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Army Life: Reflections of a Career

Posted by on 1 March 2009

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything under “Army Life”. It’s not because I don’t want to, but more because I don’t know what people want to know about. I thought now would be a great time to share part of our life. As of today, we’re officially retired from the Army after a career of 20 years, 5 months and 1 day. Or something like that!! It’s not like we were keeping track!!

This retirement has brought alot of reflection to the whole family.  It’s a life that gave us many memories…..some good and some bad.  So for each Sunday in March, I’m going to share some of our reflections of the Army and the life we had. 

First off, you’ll notice that I say “WE” retired.  This career was a joint venture.  I’ve had many people ask me how I can include myself in that.  Well, just ask Lean Green.  He’s the first to tell you that it can’t happen without the support and love of your family.  I was there every step of the way.  I never gave up.  Did I want to??  At time….YES!!  We almost got divorced once, but that would have been the worst mistake that we could have made.  Miss K is the result of us staying and working through it.  She made her presence known about 3 months after The Man returned from an unaccompanied tour to Korea.  What a reunion!!  HEHE

That was just one of our reunions.  We never saw each other after we got married.  Well, that is for about 6 months after.  Since he was in school, he had to get to his first duty station in Germany and then get command sponsorship for me.  He met me at the airport and I was dazed!!  When we got to our new “home”, it was the cutest little apartment that I’d ever seen.  It was a fully furnished basement apartment.  It was tiny but cozy.  I wasn’t there long when he went to the field.  Training must be done!!  He was in the field when our first household goods came in too.  That’s when I realized I was going to have my hands full with his chosen job.  Ah, I can’t even begin to tell you how many events he missed, but that’s another story.

We were still in Germany when he went to Saudi Arabia for Desert Storm.  I about freaked, to say the least.  There I was in a foreign country and my hubby is off fighting a war.  Just great!!  When he came home, there was no grand celebrations and they only came back in small groups.  We have an awesome picture of us in front of a Saudi map though.  It’s one of my favorites. 

There were other unaccompanied tours.  Another one to Korea.  He went to Egypt.  When we were stationed in Georgia, The Man lived in the field.  Everything was about training and being ready on a moments notice.  Rapid deployment.  Then another war came.  He left at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was there a year.  Let me tell you, if it can go wrong, it WILL go wrong while they’re away.  Miss K was attacked by a dog in the face.  Our freezer died with at least $1,000 worth of food in it.  I had to keep the cars running and serviced.  But oh, that reunion.  For the first time ever, I ran to him and jumped in his arms.  I was hugging and kissing him.  The sight of him returning home a war hero is the most amazing thing.  To watch him march in and the flags flying.  People cheering….people crying.  The vets of past wars in their wheelchairs and with their canes going to meet the new heroes.  I can still see it all.  I can still hear it all.  Miss K standing in the bleachers waving her sign at her daddy.  Man, how kids grow while daddy is away. 

My daughter is so strong.  Our daughter.  Her and I are as close as any mother and daughter could want to be.  But oh when daddy is around.  They have a bond all their own.  She was never told “oh you just wait until dad gets home” when she did something wrong.  I dealt with it on the spot.  I didn’t ruin their phone calls with that crap or their reunions with impending doom.  They got to share and enjoy their time together.  She’s strong because him and I were strong.  When he’d leave, I’d never cry.  I couldn’t cry.  Had I started, I might not stop and then I’d never live.  I had to live.  They’ve never seen me cry and I’m proud of that.  It’s not that crying is a bad thing.  We all need to do it now and then.  But I’m proud because he never had to worry if I was going to be alright while he was gone.  And I’m proud because she knew that if momma was ok, she was going to be too.

Ah yes, Army life is hard.  But Army life is also wonderful.  We never said “good bye”.  We only said “see you later”.  And we did see each other later.  God was with us through every single moment of our career, whether we wanted to admit to it or not.  He gave us that strength and he gave us our families.  Goodness knows I wouldn’t be half of who I am without my family and their support.  So yes, it’s OUR career.  All of us put a little something into it.  I couldn’t be more proud than I was yesterday as we sat around together talking about all the things that were.  I’m married to an awesome soldier and I’m honored and proud to say that I have a soldier.  We’ll forever be an Army family.

So that’s the story of just one Army family and their reunions.  I’m not sure what I’ll write about next time, but goodness knows there’s plenty from a career like we had.  I hope that you enjoy these flashbacks and please, let me know what you’d like to know about.

4 Responses to Army Life: Reflections of a Career

  1. Amazing_Grace

    Thank you for your “Army Life” update. I live right by a military base (hubby works there) and we go to the miliary base chapel. We are probably the only family that doesn’t have a military background that goes to that church. LOL!

    I went to one friend’s retirement ceremony. It was great! 🙂

  2. Kathy

    I love the part you mentioned about you and your daughter being close. Great info here on Army life

  3. Debbie

    I like the reunion part of this post. LOL

    How about this for a question:

    Did you chronicle things from everyday life so that you could share it with hubby in a letter or when he was home? Are there things you’ve forgotten to tell him about? Are there things you’ve told him recently that he never knew about? No need to be specific. Here’s an easier way to word my garble above; How did you communicate with each other when he was gone?

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