Freedom is never free. - Author Unknown
Today is Veterans Day, a day when we honor all of the men who have served in our nations military. Hopefully it is a day when we reflect on how blessed we are to live in freedom and consider the sacrifices of all who have served to give us that opportunity.
My husband is a former Marine. Soon after we married, his reserve unit was called to serve in Operation Desert Storm. Even though it's been many years now, it is all vivid in my thoughts especially on a day like today. I remember getting the news that he would be leaving shortly after Thanksgiving, the difficult goodbyes, the anxiety of not knowing where he was or how he was, the long weeks with no news at all...and that was only on my end.
I know conditions were difficult at best for him over there. He doesn't talk much about what happened, but from the photos he brought back and some of the stories he has told us....I can't even imagine what it was really like.
I recall sitting alone on the floor of my living room watching the first bombs begin to drop over Iraq, seeing the grainy images of tracer fire across the sky. I remember friends and family who called (by phone...these were days before email, cell phones and texting) with words of comfort and support.
I believe our best friends broke land speed records to be with me that night, and I know my dad made a trip from Virginia. I have memories of the two of us sitting and watching as war began to unfold. Thankfully, it was over so much more quickly than many of the wars in our past. I remember the great joy and relief I felt when the news came that the war had ended - just six months after he left, he returned home.
I think of how very blessed I felt to have it turn out the way it did. I think of the many long and bloody conflicts in our past. I think of the families of so many that never returned.
Today, I would like to salute him along with all the others who have made the difficult sacrifices necessary to preserve the freedom we all enjoy. Thank You Tim - I love you.
Tim and Ben about 1995