The other day I watched a sweet video of a Marine coming home from a deployment and meeting his 6 month old daughter for the first time. Sure enough tears filled my eyes as I thought what a sweet reunion that was, pride filled my heart as I thought of the sacrifice required, memories filled my mind as I remembered my husband returning home from his deployment and handing him our 3 month old daughter, that luckily he had been home for the birth of, but then went back on his deployment just a short 2 weeks after.
My husband served two deployments in Iraq. The first time he left just two weeks after we were married. It was hard. There is no other way around it. Trying to communicate in two different parts of the world, on completely different time zones, is not easy by any means. But we made it work, we didn’t have a choice. The second deployment he just happened to leave the day we found out I was pregnant with our first child. Talk about terrible timing. He went off to war and I went off to figure out this new pregnancy and prepare for this baby. He was lucky enough to switch around his RnR with another soldier so that he could make it home for the birth. He spent two weeks home and went back to finish his tour. Our story is just one of the millions of military families around the world. Sacrificing time with the families, holidays, milestones, and everyday comforts in order for us to live in this amazing country. This is why Veterans day to us, means so much more than a three day weekend.
While Veteran’s day, for most people, is celebrated by a 3 day weekend, BBQ’s and parties with friends and family, the holiday means so much more. It’s easy to overlook the real reason for Veteran’s day. Most likely in the numerous people you encounter on a daily or weekly basis, there is a veteran or someone related to one. They are filled with pride for their country and a simple thank you goes a long way. Many of us will never truly know what our veterans experience overseas. So much that most come back with PTSD and aren’t sure how to handle everyday life again. Their sacrifice is great, but most say they would do it again. Joseph Campbell said, “This nation will remain the land of the free only as long as it is the home of the brave.”
So this Veterans day, and all year long, make sure you take the time to do something to remember those who have fought to keep this country free. Say thank you, deliver cookies, visit memorials, to name a few, and then celebrate with friends and family because that is what veterans have fought for.