Photo from my husband's homecoming/our two year wedding anniversary 9/12/2010
"So far away from where you are, these miles have torn us worlds apart and I miss you, yeah I miss you and I wish you were here"
You spend your childhood planning your wedding and your happily ever after. You dream of "true love's kiss" and of wearing a poofy white dress. You dream of being a newlywed and spending days curled up in each other's arms. For many women this dream turns out just a little different. Instead of the poofy white dress and the big church wedding there are those of us women who give that up for a shotgun courthouse wedding due to a last minute deployment. We turn in our hopes and dreams to a marry a man who just happens to wear combat boots to work. His suit isn't tailored and it doesn't include a tie. He goes to work wearing camoflage. He is our hero and our best friend and even though we know what we're getting into will be hard we know that we can make it through because this man, this handsome man in uniform, is more than worth it. We spend pregnancies alone and raise children on our own. Most of our children know daddy as a telephone or a computer screen. We are single, but married, moms. We are a different breed of women. We don't depend on our husbands, we depend on ourselves and when we are feeling weak we pull strength from somewhere deep inside and we survive. We play the role of both mommy and daddy. We spend sometimes as long as eighteen months without our other halves. We are faithful and we love with all of our hearts. When people ask us how we do it we simply reply, "I just do. I do it because I love him."
These woman wait by the phone sometimes for as long as two weeks just to hear their lover's voice, to know he is safe. She checks the mail often, waiting for a letter. We wait and we love and sometimes we start to lose hope. Sometimes we feel like giving up. Sometimes we aren't sure if we can go on with this life but then we hear his voice and his comforting words, "It's okay baby, I'm safe. I'll be home soon, I promise. I love you". His words and his love is what keeps us going. And even when he's home and not in a foreign country he is still gone. He is working weird hours and long shifts. Sometimes he is home after we are already asleep. Sometimes he leaves when we are tucking the little ones in bed. He is on call 24/7 and even works weekends. But we cherish every minute we have together. We know that every minute could be the last and we value life more than most. We are the silent ranks, the strength behind our husbands. We love and fight and we never run out of pride. It takes a special kind of women to stand behind a military man.
There's another kind of woman. The kind of woman who has a folded flag lying where her husband should be. Somebody who doesn't have a return date for her husband but still knows she'll see him again one day in a place where they won't have to worry about deployments and finances. She cuddles her children as they cry together wishing daddy was coming home. Her husband was one of the men who gave the ultimate sacrifice. She knew this could happen but prayed every day it wouldn't until she heard that knock at the door and her whole world crashed down. And even in the hardest situations of her life she finds strength and unlike the other wives her strength is from her husband. His spirit and memories are what push her through. She is left to carry on and to care for her family alone. She is the forgotten military wife and as strong as they come.
We're all different. But we are all in this together.
"I cried, never gonna hold the hand of another guy, too young they told her, waiting for the love of a travelin soldier. Our love will never end, waiting for the soldier to come back again"
[For more deployment/military wife songs CLICK HERE]