September 1, 2013


Today marks Dave's last official day in the Army. There are a million things I want to say but am not really sure how. I am so thankful and proud of his 5 years of service. I'm thankful for his year spent deployed in Afghanistan away from friends, family and comforts we take for granted. I'm thankful for his dedication to our beautiful country, to the freedom that he and so many others fight to protect. I'm thankful and overwhelming proud, but I'm also happy that his time serving has come to an end.

You can't understand being a military spouse until you are one. Even me growing up as a child of an Army Officer (we call ourselves army brats-it's an endearing term) had no idea what I would face as a wife of a soldier, especially a deployed one. I had dealt with my Dad's many deployments, but it's drastically different when it's your husband. Our whole first year of marriage we spent separated, he in a war zone, and me in the states. You become something else when your other half is gone like that. It's not the same as a work trip to another state-please don't compare it to that-this is a hardship. You don't know when you'll talk to him again or whether he's safe. Thankfully he returned to me safe and sound and not much worse for the wear.

The Army is an amazing creature. It has a life of it's own. If you're not apart of it you won't understand fully, but it's a living, breathing organism that doesn't really need the outside world. If you live near or on a post you really never have to leave, all your essentials are there. Your life is the Army. The Army doesn't wait for you-you wait for the Army. Cancelled trips, cancelled plans, missed anniversaries and cold dinners, are normal as a military spouse. It's not because he doesn't love you but the Army comes first and when you married him you signed up to be second. Our country doesn't fully grasp what Soldier's and their families give up to protect this Nation. I am proud to say I have been a part of the Army for my whole life and I have seen families thrive and pull together in hard times. But I've also seen families fall apart from multiple deployments because of the strain it put on the wife/husband left behind. It's a hard life and I want to acknowledge everyone that is their Service Member's support system, you are amazing! There's so much more I can say but this is about the end of Dave's service so I'll refrain from going on.

The decision to get out  or stay in was Dave's to make alone. I knew that  if I swayed him in any way he could possibly, years down the line, resent me for it. There were pro's and con's to either choice and I learned from the best Army wife (my mom) to be supportive in whatever he chose. He chose to get out, to settle down and come home to me every night at a certain time. I'm excited for this next chapter in our lives where WE decide our big life decisions. We already love it here in Florida and can't wait to get involved in the community now, knowing that we won't have to leave in a year or two.

Here's to civilian life Dave! To hopefully more stability and lots more time together. I love you and am so very proud of all you do. Thank you for your service.
{first family pictures in Florida} Not my favorite photographer-I am not that porcelain and Dave is not that creepy smooth.

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