It is Veterans Day in the states. The day we honor and thank our Veterans who have served in our armed forces. In our house this is a big day. We are a military family. My husband, his dad, his grandfather, our son, have all served. My heart bursts with pride at their courage, their patriotism, their love of country and their willingness to give all. Literally all. Dave has always said that joining the military is:

“Writing a blank check to Uncle Sam, up to and including my life.”

We have been blessed and we have not lost a family member. But the thing is, once you take the oath, once you join the military, once you marry into the military, you are all family. And we have lost members of our military family. Each time it’s a shock. There’s pain. Hurt. Anger. The first weeks are hardest, and while it becomes easier it never fades away.

Sometimes the pain creeps up. You can feel it coming. Sometimes it jumps up and bites you. Swift. Hard. Surprise. The trigger can be anything. A smell, a favorite food, seeing an old friend you have in common, feeling rain on your face… and knowing that what you feel, smell, taste, see, your fallen soldier cannot.

It is not just death that is hard. Our men & women see things, experience things that are unimaginable. Even with all my years as a military wife & mom, all the things I’ve heard, nothing compares to everyday life for many in our armed forces. The job they do is incredibly hard. It takes them from friends, family home. They are put in new, foreign, places with little to call their own, sometimes not even bed. Sometimes not even a meal. For days. Weeks. Months. Even years.

It is a job that takes over every fiber of their being. It is job that is overworked. Underpaid. Undervalued. Underappreciated. Not by me. Not by mine. Not by family.

Thank you for your service.

Christians unit in Afghanistan

Taking a break in Afghanistan… Christian on the right

Teaching locals to throw the “Westberry” sign

Hurry up and wait on the tarmac during deployment

In Japan. This so reminds me of Forrest Gump!

Where’ Waldo (Christian)?

Even Marines have fun