I sent this note two days ago to my Military Moms Support Group, as there seems to be an inordinate amount of military family members who are having difficulty with their families and friends due to our military’s ongoing involvement in areas worldwide.
Unless you’ve been on our side of the wall and walked in our shoes, you cannot begin to comprehend what military families endure for the sake of their loved ones. It is a tremendous sacrifice on our parts, but it is one we gladly endure a thousand times over for our servicemembers. We don’t do it for accolades or for self-worth: this is our life! And we make a conscious decision every day to give up our right to self to support our loved ones.
Anyone can say, “Oh, I understand” or “I don’t see how you do it”, but it takes that special someone made of the same caliber as our servicemembers to walk the miles we have walked, to cry the tears we have cried, and to endure endless nights of worry and prayer, and, most of all, living with the fear of the unknown.
So next time you encounter someone who has a family member in the military, take a moment out of your life, not to criticize their role or to condemn, but simply to encourage; give them a hug – we all need one on occasion. And don’t forget to thank our beloved servicemembers for the call-of-duty they have chosen freely…..it’s their job – and they love it! And we love and support them!
A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT
I’ve wanted to write this for a while now, as I know that from time-to-time most of us are struggling or have struggled with the insensitive remarks and lack of understanding and support from our fellow “civilians” and/or other well-meaning family members who don’t understand the how, what, and why we endure, put up with, struggle with, etc., on a day-to-day basis as a military family member. Lately there seem to have been several postings touching this subject, so I would like to offer you some hope and encouragement, and share some of the insights and some of the “wisdom” I’ve acquired throughout my 26 year journey, first as a military wife, and now as a very proud mom of two Marines. (Two young and very handsome Marines, I might add!)
The first article, “14 Things You Should Never Say to a Military Wife” can be found online at The War Report. I also share this article a SC friend/Marine Mom posted on my FB wall earlier this morning and titled, “Appalled Over Comment About Service Member”, whichcan be found at The Lexington Chronicle. Ms. Donna’s posted article parallels a story brought to the attention of our FRG a few years ago during our country’s second incursion into Iraq shortly after 9-11. You can access this article onlineor just Google “Gutsy Lady Defends Military “ or “Military Wife in Restaurant”. And, yes, this incident did happen in real life: Lori Kimble, a 31-year-old California native, is the wife of a serviceman and now teaches in Alabama. She contributes occasional pieces for editorial publication through various sites online.
If you have seen the movie, “FACING THE GIANTS”, Coach Grant talks to Brady and the rest of the defense team about a new play strategy:
“In the Old Testament, “ Grant said, “Nehemiah had the task of building a stone wall around his city for protection. But he didn’t have enough people or resources or time. But because each person worked on the stone wall that was in front of their house, they got it done in record time. That’s what you’re gonna do. On defense, you have to resolve nothing gets by you as an individual. Nothing gets by us as a team. I need you to build me a stone wall.” “Oh, yeah,” Brock thought. “We can make that work.”
Well, in the movie, they do go on to win the championship in the face of supposed “insurmountable” odds!
I would greatly encourage that we “build that wall” and maintain a strong fortitude in the presence of any negative naysayers we may encounter in our lives; that is not to say we are to physically confront every single person, I highly discourage that route! But we can square our shoulders and stand strong side-by-side in the face of adversity and rest secure in the knowledge that we are not the first to travel this road, nor shall we be the last. There are countless others ahead of us who have already blazed the trail and have overcome insurmountable obstacles that are no longer of any great consequence or hindrance to us.
And lastly, and this is the most important: You Are Not Alone! This amazing support group can be our lifeline and our neighbor in building the wall that gives us the strength and peace of mind which enables us to endure adversity with the courage, the bravery, and the spirit of fortitude through the sheer force of will and determination to confront our fears and uncertainty that our beloved military men and women live with and confront each and every day as they stand on that wall for us.
Let us determine to build that wall for ourselves and for our families left behind!