On August 7, 2008, my life changed forever. It was when I said, “I do” to the most amazing man in the world. Unbeknownst to me, I also joined the British Navy that day. I didn’t go into a recruiting office, sign a piece of paper, and start boot camp. As a civilian, however, I had no idea how significantly my life would change. I had no clue that to marry someone in the military meant you were, wholeheartedly, like it or not, part of the military as well. As a single mom who juggled a career and a family, this new life seemed like a walk in the park.
I’m writing about this new role of mine as a military wife because Remembrance Day approaches here in Britain on November 11th. as well as, Veterans Day in the United States. These very important days draw near, and we prepare, on both sides of the Atlantic, to show support for our troops in different ways. Here, in England, we pin red poppy flowers to our clothing to proudly show our support. We also generously donate money to causes such as the British Legion, the American Legion, the Wounded Warrior Project and various other organizations. Special apps are created on Facebook and plastered all over our walls.
I do all of the above. I drop money into donation cans in the supermarket. I proudly display my poppy on my jacket. I attend the Remembrance Day Parade/Service on the Naval base my husband works on, and I honestly can say I’m thankful to all of those who serve their country, past and present, alive and deceased, retired, active duty, deployed, and non-deployed.
Thank you all.
But, I also want to thank a very special group of people who seem to be overlooked. A particular group who do not receive donations from various organizations. They aren’t honoured in a parade, nor have a special flower that is displayed on clothing in order to show they are supported. This special group consists of the loved ones who are left behind. They are very important, indeed, as they hold the family unit together at home.
They are left behind for various periods of time, spanning from days, to weeks, to months. Whether they have children, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, all of the above or none of the above; in some way, shape or form they assume two roles in their household. If they have children they become both a mother and a father. They cover all duties, big and small, and are on call 24 hrs/day, 7 days per week. There are no vacations for them.
And, there are those whose loved ones will never return. In the face of duty and bravery, they perished, and God has called them to a new home. It’s heartbreaking to watch as they pick up the pieces at home and march onward, looking forward into the future, creating a new life for themselves and their families.
I would like to thank all of these amazing people. A few I know, most I don’t. Those few I know I’m honoured to call my friends, neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances. Whilst you take the time to thank our service men and women this Remembrance and Veteran’s Day, please also remember this other special group of remarkably strong men and women.
Is there anyone special that you will be thinking of this Remembrance and Veteran’s Day? Please share it with World Moms Blog in the comments section, so we can think of them, too.
This is an original post for World Moms Blog by our resident Navy Mum, Jen Warren, of the UK. Jen can also be found at her blog, Children of Chorizo.
Photo credit to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alizzze/2530057393/sizes/m/. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.