Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Couple's Story

I went to the gym today and happened to see a friend of mine. Her name is Traci. Traci was born and raised in Queensland, Australia. She has the ruddy good looks of an outdoorsy type of girl. She grew up around horses, rides and trains them still. Traci is a very strong, salt of the earth woman. She wears no make-up, has beautiful skin and peircing blue eyes. Traci has a ready smile and an open heart. She is a born adventurer.

Traci has been in the States awhile... she met her husband, Troy, while they were both in Australia. He was coming back to the States and she decided to take the leap and follow him here. They travelled together then lived together for awhile; and while employed at a ranch in Tennessee, he proposed, she accepted and they were married. Troy is a good ole Southern boy. He says Ma'am and Sir to his elders. He is slow to anger but is a straight shooter. He is tall and weathered looking from years spent hunting and riding. They make quite the couple.

About 2 months ago Troy decided to join the Army National Guard. He had long dreamed of joining the Army but never did. At 37 years old he decided that if he was ever going to do it, he might as well go for it. He is scoring in the top 10% of his boot camp company in all areas. He is ahead of the pack in shooting, running and physical training. His Drill Instructor told the company that he "would like to have him in Iraq, I know he would have my back..."

At Christmas several of us girls had planned to go see the movie "Memoirs of a Geisha". Mainly because Traci was going to be alone for the Holidays. Four days before Christmas Traci was at work when a tall thin stranger in an ACU uniform came into the vet's office clutching a dozen roses. She didn't recognize him until someone said "Is that Troy?". Yeah, Boot Camp changes a person. He had surprised her and was home on Leave for Christmas.

As Traci and I stood discussing the merits of a Military life she reflected on their choices. She mentioned she has a brother in the Army. He is in the Australian Army and serving in Iraq. Now her husband is wanting to volunteer and go. She says it is a struggle because she so desparately wants to have him home, but she understands the drive he has to be a soldier. Regardless of what Troy decides she is behind him 100%.

She says she realizes it will be a huge sacrifice. "My brother was in Iraq when it all started. It was very scary not knowing day to day what could happen. I realize the dangers. But I also know this is a life long dream for Troy. This is something he needs to do. We will make it through..." Her brother is back in Iraq now.

There is a wistfulness in her eyes, she loves her soldier because of who he is. He is a warrior and is fulfilling that destiny. Yet it is hard being the one left behind. It is difficult to love a soldier. You love the part of them that wants to be a Knight and slay dragons, but dread the battle that may end their life. Do you play it safe, keep them home and risk seeing the light in their eyes slowly dim, a rather sort of slower death. Do you let them soar to new hieghts and glory in their flight all the time fearing that getting so close to the Sun will melt their wings. Traci has chosen to let him soar. She knows she is his anchor.

I am proud of Traci and proud of Troy. It takes a lot of guts. These two are the kind of people who settled the West *and* Australia. Pioneers. I am a better person for knowing them.


Blogger mauser*girl said...

In re: to your question on my blog, YES I DO. :)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006 4:30:00 PM  
Blogger yankeemom said...

I can't say it enough - Military wives and girlfriends are very special and amazing people! They are warriors themselves even tho they don't go into battle. Their mission is on the homefront and they do it well.

Thursday, February 16, 2006 10:57:00 AM  

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