Happy Day After Veteran’s Day

By , November 12, 2009 1:07 am

I can’t sleep after a busy Veteran’s Day.  I had the grand idea today to use my veteran’s Home Depot discount to buy paint for our master bedroom.  Twelve hours later, I succeeded in painting the room with only a few splotches on the carpet courtesy of the 4-year old.  Painting most of the day gave me a lot of time to think about my first veteran’s day out of the active Army.  I couldn’t help but ponder sacrifices.  My grandfathers’ sacrifices.  One left the farm and high school to discover sea sickness on a naval ship.  The other left his new bride for a year to fight in World War II in the South Pacific.

Veteran’s Day is my parent’s anniversary.  They celebrated their 31st with a phone call as my dad is currently in Iraq on his second deployment.  My dad enlisted in the Army 28 years ago, answering his call to serve as a 29-year-old father of two.  My mom’s held down the home front, their business, and the farm, for every drill and deployment, usually without breaking a sweat.  You can’t celebrate veterans without acknowledging the sacrifices of their families.

I thought today of the soldiers I’ve been privileged to serve along side.  I used to make my them fill out a 3×5 card, a “get-to-know-you” card, just for me.  Besides the usual, name, rank, family information, I asked them to tell me why they joined the military.  I pulled out a few of the cards today. They were dated October 2002.

I joined the Army…

because my Mom wanted one of her sons in the military.

to do something with my life.

because I hated Minnesota.

to provide for my daughter.

to get out of my house.

to serve.

A few months after writing these cards, I deployed with these soldiers.  I’m still amazed at how collected they seemed when we crossed into Iraq for the first time, many of them still in their teens.

I had a happy Veteran’s Day.  Happy that I’ve survived two deployments.  Happy that I left active duty to provide for my family at home.  Happy that my little Bubba told me today he can’t wait till he’s bigger and drives a car and plays in the Army.  I guess I should go to bed, but not without thanking all of the soldiers that are away from their families tonight.  Happy Veteran’s Day to you!  I eagerly await your safe return home and thank you for your sacrifice.  I pray for you every day… even the day after Veteran’s Day.

March 2003

March 2003, Iraq

© 2009, FROM MILITARY TO MOM. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to “Happy Day After Veteran’s Day”

  1. kimpunkrock says:

    did you notice that the picture looks like a metal sculpture of a soldier doing push-ups?

  2. Alyssa says:

    Whoa! I never did but now I won’t be able to look at it and not see that. Thanks for the comment, Kim!

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