Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Thank a Soldier and Their Family Members Today

The fourth of July, how many really care or know for that matter what it means or stands for?  How many are planning great BBQ's without a thought to a lonely military widow or lonely military family?  What about the disabled or elderly veteran that lives in your neighborhood?  When was the last time you invited them over and said thank you?

Perhaps the wife of that Marine or Sailor who is on his third tour and away from his family and she is raising the family with a brave front, putting on that smile. Did you think to invite her or them or even him over to your BBQ, your party?  So many military families today DO NOT live on base, they are lonely and feel alone because not only is their spouse away, their family may be on the other side of our beautiful country.

I know this, because my husband was in the Navy when I met him and I remember the first time he left for a short deployment, I was pregnant, working full-time and had 2 other sons at home and hubby made me promise NOT to cry, to be brave and strong. That was when there were no cell phones, no internet, no Skype, no pagers, long distance calls cost a small fortune and you could still walk your loved one to the departure area of the airport and stand at the window and wave good-bye.  I was brave, until I walked away from that window.

You learn after the first time, getting your keys locked in the car while they are gone is NOT something to tell them about or call them over, face it, if they are out to sea or out at war, what are they going to be able to do about it but laugh?  You learn to suck it up buttercup and keep going, put on a brave face, smile and pretend life is good when your heart is broken.

If you are living on base, you have so many other families to reach out to, to share with, to feel like you are family. However, if you live off base, you may not have those family connections. So, just because she smiles, doesn't mean she is doing okay, it means she is carrying on as she is expected to do.

So, go over and knock on their door today and invite them to your BBQ, let them know it is your way of saying thank you for sacrificiing so much, so I can enjoy today, because believe me, the families do sacrifice alot!

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