"Tell your children of Him, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation." Joel 1:3

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Snapshot Sunday: The Vet

It's easy to decide who to do this week's Snapshot Sunday. In honor of Memorial weekend and all our vets, my very own Marine will be the subject.
Jason entered the Marine Corps right out of high school. And as sad as I was to watch him leave for boot camp....it was sorta cool having a Marine for a boyfriend.

For the next 4 years, he did his duty and we wrote lots of letters (something all of today's emailers and texters won't have a huge box of to pull out someday and read).
We got married in 1995, and as much as I'd love to say all eyes were on me...the bride...truth is, it's hard to resist watching a man in Marine Corps Blues.

I became a Marine wife, and I think my old bumper sticker was true....it was one of the toughest jobs in the Marine Corps. I watched him deploy 5 times over the years for 6 mos. or longer. Each time with new challenges for me to handle on my own...

and more things for him to miss while away.

After 8 years of active duty, he transferred to the Marine reserves and we moved back home. After spending 8 yrs. as a full timer, the weekend pumps were a breeze for him. But then, in 2003, he was activated once again.
This time into battle.

Saying goodbye to his 3 little boys and a pregnant wife.....not an easy thing to do.
I remember watching him walk away that day and, quite honestly, not really knowing when...or God forbid, if....I'd ever see him again.

So again, we wrote. No emails or cell phones...no skype or even updates from his command. The only way I even knew he was safe was because I hadn't gotten a visit from the Marine Corps telling me otherwise.

It took 3 mos. of him being away before he got a 10 minute opportunity to call home.
All we both did was cry and say I love you. It was the best phone call of my life.

He returned home just 7 short days before I gave birth to our 4th boy.
Talk about an emotional delivery.

It wasn't long after that that he got out of the Marine Corps. He misses it dearly, but he said he didn't want to put his family in a position of losing him ever again. He watches the news about deployments and he feels guilty....like he should be there too.
You see, us civilians have our loyalties. We're loyal to our families and we're loyal to our friends. We're loyal to our jobs and we're loyal to our faith. But unless you've served in uniform....unless you've slept in a desert half way around the world next to a guy who, just as you, hasn't showered in 6 weeks......unless you know the feeling of having someone have your back 24/7 and it's in a way that can mean life or death.....you don't understand the loyalty that my husband has to the Marine Corps. It can't be explained, it can't even be taught. It just is.
And all I can say is. Thank you God for that. Because without it, we wouldn't have the freedoms that we are so privileged to have. And we wouldn't know what it's like to worship, speak, or live freely. What a blessed Nation we live in.
Go out of your way to thank a vet tomorrow. Whether someone you know or the old man who just got out of his car with a WWII Vet License plate. They deserve it.

It's The Soldier
-Father D. E. O'Brien

It's the soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the PRESS.

It's the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of SPEECH.

It's the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to DEMONSTRATE.

It's the soldier, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a FAIR TRIAL.

It's the soldier who salutes the flag,
Serves under the flag
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who gives the protester the right to burn the flag