Happy Veteran's Day !!!
To all of our Armed Forces members AND THEIR FAMILIES... THANK YOU! To my honey, Jack, who retired after 20 years in the US Navy, THANKS honey! I'm so proud of you for serving your country.
For those of you that haven't been married to a military man... it's a different life you live for 20 years. Months and months of them being gone... back then there was NO email, Skype, cell phones...almost forgetting what their voice sounded like... you waited on the US mail. Plus... serving during the VietNam war was no picnic.... sometimes we wouldn't get mail for weeks. Of course you think the most horrible thoughts... and then they would arrive - stacks of letters that made you squeal with joy when you saw them. I would carefully place them in the date order of their postmarks...some of them being over 20 days old! Where had they been? Why did it take so long for them to arrive? Where had they been sitting for days? Oh well... it didn't matter anymore...
I would carefully open each one... the anticipation was almost unbearable... but just to see his hand writing made it all better... reading each one over and over and over...
Then there was that horrible hour each day that just took over my emotions so strong... I just couldn't shake it. The time - 4:30 pm - the time he would arrive home from the base. However, when they are gone - that time is pure depression. A depression that would take over my body and I just couldn't shake it. Then once an hour had passed... I would feel the heaviness and sadness leave me and all would be better. I tried everything...watching a funny show, shopping, visiting with friends... nothing would make it go away. I soon learned to accept the fact that it was just my time of the day when God wanted me to mourn Jack's absence. Once I accepted that... I made it through each day a little easier.
Then the joy of the day the ship would arrive from it's dreadfully long cruises. Hundreds and hundreds of us... wives, children, parents, loved ones waiting on the pier, excited just to see a glimpse of that grey bow peeking around the bay! There it is! The screams and shouts of joy were almost deafening!
In just a few minutes you would be searching high and low to see him... they would line the decks in their dress uniform.... it certainly made you proud to be an American to see this site!
The difficult part was trying to find your loved one. Jack would try to tell me where he was standing...but without knowing all the parts of the ship... it was so hard. Then I would see him... he always tilted his "dixie cup" hat a bit (NOT the proper way to wear it) so I could find him easier.
You could see the eyes of the sailors.... looking all over the pier for their loved ones. Then... we would spot each other and I would see the biggest smile in the whole wide world... and all was wonderful again!
So you see... on days like today - Veterans Day - they hold a special meaning in my heart... a meaning that I'll have until I'm gone from this earth. We have a love for our country that is just unexplainable...
God Bless the United States of America
May we be all be safe from harm.