Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Honor This Man

You can't say I didn't know what I was getting into. Okay, so you might be able to say the very first, but not later on. I knew. I knew.

July 1996. I got a new job and my life was forever changed. My second day on the job and I saw a boy walking past me with his head down, looking at the ground, and I said to myself, "I am going to marry that guy." I didn't even know his name, but I knew in my heart I would marry him.

We began dating and enjoyed our senior year of highschool together, at the end of which, he signed up to join the military. Was I happy? Oh no. Not in the least. I tried to talk him out of it. I was 18 and I didn't want to lose my best friend. I wanted to be by his side every moment I could. I wanted to breath the same air as him for the rest of my life. (and wouldn't you know it but that nothing has changed in 12 years)

Fall came like a whirlwind and he was off, having adventures such as boot camp and schooling to join the Air Force. After a year of this, he flew home to marry me. I was ecstatic. I could spend the rest of my life with my best friend, the man who can make me laugh at any given moment. The man who will hold me while I cry. The man who will sit beside me and unwind the yarn from the skein while I crochet and watch the basketball game on television. The man who will sit on the floor and play Barbie's like its his favorite thing in the world. The man who will drive to Starbucks before church on Sunday morning because he knows I would fade away without my very essential cup of coffee.

Only later did I come to appreciate what this whole military thing meant. I've always been a bit patriotic. I love to see the red, white and blue flying. The Star Spangled Banner always gets me choked up. (yes...even at a baseball game) I love watching the fireworks on Fourth of July. Being married to a member of the United States Military though has taught me more about honor, and courage, and sacrifice. I follow my husband around the world, every where he goes. I move every time the military says its time to go. I pack up our things and say goodbye to friends and go...with just my husband and daughter.

Today, I cannot go. Today, I must stay behind. It is my responsiblity to stay and keep his house in order. Today, I must say goodbye to my best friend and watch him go somewhere I cannot go. And you wanna know the funny thing? He asked to go. HE ASKED TO GO. And not just so he could have a summer's vacation from mowing the yard. (like he told everyone) No. He went for honor. He went for freedom. He believes in what he is doing and he believes in it enough that he would sacrifice his summer, his family and, if needed, his life. My husband would give his life for this...its that important. He is a courageous man. A man of integrity and strength.

I ask you to honor this man. Please honor this man. Don't complain about the war. Don't say they need to pull the troops out of Iraq. Don't feel sorry for them. They knew what they were getting into when they signed up to join the military. They believe in what they are doing or they would not be doing it. When you complain about it, you are slapping men like my husband in the face. You might as well spit on him. He is doing it for YOU. So you can go to bed at night and sleep the night through. (my husband will be lucky to get 5 hours of sleep in a single night the entire time he's over there) So you can go the beach or to the movies or to the store or to church. (my husband will be working 16-18 hours a day/7 days a week for four full months without a single day off)

I ask you...please honor this wonderful man.




Chloe gave her daddy an early birthday gift before he left.


We played together last night.





I can't wait for James to return home to me. Until then, I will have my yellow ribbon tied to the banister out front. (which reminds me...I need to run to Joanns tomorrow and buy some yellow ribbon)


Debra said...

Anna, My heart soared when I read your post. I get so upset when people complain about the war and our soldiers. I just know that those who complain are not families with soldiers over there. I honor your husband and other soldiers fighting for our freedom. I will be praying for you and Chloe.

Ashlie said...

Wonderful post, Anna! Nathan and I will be praying for all of you while James is gone. I pray the time passes quickly for you and for him!

Life as Connor's Mom said...

Amen sister!! We need to get you on the news to preach to some of these people. Thank you for doing your job while your husband is over there fighting for me and my family. We will keep him in our prayers!!!! We will also pray for time to fly by for you and Chloe.

Green Acres said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes Anna. Our country is so blessed because of men like James, and families like yours. I am so grateful for the sacrifices made by your family and that of other military families to protect us and defend our nation. I am one who has always supported our troops. I can't understand those that don't. I guess they just don't get it. ((hugs)) Anna, I know it must have been hard to send him off. ((more hugs)).

DixieRedHead said...

Hi Anna. YOur post touched me. As I'm sure it does alot of people who have family overseas. I will add yall to my prayer list and continue to remember you until that faithful day when your hunny returns. All my best to you!

mom2am said...

Hi Anna
I can understand how hard it must be for you.Will pray for your hubby's safe return and for you and your adorable girl.