It has been 14 years….
On this Veteran’s Day, I wanted to share with you an event in my life that truly makes me appreciate the men and women who serve and have served our US military.
I was what you would call an Army Brat. Since I was four years old until the day I graduated high school I traveled the country and the world while my dad served in the US Army. As a child of a Soldier I don’t think I ever really understood what it meant for my dad to serve our country.
It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that both my dad and my boyfriend set off on their first deployment known as Operation Iraqi Freedom. That was in 2004 and back then communication with your loved ones was by letter and the once a month 10 minute phone call if they were lucky.
*A little back story, I was living in Germany at the time as my dad was stationed there as a First Sergeant in the US Army. I had met my boyfriend, now husband, of all places, at a club on a random Friday night. He was a young Private First Class in the US Army only being in for about a year and also stationed in Germany.*
It was the night of November 11th, Veterans Day, I was woken up by my phone ringing, it was my boyfriend calling. I answered it super excited to hear from him. I don’t remember the entire conversation but I do remember him sounding a little out of it and telling me he got hurt really bad. At first, I did not believe him, I thought he was just joking around with me. It’s wasn’t a joke, he had been hurt bad. He was calling me from a US Army hospital in Iraq and they were getting ready to evacuate him to a hospital in Landstuhl Germany.
Hours later after getting off the phone with him my dad called and had told my mom that he had not yet been able to see Ethan, but heard it was pretty bad and for me to be prepared for the fact he might have lost his leg.
That moment is when I really started to appreciate the men and women who serve and have served, to truly appreciate the men that have served by the side of the men I love.
Since that day my father is now retired from the military, and my husband, who thanks to the amazing men who served beside him didn’t lose his leg, has continued to serve our great Nation. He has since completed two more deployments, during one of those deployments missing the birth of our daughter Emily and meeting her for the first time at 6 months old.
I’m going to leave you with a letter about the night of November 11th 2003, and that I not only appreciate and respect the Veterans in my life, but the ones that have served beside them, before them and will serve after them.