strength and beauty - all of it, on C's face and mine, at the exact same time. I cannot tell you what that picture means to me - to see exactly what that very last moment looked like. I feel so incredibly blessed to have it.

The last hour before C left we didn't say much. We sat beside eachother. We held hands. We just felt each other's presence. We barely spoke. 

It isn't that I didn't have anything to say. It isn't that C didn't have anything to say. It's that the things that come into your mind, that take over your thoughts, in the moments before your soldier leaves to go to war, are not the things that need to be spoken of in those moments. It's the what-ifs and the just-in-cases and the this-may-be-the-last-times that are the words that sit on your lips, that you fight to say or not to say. C and I choose not to say them. 

Because we can't live for the what-ifs and the just-in-cases. He can't enter into battle with my if-this-is-the-last-times on his heart. There is no room for that fear - not from both of us.

I want him to enter into battle with confidence in love, blanketed in prayer, covered in encouragement. I want him to enter into battle knowing that I can do this. That I will continue our life, that when he returns home, I will hold him with all of my might and praise God for bringing him back to me.

I told K that she went through her goodbye with more grace than I could believe - that everyone handles this differently and that I thought she did well.

I know some families who do not go to the "drop-off" at all. Who say their goodbyes in the privacy of their home. I can understand that. 

To watch the love of your life, the father of your children, walk away ... to know that this might be the last time ... to fight through those incredibly intimate moments surrounded by hundreds of others. I can see why some people choose to go through that in private.

The goodbyes are rarely what you see in the movies, what we imagine in fairy tales. You do not get to run back and pull him from formation. There is no "last call" for your soldier coming over the speaker as he kisses you once more. The reality is far different.

We all handle the goodbye in different ways. But I would ask that you remember that while this is your last time with your soldier, it is your soldier's last time with you. What image you leave them with is what they will carry with them - whatever you choose it to be. You can crumble at their feet, fight to keep them in your arms, and they will carry that. They will worry over it. They will wonder if you can make it through this. You can kiss them with all of your heart, simply, lovingly, completely. You can let them know you are going to be okay. That you will miss them. That you will be waiting here with open arms. You can stand tall, and give the slightest nod and tiniest smile to leave them with. 

It may be the hardest thing you do. 

It also may be the greatest gift - letting them know you are here for the long haul, that you are strong enough, that you love them to Afghanistan and back - to do so with the tiniest, most calming smile. To give them the final image that you would want them to carry into battle.

You can give that to your soldier to keep with him, to carry in the stars closest to his heart.

You will be given the Grace.


You can read about the day C left for his last deployment -  "Closest to the Heart" -  HERE

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

One vs Many

I consider myself to be pretty "Army" - pretty, "USA! USA!". I consider myself to bleed red, white, and blue (and purple and gold, but that's a totally unrelated matter). I support our troops with my entire being. I will always stand when the flag passes. I will quietly cry when I hear the national anthem. My deepest gratitude lies with our soldiers. I don't even have words that express what goes through me when I see a flag draped coffin. 

I have no words for those who give their lives for this nation. I have thousands of tears - gratitude, sadness, pride, honor, hurt ... and none of those are the right words. 


When I see the families of the fallen ... my heart hurts.

All of me feels whatever emotions I don't know how to write. It floods my entire being and it never really goes away.


Over the last several days, I have been struggling over an event that occurred that has the social media world all over the place. And at no point did I feel a need to address publicly the loss that took place. I honestly just didn't see what was coming. It wasn't where my mind went - so when I saw the response of much of the military community I had to examine myself. I felt wrong, and ashamed, and confused - so confused and conflicted with what I felt and didn't feel.

For as long as I have been able to talk, I have loved to sing. I remember taking my sister's tapes and my little tan, fisher-price tape player and sneaking into my closet to sing. I sang in the shower. I sang walking outside. I sang in my bathroom mirror, holding a hand towel, pretending to get as worked up as she did - wiping away fake sweat. I sang sitting beside our organist at my mom's choir practice. And the song I sang most often, with all of my little heart behind it, was "I Will Always Love You."

It is one of the first songs I learned to play on the piano (trust me, I don't really play piano, but I thought I could). Every talent show in girl scouts, every recess opportunity, I was singing that song.

When Whitney died, I honestly didn't feel much. I wasn't surprised. I was a little disappointed. I guess inside I was always rooting for Whitney to overcome her addictions. Her voice ... man, I wanted to have that voice.

And at no point did I feel the need to tweet or post a status about it. Yes, I watched Jennifer Hudson at the Grammy's and, yes, I thought she did a remarkable job in what must have been the most difficult moment of her career. Yes, I will miss her voice.

Yes, her voice shaped a big part of who I dreamed of being for a period of my life. And despite whatever she became down the road, that is what I think of - the Whitney I pretended to be.

Like I said, I don't think you can get much more gung-ho for our troops than I. But at no point did I think that for feeling any iota of sadness over the death of Whitney Houston meant that a person was dishonoring our fallen. There were some status updates and pictures that made me question if I was wrong. If I was forgetting those who gave their lives by remembering this one person.

I can't tell you how much I struggled with what some pages posted - what some military support pages posted, what army wives were posting. Because I just couldn't see that by remembering one it means we forget the many.

I just didn't see it that way.

I do believe that our troops that fall in battle are worthy and deserving of the highest honors by the American people. I do believe that their sacrifice is beyond noble, that it is the greatest sacrifice. I do agree that many people do not have the same understanding of the reality of this as many of us. I do understand that the public reaction to the death of a superstar is far different from the death of a soldier. 

I do.

But I have sat beside my husband while he voiced his final wishes. I held his hand as the deacon who married us asked questions about the funeral and his wishes for burial and the readings and a public or private service. And while every night I pray that this day never comes. That I never bury my husband ... while I pray and pray and pray ... that ... that my boys will never be presented with ... folded flags ... 

I know that if that day comes. If C ever falls ... 

... I know ...

I know that he will want nothing more than to be remembered by those he loved. 

He would not want his name blasted on the internet, or his funeral shown on national news, or strangers singing songs in his honor. That isn't why he does what he does.

I know he would not care if the social-media-world knew of his death. He would want those he loved - for his children - for those he thinks of when he goes into battle to remember and to celebrate his life. 

He would never want to be forgotten.

And oh (deep breath) he would never be forgotten.

Our fallen soldiers and their families are deserving of our highest honors and deepest gratitude. We must speak their names and remember the ones they fought for. 

They are worthy and deserving and ... I do not have the words. Their lives were part of something greater - their deaths are part of something greater.

I don't see it as our place to reprimand people for responding to any one else's death. I don't think that honoring someone else in any way lessens the honor shown to our fallen. 

Maybe the world doesn't react the way we react - the way we might think a nation should react for those who give their lives for it. Maybe that is where the change is needed. Yes, people need to have a better understanding of how we honor our fallen. But it will not come from blasting those who are saddened by another loss. The two just are not the same.

Maybe I just don't understand. I am sure I didn't do a good job of explaining how I feel. Forgive me for going a little all over the place. Forgive me if what I said offended you. That is not my intention. I just don't see the connection people are making and I cannot see how speaking about one can mean a person doesn't recognize the other. I don't see it. 

What do you think?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Honoring the Guard

There is a post by an new Army Spouse in Vermont that has the military blogging world turned all upside down. 

I just read it and I have to say I think my skin is smoldering right now with the blood boiling below it. I am sharing the link and I want you to read what she said first and then come back. You can't comment on her blog - and trust me, you will want to - because she has disabled the commenting option but I hope you will here. And I hope you share it and help share a message that our guard families need to hear after hearing the awful one she has to share. 

Now take a deep breath, make sure there are no heavy objects around that you may be tempted to throw at your computer, you may want to wait until small children are napping so that they don't worry about your facial expressions ... take a breath. Ready? Click HERE and then come back!

Update: Her blog has been removed, her soldier was reprimanded, and his unit issued a formal apology. This is a good reminder that what you do and what you say reflects on your spouse. And the rules in the military are very different from the rules in the civilian world. 

I saved what she wrote because I was fairly certain this was going to happen. I am sharing it here because I know that this is how a very, VERY small group of Active Duty Army Wives feel and there needs to be a lesson here. If you think the way this woman thinks, you are wrong. If you think you have some kind of right to belittle another branch or guard unit, you are wrong. If you think, in your wildest dreams, that YOU are somehow better because of the fact that your HUSBAND is an active duty soldier ... (girl, please!) ... You. Are. Wrong.

Here is what she had to say:

Army Wife, Army Life

I want to preface this entire post by saying that this is my blog. The views, thoughts, opinions, and statements are MY OWN. I feel that that gives me the right to express my opinion on whatever matters I see fit, if you don't agree with something that I'm saying, they make a couple handy little buttons. One is a red 'x' in the upper right hand corner, feel free to click it, it won't hurt my feelings. That being said...

Living in Vermont, there isn't a very strong Active Duty Military presence. 90% of the military influence around here comes from the Vermont National Guard. Oftentimes when I explain that my husband is in the Army, people automatically assume he is in the Guard. It's an easy assumption. We don't have an Army base here, we have Camp Johnson, a National Guard base. The Guard ACUs are almost exactly the same as AD Army, and many civilians (and myself) don't understand a lot of the differences in company patches. The Hubs was still assigned here, and we are still going to be sent away from here. If he hadn't been here, I wouldn't have met him. This is where my rant (of sorts) begins.

The Vermont National Guard is just that, they are State Militia. The Hubs is a Regular Army soldier. The National Guard spouses around here like to refer to themselves as 'Army Wives'. They aren't. They are wives of Guardsmen or "Guard Wife". I am the wife of an active duty, federal soldier.  That being said, the Hubs is not a Marine, he is not a Sailor, he is not an Airman. Call a Marine's wife an Army wife and see what happens.  They will correct you as quickly as I will correct you. A dog is not a cat, it'll never meow.

When you try to explain this to a Guard spouse, they get defensive, and often times throw a huge fit.

My husband is a soldier, he got deployed, just like yours!

I agree, your husband got deployed just like mine, but when he came home, he got to go back to a normal civilian life. When my husband got home, he still had to put on his ACUs and go to work, as a soldier.

I agree, your husband got deployed, just like mine, but when he came home, he knew he wouldn't get deployed again for at least another four years, in which time he probably wouldn't have re-upped his contract. When my husband got home, he knew he could turn around and get deployed again. Period.

My husband is a soldier, he has to go to drill!

Yup. One weekend a month, two weeks a year.

I can argue your points all day if you want.

I guess what I'm trying to get at here, is that I would really like people to stop jumping down my throat when I tell them that they are not an Army Wife. I'm not trying to imply that you're any less of a person. I'm not trying to imply that your husband is any less of a man. I applaud him for what he did, if he got deployed, and I respect him for that. I applaud him for the time that he does give up, on his one weekend a month, two weeks a year. I applaud him for going through BT and AIT. He is a member of the Guard, 100%, there is no denying it. He is not a regular army Soldier, you are not an Army wife. It's nothing to be ashamed of.

I'm just trying to point out the blatant differences between a Vermont Guard member, and a United States Soldier.

The second part of my rant is this.

As I said before, Vermont Guard is a State Militia... that still comes with responsibility, in uniform and out. As soon as he opens his mouth about being a part of ANY type of military presence, or dons his uniform, he has to realize that. That's part of what they bash into their heads at BT.

Part of YOUR job as a spouse, is to be a direct reflection of him. That means getting your facts straight, and getting educated. 

- Respect OPSEC and PERSEC when your husband is deployed. I see none of this when a Vermont Guard wife has a deployed husband.

- Respect the higher ranks. When I met my husband's 1SG, I made sure to put my best foot forward. I put on a nice outfit, did my hair, and put makeup on my face. Used manners; ma'am, sir, please, and thank you. I sat quietly and spoke only when addressed. If I had a question, I waited for a break in the conversation, and said 'Excuse me.' It's simple really. I see none of this when Vermont Guard spouses get together for an event with their spouses.

- Respect your husband when he's in uniform. Just because my husband and I aren't on post when he's in his uniform, I keep the 'handling' to a minimum. Technically, you aren't even supposed to hold hands with him when he's in uniform. I keep a hand on the Hub's elbow, or not at all. I don't sit on his lap, I don't make out with him, we hardly kiss for that matter. I see none of this when Vermont Guard spouses are together.

- Respect the uniform itself. Don't put it on and take sexy pictures with it, with boobs/butt falling out all over the place. That's just trashy. A fun picture with his cover on is one thing, flaunting your assests is another.

It burns my biscuits when these spouses, who so loudly (and rudely) insist that they are 'Army wives' can't even handle these simple types of things, that go along with being an actual Army wife. You're just making yourself and your spouse look bad.

I just want to re-state, that I'm not posting this to be disrespectful. My Uncle served in the NH National Guard, and did a tour in Iraq. I'm so proud of him for it! He wore the uniform well, and with pride. He isn't any less of a person because he wasn't active duty for the 4 years that he served. Be proud of your spouses for what they do, no matter if they are a member of the Guard, lawyer, doctor, or burger flipper at McDonald's. Spend less time trying to make yourself into something that you're not, and more time respecting others for what they are. You'll be a lot happier for it, I promise.


How ya doing? Are you breathing? Did you bash in your computer screen? 

Okay? Yes? No?


My name is Megan Williams. I have been married to an active duty soldier for nearly five years [did you think it was longer? ; ) ]. At the age of seventeen he joined the Mississippi National Guard and spent his weekends at Camp Shelby. At the age of twenty-four he became an active-duty soldier.

He has deployed to Baghdad, Iraq and Kandahar, Afghanistan. He will deploy again to ... um ... somewhere ... sometime in the ... um ... future. 

I was born and raised in the incredible suburbs of New Orleans, Louisiana. I lived through Katrina. Humvee's roamed our ruined streets, were patrolled by guardsmen from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama. Have you heard the horror stories from New Orleans after Katrina? Can you imagine some of the things they saw?

Anyway, here we go. 

As an American, let me first thank our National Guardsmen for taking an oath not only to defend the Constitution of the United States but to defend the constitution of your state. To not just fall under the command of a President and a nation, but of a Governor and a state. Because unlike the Army Wife who wrote such an awful post, I realize that your oath of enlistment varies in only one thing - you swear to both.

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of (STATE NAME) against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of (STATE NAME) and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to law and regulations. So help me God.

It is the same oath as an ACTIVE-DUTY AMERICAN SOLDIER but with the state and governor added. The very same oath.

And to think that they are not "soldiers" because they are "part-time". Come on, now. Do you really think it is easier to get notice one day that you will leave your civilian world, your civilian job, head over to a war zone, lose buddies (and do not think for a moment that guard units do not lose troops - don't. even. dare.) come back, take off the uniform, put on civilian clothes and return to the civilian world that has little to no understanding of the military sector. Do you really, seriously think that is SIMPLE? Do you really think it is easier to stand up for your nation and simply re-enter into it with next to NO services to help you do so? Easier?

Hell, no!

For the National Guard Wives - you ARMY WIVES - let me apologize for the words this new Army Wife has spoken. Let me assure you that they are no where near the words and thoughts of so many of us. Thank you for giving your husbands. Thank you for allowing them to leave suddenly, for something you may not have planned on. Thank you for making it through, and loving them and supporting them, with little to NO support around you. Thank you for patiently accepting the misunderstanding of a nation - and of ignorant spouses - who do not realize how difficult it is to live the life of a guard family. Thank you for living with dignity and for biting your tongue when you really didn't want to. Thank you for being the bigger person here.

Because she doesn't deserve that.

To serve is to serve. 

To serve it to give selflessly, to live for something greater, to give a life if asked. A terrorist's IED does not distinguish between Guardsmen and Active-Duty; bullets aren't just aimed at the men who are "full-time". That doctor who gives that one-weekend a month, two-weeks a year in your eyes, he may save your Active Duty husband's life some day - when he finishes his recruiting time. And I don't think your husband will give a damn if the patch on his arm belongs to a guard unit. Will you care if you get that phone call that the love of you life has been very-seriously-injured and a surgeon is trying to save his life? Will you ask if he is guard or active duty? Will he be less of a soldier, less of a hero if he is one or the other.


He won't.

How dare you belittle the families of the National Guard! How dare you speak down to them. How dare you disrespect the service of your husband. And by speaking against ANYONE who serves, you dishonor his service.

I hope you understand that in time.

pray you understand in time.

Who serves more, who serves "greater" is not an argument to be had. To argue over whose service matters most is not for an Army wife to begin. It isn't for anyone. 

To leave your family, to miss births, deaths, LIFE, to see men fall in battle, to have to see things most can't imagine ... You do not get to lessen that.

Thank you to our Guardsmen and especially thank you for what may be asked of you in the future - as our active-services are lessened. Thank you in advance for stepping up to fill the gaps. For going when you are asked, whenever and where ever that is. Thank you for choosing to serve. 

As the wife of an Infantryman who has given fourteen years (seven as a national guard soldier), I am forever thankful for your sacrifice and service. Thank you to our National Guard Soldiers and their families!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Let's Talk About Rank

Alright ladies and gents (yep, there are a few on here), I need your help. Let's talk about rank.

Yeah, that's right. I said the R-word. How do you feel about spouses and rank? Both among the spouses (wearing the rank, respecting the rank, etc) and spouses addressing soldiers. I want to hear your honest feelings about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING about rank. Remember to BE KIND and PATIENT with each other. No negativity towards one another here but I want to hear your experiences, your opinions. Are you automatically turned off by a spouse with a husband of a certain rank because you've had a bad experience? Do you turn  to senior spouses for guidance? What are the positives? What are the negatives? What is hard to see past? What are your prejudgments? Let's be honest and open and real.

I had a convo about this a bit with our FRG's POC's and it was a VERY enlightening and interesting and civil discussion. I was truly amazed that we all sat and laughed and saw each other's view. I think we started to learn from each other.

Before it became more obvious in my writing, I cannot tell you how many people emailed asking C's rank. If that was any of you, you may have noticed I answered every single one of your questions EXCEPT that. Rank is touchy. Rank is something that can put up walls. It can make people form opinions before they get to know a person - it can prevent a person from getting to know a person.

Discussing rank is tricky. There are so many sides to it. So many different views.

I have been trying to write about this for sometime for the Homefront United Network. I see it as a challenge to "get this right" but, oh my, I don't know where to begin. So I am turning to you, what are your feelings? How do you see it?

Don't want people to know who you are when you respond? Respond ANONYMOUSLY this time around. If that makes you more comfortable, go for it. But I am challenging each of you to really take a few moments and think about it, be honest about it, listen to each other. I want everyone to get into this discussion but I don't want it to blow up and become a complain session.

Let me say that I WILL delete any comment that speaks ill towards another or degrades what someone else has said. You all know I don't delete comments even if they upset me personally (ahem ... that lil promises incident awhile back) but I won't hesitate if this becomes something it shouldn't. You know this is no place for that. I know some of you are shaking your heads, thinking I'm nuts for this. You are probably right. But I believe we can hear each other. I believe we can learn from one another. I believe each of us, married to service-members of ALL ranks, has something to bring to this.

Let's learn from each other.

Here's an example of something that came up in the discussion I had with our new POC's. One said, "All the FRG meetings are just for the officer spouses. They are the only ones who come." They laughed when I said that officer spouses will always be at events because they are always "highly-encouraged" to attend. Anyone know what "highly-encouraged" in the army means? ; )

It means you attend.

Remember to be kind! LISTEN to one another! (Oh, PLEASE don't let this blow up in my face!)

Ready, Set, GO!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Love that Lights the Sky

While sitting up in bed, with C miles and miles away, I came across something that spoke to me. It gave me chills.

Many military spouses that I have known and do know and will know have a way of thinking that I believe over time can wear on a marriage. The "I live this life, so you owe me." "I am still here, so you owe me." Or when we find out they will miss an anniversary or a valentine's day or a birthday some whip it out, "You owe me for this."

I get why some spit out the words. I get that sometimes it feels like we give so, SO much to and for our soldiers. And we do. Goodness, we do give much.

But at no time, in no instance, have I ever felt like C "owed" me. That I better get my due.

Because when I said the vows I swore to love him - even when love for country takes him from me. I swore to honor him - even when honor comes first. I promised to carry him, to stand beside him, to stick with him even in those tiny moments when for just a second, one tiny, tiny second I feel like I am doing it alone. 

I promised to give him all of me. To honor the vows. To thrive through this life. To love him and love him and love him in each moment, through the hard moments, through the lonely moments, the nights alone and the days that last forever. And I promised to never demand an "I owe you." He owes me nothing for my love and determination and gratitude and joy and hope and pride but to have the same love and respect and joy for and with me. And he does

He owes me nothing more for living the vows as he lives his vows to both me and to a nation. 

Never a "you owe me". Not once. Not ever.

Because great love between two, coupled to form one, makes for one incredible journey. It leaves no room for "you owe me's". No room for keeping score. 

Picture found on Pinterest.

Be sure to check out the give-away going on HERE!

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Military Wife's Valentine - A GIVE AWAY

Have I ever told you I am a little crafty? If you know me personally or have been to my house then you know. I usually just follow someone else's directions and go from there. But when the HomeFront United wanted to have a Valentine's craft I thought about a wreath I had found and done on Pinterest (the most amazing site around!) for Christmas and figured out how to change it up for my needs. 

I am not a Valentine's day person. Never have been. The idea of having one day where you have to prove your love "or else" just rubs me the wrong way. I much rather prefer random flowers, or cards, or "reasons why I love you." I don't think soldiers should have to worry while they are in the field or the sandbox about getting something "special" done on this specific day or else face the wrath of their spouse. I have seen it and I don't like it. C and I both don't really acknowledge Valentine's which may be what makes these days much easier when he is away like this year.

BUT, this wreath I love because as a military spouse you can use it all year because part of our hearts always hold a love for country, a prayer for safety, and a gratitude to all those who ensure it.

SO ... enough rambling.

Here is the finished product but you have to head over to the Homefront United to see the step-by-step how-to! Make sure your leave a comment on their site to let 'em know what you think! : )

Did you scroll all the way down? Good Thing if you did BECAUSE I just decided to do an impromptu  give-away! Yup, someone will get this wreath!


Well here are the rules.

You MUST, must, must, must be a public follower of the blog! I want to see your shining face on the side column.

To enter: Comment below with how long you have been following and how you found it.
Then have people who YOU introduced the blog to reply to your comment (they also must be public followers). Each one counts as another entry for you. For them to enter they must have a separate comment themselves!

Make sense? Any questions?

The contest starts NOW 2/3/12 and ends at 10 pm MST on 2/6/12.

SO get to following, get to sharing, and get to commenting! : )
Good Luck!