“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” -Cynthia Ozick
Being Veteran Days Weekend I want to thank all my fellow veterans and their families.
Many don’t understand the struggle that veterans and their families go through. A veteran puts in long hours on and off deployment. I was an in the infantry and we trained constantly, training hard prepared us all for the hardship of deployment. A spouse is left to pick up the slack at home when a soldier is in the field. When your job begins at 0600 in the morning and you don’t get off until 1700 or later there’s not much time to handle bills, grocery shopping, taking care of the kids, or the hundreds of things a spouse must do without the soldier there. When a soldier is on deployment for six to nine months the spouse must take care of the household by themselves and the transition when the soldier comes home can be a major struggle. People change in those months, especially the soldier and coming home means readjusting to civilian life, most people can’t comprehend the struggle of coming home can be. The Soldier and his family must learn who each other are again and learn how to work together as a family.
The hardships of being deployed for families is sometimes the unknown. Like when the soldier is leaving for a deployment, where they might go, or when they will hear from them again. One deployment I had we knew that we were the first to be deployed into a possible combat zone but we didn’t know when. My family knew that we were going and had an idea of where but not when. We spent almost a week on the tarmac waiting for the go. When we left we were in county for over two months before we got to make any phone calls home and sending letters out was not top priority to us, we were a little busy and we were not getting much sleep. My family spent over a month watching the news, my mom is a teacher and any time she could turn on the TV to a news channel to see if they were talking about a new deployment or declaration of war she did. My whole family was tuned into all the news outlets trying to figure out when the news would report anything about our deployment. I’d been in deployed in country over a month before the news started to report about the deployments and the act of war. That can be very stressful for families to go through. Families sometimes know that their soldier is gone but not the details and those details can be months down the road or never gotten.
When I came home from my multiple deployments in third world countries I was very impatient with the civilians that complained constantly about menial adversities in their lives. You can never truly appreciate all that we have here in America if you have never been to places where people truly don’t have anything. Then there was the uneasy feeling of always expecting something to happen. Only veterans can understand the feeling of walking through Walmart or down the street constantly looking for threats, for cover when trouble happens, or sitting down to eat in a public place where you can see the whole scene making sure your aware of entrances and exits.
On Veterans Day take a moment to recognize the time, the struggle, and the hardships veterans and their families have gone through and still do. Veterans serve their country with selfless service, honor, integrity, loyalty, duty, and personal courage. Honor them for their sacrifice to our great country.
“In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”