This is our veteran - not the 3 yr old little squirt, the man holding her silly. This photo was taken at The Animal Kingdom March 2010 a little over a month after he'd returned home from his second tour in Iraq.
For the freedom to speak our minds, boycott, picket, and incite others with our differing views, my husband has been shot at, almost blown up and that is from the terrorists only. From his own people he has endured, hatred, ridicule, backstabbing from his superiors, and other unpleasantries. He has been sold out by an officer he thought he could trust and sent to a different base - why so some other person could cover their butts. He has spent the last 19 yrs serving God and country so that young upstarts can protest the war. The one thing that has not happened yet is he has not been spit on - and it's most likely a good thing - I might have to kill someone if they ever did that to my husband.
We are proud of Chris and his service. I am proud of him for being willing to go - he could have left the country and fled his duty, but he sees it as something he must do and for the most part he has enjoyed being in the Army.
I was not a fan of marrying a military man. I had a bad experience with a previous boyfriend who up and joined. It might not have been that big of a deal, but he supposedly wanted to marry me and yet made this choice without talking to me first. And I stupidly stayed with him through that (I know hindsight is 20/20 right?). But Chris has always talked to me about his choice to be in the military and he even left for a short period of time when we thought we would be moving out of state. While the move didn't happen, it did come to the point later where he wanted to join the Reserves later.
Some people have asked me how is supporting Chris is joining the Reserves different from encouraging him to buy a motorcycle? This is how. A motorcycle is dangerous and yes so is being a U.S. Soldier, but a motorcycle doesn't offer chances to prove what a good leader Chris can be or advancement opportunities. The Army saw the leader my husband could be and encouraged him and at a time in his life where he had a boss trying everything in her power to get him fired, the Army provided a way for Chris to regain a sense of self-worth that was being stripped from him by this boss. As his wife, I am supposed to want my husband to succeed. In fact, I think it is extremely important as a wife, to pray for and uplift my husband on a daily basis. I am not saying I should give him a big head, I am saying I should offer nurturing and support whenever I can provide it. As his wife, I supposed to seek God's will for Chris and yearn to see him succeed. The Reserves offered that to him especially at a time when he needed it the most.
Do I enjoy deployments? No. Do I enjoy being a single parent who is mom and dad to my girls for a year or longer? Not particularly. However, I do enjoy that Chris can hold his head up high and that he grows as a person while at home and while deployed. Deployments are stressful and difficult to go through to say the least, but they also offer us an opportunity to learn something that not every couple has the opportunity to learn - do not take each other for granted.
In truth, being in the Army has more than likely shortened Chris' life expectancy. Being exposed to things that might be hard on his body, being shot at, almost blown up, and thrown around by mortars has not done a lot to expand his life. But I would make the same choice again to encourage him in his pursuit of a life that allows him opportunities and a good retirement package. There are ups and there are downs, but through it all I know God will take care of us while Chris is home. He sends the right people to us at the right time and I have a good support network with my family and good friends (thank you to those who love military people and families).
Thank you to our fellow families and their Veteran's today. God Bless and Have a good weekend.
Love in Christ,