I remember learning to climb the monkey bars on the SEAL obstacle course at the Coronado Amphibious Base. I remember eating a sandy peanut-butter sandwich at St. Augustine beach and seeing the Navy planes in the distance. I remember learning to roller-skate at the ramps of the base movie theater until late at night with a pile of kids, because we were on base, and it was safe. I remember living across the street from the Arizona Memorial, and thinking that every kid knew how to sail. I remember the way my bedroom windows shook whenever a Hoover whooped by and we all just stopped momentarily, and waited three seconds to continue our conversation. I remember the numbered stickers on the bottom of all our furniture, a different color for each move.
I remember meeting a handsome young Naval Aviator on the steps of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church when I was home studying one weekend. I was wearing a white linen sailor dress. And I remember saying goodbye to my fiance and holding my heart in my hands, squeezing it like I needed a tourniquet.
But he always came home. And he’s on his way home to me, now.
One thing I’ve come to appreciate during this IA deployment is the greatness of all our services … my husband has been in a “joint” environment this year wearing an Army uniform and living on an Air Force Base – where at least one roommate was a Marine. And though in past years I’ve heard stories about competition (and the obvious superiority of Naval Aviation), my husband’s messages have been overwhelmingly appreciative of the talents of the other branches.
Hey we really do have a kick-ass team, y’all.
But today’s thank you, on their 236th birthday, goes to the United States Navy. I wouldn’t have wanted this life to be any other way. It seems like a strange thing to say when I spent more time apart from my husband in the first two years of our marriage than with him. But from this spouse and brat, it’s worth saying that I always had what I needed to see that process through. Thank you US Navy, for taking care of me – so that I could take care of my two guys. I’m still counting on you. For my life, my freedom, and for the freedom of my children.
Now, may I please have my husband back? Because I’m ready for him to come home.