Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Proud Wife of a Veteran

Here's a picture of my sweet husband while he was in the middle of advanced Army training. We got married very young, on his 20th birthday. Within a few years, we had two kiddos and realized that we couldn't afford to raise them on high school degrees. Mike decided a great way to earn money for college would be to join the military; he did and then we found out we were pregnant with Child Number 3 while he was in basic training!

Michael spent two years training for his military intelligence career and then was stationed in West Germany. The three little darlings and I flew over to finally live together after a long two years. Of course, his unit was very busy and gone on lots of border patrols ... yes, the border between East and West Germany. We were living in Nuernberg, Germany when the wall came down. Due to the sensitive nature of his work, we never did make it to Berlin. Actually, we didn't get to travel much since he was low-paid E4 and we had such a large family.

I recall our family being such an oddity since most German families only had one or two children. We lived "on the economy" - in a German neighborhood instead of on-base with other American families - and they were as fascinated by us as were with them. We tried to learn the language where most didn't, so most locals were tolerant if not kind. My darling worked long hours, was away from us A LOT, and then his unit was one of the first ground troops that crossed the border into Iraq during the first Gulf War. So many other American families went "home" while the guys were deployed, but I couldn't afford four airline tickets to the US so we stayed put during those dark months, banded together with other remaining families, and lifted our soldiers up in prayer constantly. We had to go past armed guards to shop at the Px, our cars were checked for bombs whenever we entered and exited base, and there was barbed wire and more armed guards outside Trevor's elementary school.

The lack of communication was hard. There was no internet or Skype back then; we had to settle for notes hand-carried by someone visiting the unit and those treasures were few and far between. I worked briefly at our regimental headquarters as a civilian, and I think more of my letters went through than most. My husband saw and endured things I can only imagine, all for his family and our country.

Thank you to all who have served and are serving. Your sacrifice means so much. Especially, thank you, darling. You're my hero.

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