This past week, I got to watch as my brother was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. His lieutenant bars were pinned on his shoulder by this pregnant wife and their ten year old son as their three year old helped her daddy put his new pin on his hat. I watched my brother proudly carry the American flag during the parade ceremony with his graduating class.
What struck me during the festivities was how often the leaders mentioned not only the strength and determination of the soldiers they were in charge of, but each and every one of those soldier's families. The commanders thanked their parents, spouses, children, and more for supporting their airman while they dedicated themselves to serving our country.
They are parents nervous for their child.
They are spouses trying to be both mom and dad.
They are moms running the kids to every practice and school event, trying to hold down the fort on their own.
They are dads trying to comfort their children who sometimes just want their mom.
They are children who count down the days until they can simply get a hug from Mom or Dad.
They are siblings, like me, wondering when their brother will next be deployed, knowing everyone who will be left at home when they do.
I want to thank the military leadership that day for recognizing the sacrifices the families of these soldiers make on a day to day basis, especially the military spouses. It takes a special kind of badass to be married to a soldier, and so many of them do it with incredible grace. My sister-in-law drove thirteen hours to go to her husband's graduation with two kids in the car, all while about to burst pregnant, and my sister who drove with them said she didn't complain once.
It is simply what you do.
Thank a soldier today, and then thank their family. While the front lines they stand on are very different, both deserve our gratitude each and every day.
You can always find on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I love hearing from you! #LoveMyReaders