Sunday, November 10, 2013

veterans day

Today we say thank you to all who have served.  Thank you. Many of the thanks include something like this - thank you for your service and sacrifice.

It's true, serving in the military requires many things.  But sacrifice?   Not sure.  And I will tell you why.

Paul LOVED and I do mean LOVED the Navy.  Loved the ships and carrier he served on, really loved the people he worked with and led, and mostly loved deploying.  To far away places. For months at a time.

(I loved it too but that's because I am an introvert and long periods of time alone were fabulous)

But really, it was me who sacrificed.  I moved every two years whether I wanted to or not, trying to piece together an education, a career, a life.  I had to make new friends every time we moved.  I had to manage moving, packing, traveling, new housing, and unpacking.  A sick dog.  A broken dishwasher.  A potential evacuation.

Sometimes all by myself.

I had to endure employers who wouldn't hire military spouses because we moved every two years.  I had to live where the Navy said we should because that's where the Navy sent us.

They are called Orders for that reason.  They weren't asking.

No one ever talked about it but there was always the potential of the knock on the door.   If you served, you know what this means.  If you are spouse, you don't think about it.

Later in Paul's career, I stopped moving.  I had a great job in a wonderful city, fabulous friends, a big pool, and no mosquitoes.  For seven years, Paul lived on the East Coast and I lived on the West Coast.  Many of our friends did this too.

That's when he sacrificed.  Not while serving, not the Navy but leaving me behind so I could do meaningful work too.

From Last week in the Navy

So this Veterans Day, thank a veteran.   And if you can, please include his or her spouse.  It's a family commitment to serve the country and the nation.

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