Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Tribute

I personally want to say Thank You to all the those who have fallen, those who have served, and for those that continue to fight for our freedom.  There are no words to truly express the gratitude I have in my heart.

I am not the type of woman to call myself a “Military Wife”, I am not married to the military, I am married to a man who just happens to be in the military.  But, I must admit, being married to a man in the military does have its quirks…

I met my husband through a mutual friend; honestly, we met through Facebook!  He was currently deployed in Afghanistan, but my girlfriend insisted we would be “perfect for each other.”  Little did I know one “friend request” would change my life as I knew it.

A few weeks of e-mails and chatting went on, and then Will mentioned he would be going on a two week R&R in about three months.  I was bold, and asked if he wanted to meet while he was on his leave.  He liked the idea.   Months crept by, but the day we would finally meet came.  I walked out of the gate and there he was.  The rest, as they say…was history…

Three and a half years together, two years married, and a one year old baby girl named Anastyn, and here we are, stationed in Hawaii as one little happy family.

My husband is an aviation structural mechanic (AM) in the Navy.  Deployments are rough, of course I miss him, and sometimes worry, but I knew what his job entailed when we met, and I support him through it, just as he supports me.  To be here with him I left a really great job at a large medical facility and moved over 4,000 miles away from my family, but, I’ve gained so much.  He supports me in my pursuit of my Masters, and eventually, my R.N., and gives me the luxury of being able to stay home to raise our daughter.

When he’s gone we do our best to stay in touch through e-mails, phone calls and occasionally, Skype.   It’s not ideal, but we make it work!  Don’t pity me or any other spouse; we get what many do not get but once – that first kiss.  I get that first kiss every time he returns.  One of my favorite quotes:  “The worst part of life is waiting.  The best part of life is having something worth waiting for” – Jessica Brumley

Top 3 rules of being the wife of a man in the military:

1.      If you schedule it, he will go – on deployment. 
2.      When he leaves, it will break.  All of it.
3.      Do not go to the commissary on pay day – heck, avoid it that whole week if you can!

So far I have been lucky.  The only thing my husband has missed so far is 2 birthdays (mine), 1 Thanksgiving, 1 pre-baby Christmas, and 2 New Year’s.  He missed a few months of my pregnancy, but he was there for the birth of our daughter, her first Christmas, and this past Sunday, he was there for her first birthday.

Many spouses go months and years without seeing their husbands, some say good-bye to their husbands for the last time when they board that plane.  I stand by my husband and am proud of all of his accomplishments, and thankful for his service and for all the other men and women out there who serve, and have served, to keep us free.  I just hope that this Memorial Day everyone recognizes that it’s not just a day off work to BBQ and go to the beach, it’s a day to remember and give thanks to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, and for us.


When I was 18 years old, I left home for boot camp. Nothing can quite prepare you for Marine Corps boot camp. That right there is a little slice of hell on earth. But nothing prepares as well or as needed for deployment to war as effectively as Marine Corps training. My entire time I was in Iraq, whether it was flying by helicopter by night across the Al Anbar province, convoying across Fallujah at night, or encountering enemy fire in Ramadi, I never once feared for my life in Iraq. I didn't let the thought enter my mind.

But looking back, I am amazed at the things I experienced in war, and look in awe at what my brothers and sisters in the military do on a daily basis all across the world. It's a special breed that serves in our modern military, and I am proud to have been a part of it. Not a day goes by where I don't have a moment of gratefulness to be alive, and subsequently have a moment of pause and reflection for those who didn't make it back, regardless of what war it was. I pray for their souls and the families they left behind. 

This Memorial Day, every Memorial Day, should serve as a reminder to what we should really feel and experience every single day: awe, respect and gratefulness to those who paid the ultimate price. God bless.

Sgt. Daniel J Redding

The military was always something I thought other people did. I never thought I would be one day marrying a Marine. 

As a military wife, I learned things I never knew about myself. I learned you have to be ready for anything at all times, because you just never know what the next challenge will be. I surrounded myself with some great ladies and a church who banded together and helped each other. Cooking meals, babysitting when husbands would be gone for weeks, keeping up with uniforms, events on base to go was an ongoing job for military families. Finding those that had been "in" for a while helped because they seemed to know what to do and the most efficient way to get it done.

The nine years my husband served in the Marine Corps brought some of the proudest moments of my life and some of the hardest. The day we found out we were expecting our first child, my husband was notified he was being deployed to Iraq. Needless to say, that situation was not planned to happen that way, but we were forced to adapt and overcome. Missing the birth of our first daughter, the nine months of him being away, adjusting to life after he got back- its all been a growth experience. There are times that were taken away from our family and given to the corps. My husband heard his daughter's first cry over my cell phone. Military wives seemed to know "it comes with the territory", and it was just another thing I'd need to adjust to. Recruiting duty for 3 years brought another set of new challenges that we met head on. 

About 10 months ago, we left the Marine Corps, but I am very thankful to everyone who serves and keeps making sacrifices for our country on a daily basis. 


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