It is a beautiful thing to see a couple get through something that challenges them in every area of their lives (like a deployment)—and because of faith they do not give up. When the deployment is over, they can look back over the months of discouragement/loneliness/fear and say with confidence, “My God took me through this.” And what if things did not go easily—struggles with children/finances/ temptations/health?
I'm not a young Army Wife. This is not my first, or my second, or my third or my (you get the picture) deployment. And it doesn't matter. I miss my soldier as much as the next wife. My kids miss their Daddy as much as any kids would. Deployments are hard regardless of who you are and what number this one is for you.
Without a doubt, Christopher Nolan’s powerful rendition of the evacuation of Dunkirk is one of the great cinematic hits of this summer. But a significant limitation of his telling is that the movie opens on the outskirts of Dunkirk in late May of 1940 with little explanation of the "what, when, why and how?" for those not familiar with the early days of World War II. The battle for Dunkirk follows on what historians call, “the Phoney War”, an eight-month period of relative quiet land actions immediately after Germany’s blitzkrieg invasion of Poland in September 1939. On May 10, 1940, the German advance to push Britain off the European Continent began again in earnest.
I learned a lot during this deployment. It changed me. Let me share: 1. I learned that I am stronger than I think. No military wife is ever ready for deployment. From what I hear from other wives none of us really feel that we are strong enough to go through a deployment. But at the end when we look back,
Day One—The Best Ship in the Navy I wanted to thank you personally because, though we are logging long hours, we are having a good turn at the wheel and we are building our team one cat shot and trap after another. Looking deeper within the skin of the ship, the CIC, Galley, Engine Rooms, Admin Spaces and more are all turning out what keeps us moving and keeps us safe.
I’ve made a list of things people hate to hear when their spouse is deployed. Perhaps you could add to this list, but these are the statements about which I’ve heard complaints: “I’m sorry.” “I know how you feel. I was a single mom.”
Have you ever pushed the “Send” button on an email or text. . . .and then wished you could “take it back”? Once it’s gone, it’s gone. . . .and if you’ve experienced this feeling of regret, or maybe even panic, you know that email & texting are great tools but have their limitations. Without tone of voice, without context, without a smile or a frown, without really knowing how the other person is going to “receive” your message—it’s hard to rely on technology to communicate everything you want to your spouse.
It’s unusual for a wife to speak at her husband’s military retirement ceremony. More “normal” is for him to give her a gift—maybe a bouquet of roses—and then speak about her sacrifices as a military wife. Then she usually receives a commendation—pictures are made with her—and much applause is given to her, as it should. So when I heard about this poem, recently included in the printed retirement program of a dear friend,
She was a strong woman. Perhaps that came from being the oldest of seven—no doubt a rowdy bunch. Perhaps it came from growing up during The Great Depression and having to work hard at home. Perhaps it came from having two pretty strict parents who expected a lot from their kids. She was strong even in the days when it wasn’t the “norm” to be a strong woman.
When I see it—in actions, words, or formal presentation, it’s always a favorite combination . . . power with tenderness . . . When I first read Eric Blehm’s book on the life of Navy SEAL Adam Brown, "Fearless", I was struck by this description: “Known for his compassion, Adam was always the first to do something like break open a light stick for a baby to play with or give a candy bar to a terrified child. But he wasn’t the only one. In a group of men whose business is killing, the fury they release upon the enemy is rivaled only by the humanity they display for innocents caught in the crossfire.”