Imagine this: Six weeks into dating, you meet up with your man and he’s shaven his head. He tells you: “I joined the army today.” How would you feel? Scared? Angry? Proud?
Well, that’s exactly what happened to me 10 years ago and my life hasn’t been the same since. Fast forward and we’ve been married seven years and have three wonderful children and a goofy dog. We’re really, ridiculously happy. Yet Remembrance Day has always made me cry. I cried because I couldn’t fathom the type of sadness people in the military had been through.
I cried at school assemblies, listening to the young students struggle through “In Flanders Fields”. That time I stood in the snow, watching my husband march in a parade. And most recently, watching the ceremony in our Nation’s capital from home with my arms wrapped around my three kids. I cried. Especially because of what I now know.
I learned, living in a small military town for seven years, that some families don’t have a happy life like mine. Some families are broken, torn apart, or lost. And we need to remember them. They are out there, right now, with undying support and love for our soldiers. No matter what happens, they stay. They are loyal to the end.
This Remembrance Day, as a military wife, I encourage you all-as always-to remember our veterans, our fallen soldiers, and the men and women who fight for our rights and freedoms to live in this beautiful country. They choose to keep us safe, and it’s an amazing and difficult choice to make.
During that moment of silence on November 11th, I also want you to think about the families and the living behind those veterans and soldiers. Think about the civilians. The husbands that say goodbye to their wives, not knowing when they’ll return. The mothers that say goodbye to their kids so they can help other people’s children. The families that have lost so much yet continue to stay and support the military at all costs. They deserve to be in our thoughts too.
I’m a crier, so I know it’s okay to cry. But now I cry for different reasons. I cry because I am proud to know so many members of the military. I cry for the ones I’ve known that didn’t come home and for their families that will never see them again. I cry for the wives and mothers I know that love their husbands so much, they spend most of their time apart. I cry because I know there will always be war. And I cry because war is something I never want my children to experience.
This life was not the one I expected, but it has far exceeded my wildest dreams. People think I’m being sarcastic when I say I’m “living the dream” but I truly am.
So my moment of silence might be a little longer this year. And I would encourage you to take an extra minute or two. We’ve got a lot to remember.