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May 8, 2006

Test of Emotion

Deployment. Funny how 10 little letters form a word that evokes so many emotions. Pride, apprehension, loneliness. Fear of loosing a loved one and the growth of friendships among others facing the same separation.
These brave warriors miss so much of the lives of those they leave behind. Births and deaths, first days of school and graduations, little league games and scrapped knees. Those left behind take on the role of mother and father, counselor and confidant, coach and cheerleader for children, some too young to understand the sacrifice their parent is making.
Service members watch their children grow up through photos. A picture may be a thousand words, but many would trade all the pictures in the world for one more day with our Soldier, Marine, Airman or Seaman.
This morning the piercing ring of the phone woke me at 5:30 a.m. "I hope Nikki isn't in labor I thought," knowing her mother wouldn't be here until tonight. Instead it was George's father, he had seen that there was a helicopter crash in Afghanistan from Operation Mountain Lion in Afghanistan and wanted to know if I had heard anything. With a promise that I would call him back, I got up and turned on CNN. Nothing there on the crash, so I went to their web page where I saw the latest news report on the crash.
Feeling heart drop, I called my mother in tears. "There's been a helicopter crash and 10 Soldiers were killed. Please tell me my husband is o.k." I cried. After calming me down she reassured me that my Great Grandmother was the angel on his Soldier and George was fine, I lay back in bed to watch the news for updates.
The phone calls came pouring in as my mom called my stepfather and Aunt Kelley and my brother (who was with my mom) called my dad. Reassuring them that I did not need anyone to come stay with me, I waited for my father-in-law to call again saying he had spoke with George. I had e mailed him prior to calling my mom and told him his dad was scared and to call him. I would be fine just knowing someone else had talked to him.
Soon I became restless and before I knew it my house was immaculate. I even rearranged the kitchen appliances putting away those that I don't use when George is not here (like the coffee maker). I cleaned out my pantry and refrigerator for the second time in as many weeks.
Soon the call I had been waiting for arrived and while I was relieved that it was not any Soldiers from our unit, I was saddened by the realization that by the end of the day 10 families would learn that their Soldier would not come home to a reunion of glory, but one of heavy hearts and tearful eyes. Somewhere someone had lost their spouse, parent, child and sibling.
The only comfort is knowing that their life made a difference, their sacrifice was not, will not be in vain.
Then as I settled into the rest of the day, I began to wonder, would that be enough comfort to me, if the day comes that I find a chaplain standing on my doorstep? Will the thought that my husband's life and the future that we would no longer have, be worth the smile on child's face, the hope in a mother's face or blessing of a father whose son will not have to fight? I don't know.
What I do know is that my husband is doing what he loves, because he believes in our country and the people it holds in its warmth. He believes that our children should have the freedom to dream of being a firefighter, actress or even princess, if that is what they want. We hold this country in our hearts, know that our path in life is to help defend her, no matter the cost.
I am proud to say I am married to a Soldier and stand beside him even if separated by an ocean.

3 Tea Party Guest:

Sis B said...

that was beautiful and so true, i've been thinking about so many of these same issues and wondering how i will handle his inevitable deployment. the separation with his being in korea is nothing compared to hearing the news and going through what you just did. thank you for such a heartfelt post. i appreciate you sharing these things like you do.

dyzgoneby said...

I just wanted to send you a big (((HUG))).

Deployments suck for everyone involved. The hearing something has happened and not hearing from your loved one is so hard. I am currently right there with you. You are not alone in this.

I too stand proudly beside my Marine.

Lana said...

Hi! i ran across your stitching blog and found out you are a military spouse as well. Me too. My hubby just left last week for Iraq. We've only been married about 10 months. This is our first deployment. We are airForce. My prayers are with you and your husband. I was SO glad to find your blogs, this one and you rstitching one, I would love to hear from you, feel free to e-mail me if you ever need to "talk" or anything, I am here, lets support each other while we support our troops!
God bless you and the sacrifices you are giving in this time!
~Lana~