I am a lucky wife. My husband is a great provider, loves me and all of our children (even the furry one), and he is my very best friend. He is also a veteran. This, above all other things, makes me a very proud wife.
I have many veterans in my family. My grandfather was in the U.S. Navy in World War II. He was stationed in Guam for a while, and he was away from home for nearly three years total. My Dad was in the U.S. Army in Vietnam in that terrible winter of 1968. He was a mechanic, keeping all of the generators and other machines running so that the war could go on. My great uncle “Brother” was in the U.S. Navy as well, in World War II, and he was fighting on a ship when it was hit by a torpedo. I never knew him, of course, but I always looked on his young, blue-eyed photo with awe and remembrance, hearing the stories that my Mamaw, his sister, would tell when I was younger. We have two nephews in the military at present. One is a submariner in the Navy, and one is a Special Forces soldier in the Army. I also have many friends, including one at the Pentagon, who serve. My boss is a former Marine, as are two former co-workers. My favorite veteran, however, is my Sweetie. He served in the Navy for four years plus four in the reserves. He is my hero.
I have a photo of him in his Navy peacoat. He was about 24 or so, and he was, frankly, smoking hot. I have the photo on my dressing counter at home, so I get to see it every morning. It makes me smile. And the pride I feel at having such an extraordinary husband is so great it’s hard to put it into words. I finally, for once in my life, have someone who I can be totally proud of. He is someone who makes me smile every day, even if I’m having a bad day. He shops, he cooks, he cleans, he loves. And, most of all, he is brave.
He served in the Navy during the Kuwait invasion by Iraq. He was on an ammunition ship in the Middle East, which made him an easy target. But he survived. A few months ago, I took him to Europe for his 50th birthday. We got to see some of his old haunts, including the bay where he spent a summer in the south of France. We have a photo of the same hillside from 1988 and from 2014. Pretty cool. To see the look on his face as he saw it again was pretty near priceless. Almost as much as seeing him look past the Verrazano Bridge to Sandy Hook, New Jersey when we were one ship about three years ago, seeing his old Naval Weapons Station Earl in the distance. And no, true to his word, he still won’t confirm nor deny the existence of nukes on his ammo ship!
Tomorrow we celebrate those who fought, worked, and paid the ultimate sacrifice. I remember those who were lost and honor those who were there. You were brave. Braver than most. You are never forgotten. Thank you for your service to our country.