Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Patriotic Time...

OK, so I have been feeling kindda "patriotic" today...The following are a few poems/stories that I found and liked. For those of you that are military spouses too, you will completely understand. For those of you that are not, maybe you will see a glimpse of what it is like!


Military Spouses - There's a Difference
by Col Steven Arrington
Nellis Air Force Base
Over the years, I've talked a lot about military spouses ... how special they are and the price they pay for freedom too. The funny thing about it, is most military spouses don't consider themselves different from other spouses. They do what they have to do, bound together not by blood or merely friendship, but with a shared spirit whose origin is in the very essence of what love truly is. Is there truly a difference? I think there is. You have to decide for yourself.
Other spouses get married and look forward to building equity in a home and putting down family roots. Military spouses get married and know they'll live in base housing or rent, and their roots must be short so they can be transplanted frequently.
Other spouses decorate a home with flair and personality that will last a lifetime. Military spouses decorate a home with flare tempered with the knowledge that no two base houses have the same size windows or same size rooms. Curtains have to be flexible and multiple sets are a plus. Furniture must fit like puzzle pieces!
Other spouses have living rooms that are immaculate and seldom used. Military spouses have immaculate living room/dining room combos. The coffee table got a scratch or two moving from Germany, but it sill looks pretty good.
Other spouses say goodbye to their spouse for a business trip and know they won't see them for a week. They are lonely, but can survive. Military spouses say good-bye to their deploying spouse and know they won't see them for months, or for a remote, a year. They are lonely, but will survive.
Other spouses get used to saying 'hello' to friends they see all the time. Military spouses get used to saying 'good-bye' to friends made the last two years.
Other spouses worry about whether their child will be class president next year. Military spouses worry about whether their child will be accepted in yet another new school next year and whether that school will be the worst in the city again.
Other spouses can count on spouse participation in special events such as birthdays, anniversaries, concerts, football games, graduation, and even the birth of a child. Military spouses only count on each other; because they realize that the Flag has to come first if freedom is to survive. it has to be that way.
Other spouses put up yellow ribbons when the troops are imperiled across the globe and take them down when the troops come home. Military spouses wear yellow ribbons on their hearts and they never go away.
Other spouses worry about being late for Mom's Thanksgiving dinner. Military spouses worry about getting back from Japan in time for Dad's funeral.
And other spouses are touched by the television program showing an elderly lady putting a card down in front of a long, black wall that has names on it. The card simply says "Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. You would have been sixty today." A military spouse is the lady with the card. And the wall is the Vietnam memorial.
I would never say military spouses are better or worse than other spouses are. But I will say there is a difference. Our country asks more of military spouses than is asked of other spouses. Military spouses pay just as high a price for freedom as do their active duty husbands or wives. Perhaps the price they pay is even higher. Dying in service to our country isn't near as hard as loving someone who has died in service to our country, and having to live without them!
God bless our military spouses for all they freely give!



I Am A Military Wife
Author Unknown
I am a military wife - a member of that sisterhood of women who have had the courage to watch their men go into battle, and the strength to survive until their return. Our sorority knows no rank, for we earn our membership with a marriage license, travelling over miles, or over nations to begin a new life with our military husbands. Within days, we turn a barren, echoing building into a home, and though our quarters are inevitably white-walled and unpapered, we decorate with the treasures of our travels, for we shop the markets of the globe.
Using hammer and nail, we tack our pictures to the wall, and our roots to the floor as firmly as if we had lived there for a lifetime. We hold a family together by the bootstraps, and raise the best of 'brats', instilling in them the motto: "Home is togetherness", whether motel, or guest house, apartment or duplex. As military wives we soon realize that the only good in "Good-bye" is the "Hello again". For as salesmen for freedom, our husbands are often on the road, at sea, or in the sky, leaving us behind for a week, a month, an assignment.
During separations we guard the home front, existing until the homecoming. Unlike our civilian counterparts, we measure time, not by years, but by tours - married at Petawawa, a baby born at Gagetown, a special anniversary at Uplands, a promotion in St Jean. We plant trees, and never see them grow tall, work on projects completed long after our departure, and enhance our community for the betterment of those who come after us.
We leave a part of ourselves at every stop. Through experience, we have learned to pack a suitcase, a car or hold baggage, and live indefinitely from the contents within: and though our fingers are sore from the patches we have sewn, and the silver we have shined, our hands are always ready to help those around us. Women of peace, we pray for a world in harmony, for the flag that leads our men into battle, will also blanket them in death.
Yet we are an optimistic group, thinking of the good, and forgetting the bad, cherishing yesterday, while anticipating tomorrow. Never rich by monetary standards, our hearts are overflowing with a wealth of experiences common only to those united by the special tradition of military life. We pass on this legacy to every military bride, welcoming her with outstretched arms, with love and friendship, from one sister to another, sharing in the bounty of our unique, fulfilling military way of life.