Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Reasons I Love Living in a Military Town

This is going to be one of those random blogs that is just me talking about something that makes me happy. I obviously live in a military town. Fort Hood is the largest military installation in the United States. I grew up having respect for the military but not ever really thinking much about it. Then my brother joined the Army right before I graduated from college. I then was able to stand a little taller because I was the sister of a soldier. After 9-11, fear hit me. I realized then that war was inevitable and I was scared about how it was going to effect my brother and my family. Then I met Shawn and my whole perspective changed. Clay went to war in OIF I. During the time he was gone, I got engaged and married to Shawn. Shortly after our wedding, Shawn deployed for the first time. It was during that time that I began to get frustrated with the lack of understanding from those in the civilian world over the life we lead as a military family. Shawn and Clay overlapped in Iraq by about a month. After they both returned from Iraq, Shawn and I got orders to the same installation Clay was stationed at. We ended up here in Central Texas and Shawn deployed again. Clay left a few months later leaving me completely alone in a strange town 700 miles away from home. I am telling you all this to help you understand a small portion of my background with the military. I definitely went through a trial by fire being a new spouse married to an officer and not truly understanding everything that was going on around me.

That all being said there are some things that I truly love about living in a military town. It isn’t all wonderful but there is a better sense of understanding for the life we lead. If I had to choose between going home during a deployment and staying here away from my family, I would definitely stay here. I am surrounded by people who are either going through or have gone through the same thing I am dealing with. I don’t feel the pity here that I felt at home being the only person most of my friends knew that was dealing with the separation of a deployment. The patriotic spirit in this town is amazing. Everywhere you turn you see “Support Our Troops” signs and American flags. It just makes you proud. I think the Fourth of July celebration on post really helped me to appreciate it more. I mean where else can you see soldiers in uniform holding the flags of all 50 states while Black Hawk helicopters hoover over head and canons fire. It was amazing. Then there are the random sights that just truly make you smile. While waiting in the airport for my flight home two weeks ago, an older gentleman walked up to a soldier getting ready to return to Iraq from R&R and asked him, “Has anyone thanked you for your service today?” Or how about the Korean War Veteran in a local Mom & Pop joint paying for the meal of a couple sitting at the table next to him because he knows the young man is a soldier. These things just make me happy and proud of my husband and his job. It is different for him because it is his job but for me it is the life I chose when I married him. That’s all I have to say about that. Thanks for letting me have my moment.

No comments: