Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thank You to the Families left behind....

Recently, I began seeing all the thank-you’s pouring in for our guys in serving in the Middle East, and rightfully so. Yet… I feel that the women and children holding down the home front are being neglected. Not by everybody…but I realize the sacrifices these women and the children are making. Well I want to say thank you. More than that, I want to post some of their stories here:


Jenn
(27), mother of three, National Guard Husband (and high school sweet heart) in the SB (Sand Box)

Crystal, 26- Married 1 yr (been together for 4 yrs.), Army Husband stationed in Korea. Haven't had the chance to live together since married.

Charmaine mother of three, Army husband in Boot Camp. She is selling their home, leaving all family to follow him to Texas. They have never spent a night apart since marrying seven years ago, until he shipped off to Boot.

Kasie (20) mother of 22 month old son, Army husband soon to deploy.

Helene from Sweden, Army Fiance, in Iraq. They have been engaged for little more than a year now and together for almost 18 months. He has been gone 11 months now and he hasn't gotten any leave but will be home soon. This has been the hardest year she has ever experienced but would do it again without even thinking about it because she knows it is worth it.

Amy (34) Army Husband is stationed at Ft. McPherson in Atlanta doing rotations in Kuwait. AMy lives in Alabama, she is trying to seel their home to be closer to Ft. McPherson (Atlanta).

Stephanie (22) mother of 10 month old son, Army Husband served two deployments and to be deployed again soon.

Mandy
(21) mother of 5 month old son, Air Force Husband in SB since Sept.

Shelly
, Army Son in the SB.

Haley (20), Army fiance in SB...They plan on getting married when he gets home. Have been together 4 years. Her future mother-in-law is Shelley (see above).

Megan (20) mother of 5 month old daughter, Army Husband in SB 11 months so far.

Kelly
(19), Army Husband getting ready to deploy.

Stephnie L.
, mother of three, National Guard Husband in Kuwait.

Loan (pronounced lahn) Army Husband in Iraq, she has cancer. She lives in base housing in a state completely removed from her family and her husband's family.

Laura (36), mother to six children (not a typo, SIX children), Husband in the Navy and deployed all the time. I used to be Navy so I know they leave home their whole career, peace time and war time. Laura works nights at Walmart to help supplement the income.

Heidi, mom of three-13, 10, and 6, National Guard Husband in SB. She has to handle a Teen and Pre-teen (both GIRLS!) alone.

Michelle, mother of four, Army husband, in the SB for 10 months.

Lori, children are grown, National Guard husband on second deployment. Hers has been a struggle much more on an emotional level,
the part about being alone day after day (no kids) without my best friend. I work full time in law enforcement, which takes most of my energy, and what's left goes to taking care of the house, paying the bills and all the other chores.


Sherita (27) mother of four, National Guard Husband in the SB. This is the second Thanksgiving without him.

Sherita continues:
DH just returned home from a 2 yr in-state deployment December 2004. This is the 2nd yr we’ve been without him on Thanksgiving but the 1st Christmas without him. My main struggle while hubby is gone is trying to deal with 4 rambunctious kids, one with severe breathing problems and trying to keep a clean house to keep the breathing troubles at bay and remember when all the bills are due. The baby has had breathing troubles since birth and just as we think they are getting better he plunges again. He is under constant watch by a lung specialist trying to figure out what causing his ails. They are doing a sleep study soon to test him for sleep apnea. He has a dark area in his lungs they just don’t know what it is. Just gets so frustrating having to deal with it alone. Then trying to pay all the bills when the military messes up the pay. The days I don’t have time to think about him not being here unless things get so crazy and I just burst into tears. But the nights they are the hardest. We’ve been married for 12 yrs now since I was 15 so I’m so used to him being there it’s hard sleeping alone....


I have had the privilege of conversing with these women and sitting in on their struggles. They don't talk about what is in the back of their minds. They never mention facing the risk of death their beloved faces everyday. They can't watch the news without worrying themselves sick. They deal with every problem alone and try to conjure up what would their husband say or do. They wait by the phone hoping against hope that he will call. If he is late calling they fall apart only to pull themselves back together again so he won't worry when he does call. They fight with a Military bureaucracy that defies comprehension to get problems with insurance, housing, and pay etc., resolved. They face unbelievably thoughtless comments from family "Who has he made beneficiary??" and friends "I hope he doesn't get shot listening to the MP3 player you bought him..." and struggle to regain the thread of sanity they had held onto.

Some days they fall apart. They can melt into a mass of blubbering tears and the next minute be a solid granite wall so the kids don't see Mommy lose it and worry. Some days they spend crying for no reason at all. Then the next day they are helping a sister in arms through the same emotions. They are nothing short of incredible. They are awe inspiring and I have learned a lot from them. I am a better person just knowing them.

These gals are sharp, bold, strong, resilient, weak, flustered, and scared all at the same time. They are deeply in love with their Soldier and willing to do anything for him while he is away doing everything for his country. To them, and every single wife/husband/mom/father/child of a Soldier, I have a deep sense of gratitude and I owe a hearty thank you. So, to the families left behind..... Thank You!

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