Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Veteran

Tomorrow, Nov. 11th, is Veteran's some it may not others? It stirs a mixture of emotions. I know, because I live with one of those precious vets...and he's my hero!

My heart was touched in the grocery store last week by someone I'd not seen before...a high school employee. One checker knows that we've lived in China, etc. but Friday she asked me what my husband retired from and I told her, the Army. Oh...he retired as a Colonel w/32 years of service. The sacker was apparently taking all that in because as he pushed the cart to our car, he said "Your husband really retired as a Colonel?" I replied that he had. He asked questions about M's military career, etc...very nice. When he finished loading the groceries he said, "Please tell your husband 'Thank You' for me...thank him for his service." That touched touched Michael.

It's good to be touched and think back...reflecting. Those were good years that took the six of us all over the! However, we paid a price; there were difficult years...there were heartbreaking years. Twice we lived on post and our military neighbors seemed to have duties on base, spending off-duty time at home...w/their families. I confess to envy 'cause M was always away...sometimes we hadn't a clue where or when he'd be back...ssshhh...secret. The periods 'at home' were wonderful times; the year-long periods 'away from home' were like forever and ever.

Before cell phones/computers meant snail mail and keeping tabs on the best friend. Michael had two combat tours plus a hardship tour in Eritrea (Ethiopia) that was similar to a combat tour...very dangerous. I might write about that on a later post. I mentioned mail? M and I wrote each other every single day...and sometimes even more! When my mother dropped by she usually found me writing M and she'd ask what in the world we found to write about every day??? Reaching out and touching, Mother...a God Work

Viet Nam? Oh...M went very there early on; not many knew 'beans' about the country, much less what was going on. M was presented to the King of Greece because he was the first to be called from Greece to Viet Nam...could've, would've passed on that distinctive honor! From Greece to 'Nam...what a switch. We spent Christmas in our empty Greek home, waiting to be shipped to the U.S. for M's 30 day leave before going to Nam. I believe I cried for over 45 days...sobbing's more like it.

One of our worst days was driving M to the airport; one more battlefront...thankfully our four boys were in school so he and I drove it alone. When we pulled up in front of the terminal I said, "I can't do this...I just can't"...he agreed and we kissed a kiss that would last until one year was like 'dumping him out' as he opened the door, picked up his bag and walked off...that was it and I still cry remembering. least...he made it back...he made it home.

Oh, how we missed him..."Missing someone gets easier every day because even though you are one day further from the last time you saw them, you are one day closer to the next time you will." That was one of my survival techniques for the many long separations...I divided time into segments that were regularly adjusted...closer and closer until, thank God, we were physically one again!

My heart breaks for all those who didn't make it...for all those who have returned from Iraq, Afghanistan, Viet Nam...bodies ravaged, mental pictures that won't go away...for all those who are returning to those far-off places again and again. My heart breaks/aches for all the wives, children, families who wait and wait and wait and wait.

There is so much one could write about our veterans...not enough words or space. But it's important for us to remember thank them & their families for their service & sacrifices...and to remember that freedom is not free!

Elmer Davis reminds us...

Thanks to my hero & all veterans I have the opportunity to be
Balanced and unafraid....


Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Love you!

Terry Rush

Erin E. McEndree said...

I talked to a man once who was sent home from Iraq for medical reasons. I asked him if he was glad to be home. He sail 'no' to my surprise. He said he would go back in a heartbeat if they would let him. That gave me a diffrent perspective. There are men and women who WANT to serve, no matter how horrible, for the freedoms we hold dear. I thank them and I thank God he has put that willingness and desire into brave soldiers. I do not take our freedom for granted. Thank you Michael for being one of those brave soldiers who followed God's calling!!!