A Military Family

A Military Family

From Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul

A Military Family

Love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:7

Today marks six months that my son’s daddy has been deployed to Southwest Asia. He’s fighting to free the people of Iraq. He telephoned last night to tell his five-year-old son, “Happy Easter.” He was sorry that he couldn’t send some special holiday goodies but knew we’d understand. After all, he’d missed Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. My father passed away, and my husband was able to come home for a few days to attend the funeral. He left again on Valentine’s Day. Easter was just another day for me without the man I love. But this was easier for me: I’ve spent most of my life in a uniform that matches his.

We met during Desert Shield, and have been through several deployments and many “TDY” trips apart from each other. I am used to separation. It is part of being a soldier. We joined to serve our country and have given a combined fifty years of service to a land in which the passing flag still brings a tear to our eyes.

Our little boy was brought into the world at Fort Bragg, the land of “Hooah,” airborne soldiers. His first memories are of Daddy jumping out of airplanes. At five, he has already lived in three different duty stations and spent countless hours in daycare facilities. He has become an intelligent youngster with a keen sense of current affairs, and he can point out most countries on the map of the world and tell you about the people who live there. He understands what soldiers do because most of the adults he knows either wear a uniform or are married to someone who does. It is because of him that I watch the news again! We have open discussions about what we hear, and he challenges my opinions. We learn about the world together.

My husband told me last night that we would soon have to make the important decision of whether to stay in and try for general officer, or retire from the military for good. He implied that it would be a family decision, so I asked our son for his input. I tried to explain our options to this small version of his father. I was sure he would say how much he missed his daddy and how much he wants him to come home. After all, he tells me that every day.

He said, “My daddy is a great leader. He’d look good with a star.”

As I dropped him off at preschool, I thought to myself how grown up he was, this little soldier of ours. He is the bravest, most dedicated one of all. It is he who has made the greatest sacrifice so his daddy can protect others.

Terry Hurley

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