Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Steel Magnolias (aka Military Spouses)

I witnessed an all too familiar scene while we were preparing to leave Germany last week.  We were in the security line for the rotator-along with lots of men and women in uniform on their way to a deployment.  I think I have explained the military rotator system before, but here's a refresher.  The Air Force contracts an airline (the oh so lovely World Airways) to fly from Baltimore to Germany to Turkey to Krgyzstan and back again.  Once troops arrive in Kyrgyzstan, they take smaller planes "downrange" to Afghanistan.

Anyways, there we were in line.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a husband, in uniform, standing with his wife-who was clearly upset.  I immediately got a familiar sinking feeling.  They were stationed in Germany and he was deploying.  She was there to see him off.  She walked as far as she could with him in the security line.  When she could go no further, she stood behind the ropes and watched him, in tears, until he disappeared into the waiting area.  My heart hurt for her.  I thought about all my friends here who will be saying good-byes to spouses soon who are deploying.  I thought about my friend Amanda-who has a 2 and 4 year old, pregnant with number #3 and without her husband who is Afghanistan.  She was in Japan when the earthquake and tsunami struck.  She traveled across the world back to Texas with both kids to prepare to prepare to have #3 at home.  I thought about my friends Luke and Katie.  Katie is currently deployed and Luke just found out he will be leaving on a deployment a little before his wife is scheduled to arrive back home.

I have discovered a little secret since becoming a military wife almost 8 years ago.  It isn't for the faint of heart or spirit.  It usually involves a lot of heartache and tear and frustration.  I am quite frankly in awe of some of the ladies who have crossed my path.  Their strength and spirit are inspiring.  You just don't come across these type of people everyday, and I am thankful for the chance to know them.

Please remember military spouses in your prayers.  Lots of marriages get torn apart temporarily for our freedom.  I hope I never forget the face of the women in the terminal here-or how it felt to be without my husband for 5 months.  I think it will give me gratitude for the rest of my life for the sacrifices made by so many on my behalf.

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