Friday, January 13, 2012

Farewell to a place we have loved...and hated...


"We" will be out of the army in just a matter of months.  The mixed emotions that come with that are surprising to me.  I never thought I would love the Army as much as I do.  It is shocking that I have made so many friends in the military.  The military is such a unique place.

Where, in life, do you ever make friends with other women....spending every night together and all weekends together bonding over the fact that our husbands are at war...
When would you ever have the opportunity to take weeknight classes, "Holiday Treat making", "basic household tasks..", etc.  NEVER if my husband was home, but I definitely did that with him gone!
We endured 4 (or was it 5?) deployments in five years.  It has to be four, because one of them was 15 months long!    We dealt with losing several great friends, watching children lose parents and wives lose husbands.  We watched parents sit alone each night as they missed their spouses on long deployments and tried to raise their children alone.
We made great friends.  We realized that the bonds you make during wartime are unlike any other bonds, for the husbands and the spouses at home.
We took road trips and had girl's night to keep ourselves entertained.
Who else understands it when you say, "My husband is in the woods this week" or "My husband will be in the field for the next month" or "He is TDY for three months this year" or.."He has worked until 11pm every night this week"..."Live fires this week, so he'll be spending the night at the range"..."We're going out to the dropzone to watch the jump".
Just bizarre, this life we have lived.
We realized that we were beyond blessed to be a part of the RGR community, as they are a group of people unlike any other.  They are tough, hard core, family oriented, crazy, 'type a' and just all around WILD.
But...They rallied around us when we found out about Briar's fatal birth defect.  They sent him home.  FORCED him to stay home to be by my side.  For that, I will be forever grateful. I called a girl who lost her spouse to tell her how sorry I was, and she proceeded to tell me how sorry she was about my sweet boy.  That is the sort of family and community that we lived among.

When we got in {the military}, I couldn't wait to get out.
Now that we've been in, I don't want to get out!
It is clear to me that the Lord wants us to move on, or we would not.  Brandon has been in his dream job for the last 7 years.  Blowing things up, going after bad guys, and ministering to guys he works with.
Did I mention stable income and incredible healthcare?
Clearly, God has called us out of this job, or we wouldn't be leaving.  Never did I think I would say that about the military.  Gosh, how God shapes our desires into his own...

It is such an amazing thing to know that you are walking out of a place you are called to be...the military...into a place you are called to be more (right now)...we have LOVED the military. And I have loved the people I have met being involved with it.  It is certainly not a warm, fuzzy place full of the easiest times in the world, but it is a special bond I wouldn't trade for anything.

So, farewell military world...we aren't leaving you until my husband's back gets straightened out...since all those jumps (out of airplanes with 50lbs attached to his back) and ruck marches for 15 miles with a 75lb pack have really messed him up :) We leave you with lots of great memories. Lots of special times, good and bad, with other families (our plt sgt {platoon sergeant} breaking it down at the military ball with the batalion commander's wife.....traveling to Arlington National Cemetery to honor one of our dear friends and fellow soldiers....introducing Briar to one of our favorite Ranger families (he only met two families other than our own)....knowing that my husband prayed for his guys before every mission...the doors the Lord opened....meeting friends at Captain's Career Course who came to really know the Lord and will be forever friends....  The memories are dear...we leave with tons of them.
I scanned this photo in.  It has rips and tears in it.  It is special.  It is my man in his uniform, such a ironic picture of a lover of the Lord...but a fighter against the enemies of this world.  Only going after the worst of the worst....whether you agree with fighting the battles our country has fought or not....the fact is...the military men of our country have been put on the line to fight for us.  To fight for freedom, for peace, for all the things our country stands for.  Whether they agreed with the actual reason for fighting or not.  It is now a part of history.  And as we leave the military, we are proud to take with us a little piece of that history.
But also proud to move on!


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  1. That was so great! My family and I love the military and always support them no matter what.this post made me teary....God Bless Yall and all those who sacrifice. Yall are the best!

  2. LOVE this post! If not for the Army, I would have never met you and B.! I've been so blessed by you. I'm so excited for the next leg of your journey! RLTW, even when getting out and going into the Ministry, a new ministry!

  3. So thankful for people like your husband who faithfully serve our country!!!

  4. What a sweet post! I love seeing those pictures. I feel like I just got a glimpse into the life that we have missed from living far from on another. We are so thankful for Brandon and his service. We are also thankful for all those families (like you) who have to make the sacrifice of being alone during a season. Thank you for your selfless service.

    Whats next???

  5. Thank you, both, for your service! :)

  6. Wow, I'm so emotional (insert a "You're probably pregnant" Josh joke here). You've beautifully captured so much of how I feel as we close our time in the Army. Love you guys!

  7. SO happy that the Army brought us to know you and Brandon...for that I will ALWAYS be thankful! <3 you!!

  8. awesome post. i had no idea y'all were getting out...what will you be doing?