Saturday, May 25, 2013

What Does It Truly Mean?

Call it a twisted way to think, but Memorial Day is always a tough weekend for me to think about.
A part of me feels like I have some "unfinished business" because I didn't get my chance to serve in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan before my 10 year career came to end.
Sure, I did my part for Operation Iraqi Freedom....but in the 10 years I was in, there were two wars that happened, and I missed one of them

Kind of a sick way to think, huh?
I am grateful that I got to do all my overseas tours of duty before I became a mother...a wife...
I am grateful that I never had to put my daughter through the pain of having a mother AND father deployed...
yes...I know many dual active duty couples with children who have deployed either concurrently or consecutively...
I can't imagine how hard that is on a child...
It's hard enough emotionally to send one parent to combat, but BOTH of them?

A part of me kicks myself in the butt for taking three years out of my career to go on recruiting duty while the rest of the Marine Corps moved on from Iraq to Afghanistan.
A part of me breathes a sigh of I dodged a bullet...figuratively speaking.
What's worse?
On recruiting duty, most of the young men and women I recruited that became one of America's elite went on to overseas tours.
Two of them never made it home...

I go about my normal weekend, and I try to ignore the Memorial day sales, the Facebook posts about long weekends, BBQ's, and celebrations.
They kind of make me mad.
People just don't get the importance of Memorial Day!
 To me, it's a somber weekend where I take a step back and remember the friends and fellow Marines that my husband and I have lost over the years...
They're brave men that my husband and I rarely discuss.
We each wear a KIA bracelet with a name of someone closest to us that never made it home safely.
We hardly ever acknowledge the name on the bracelet to each other.
 We wear it every single day and never take it off...
It's an unspoken thing that we both know means so much to us.

This weekend, I'll remember...
Cpl Brownfield (MWSS 374)
SSgt Bell (5th Battalion 11th Marines)
LCpl Hogan (1st Battalion 5th Marines)
Cpl Stanton (2nd Reconnaissance Battalion)
Cpl Brown (2nd Battalion 11th Marines)

And the countless others...
While I am proud of have gotten to have served...
I am most proud of those who are on the front lines in danger every day...
Men like my wonderful, handsome, brave, and selfless husband...
Iraq 1005...I can't believe they sent my husband out to the front lines in this crappy body armor!!! It doesn't even blend in with the surroundings!

Afghanistan 2010....isn't it crazy how technologically advanced our body armor is from just 5 years ago?! 

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