What my Veteran has taught me...
Nov 11, 2018 / Inspiration
I know this is outside my usual fitness and nutrition topics, but I hope you are able to learn more about me and how outside influences have impacted my life.
If you don’t know already my husband (my handsome veteran) is a pilot in the Air Force. We have been in the military for 10 years with too many days apart to count. While some of you may say this is an awful thought, I can say with certainty that I do not regret all the days alone. I do not regret choosing to take on this lifestyle with him, or being the woman at home supporting his cause and passion. I have learned so much through his sacrifice, dedication and selfless love. I have come out stronger than I ever thought possible! For that I am proud AND grateful to be a Military Family.
This Veterans Day brought a lot of emotion and confusion on what our future holds for us. We have spent months wading through the decisions that will be best for our family. It left me wanting to write this post to let you all know that while being a military wife is HARD, it is also the one thing that has had the biggest impact on my life, in a positive way.
That impact is because of this guy.
It has been for the moment I met him.
If you have ever used the phrase, “I don’t know how you do it” to any military wife, keep reading because I am about to help you understand why I "do it."
Life lessons I have learned from my Veteran…
He has seen and been a part of things that I do not want to even imagine. He has seen death, disaster, starvation. He has been to trainings that have pushed him to dark places that I cannot comprehend. He has witnessed so much bad yet somehow, he doesn’t see it. He only takes it in for the moment, breaths, then looks beyond the devastation with a new sense of hope.
He leaves for months on end and only talks of the day he will be home, not the time he is gone. He takes advantage of his travels and embarks on adventures (much to my dismay!) that he will never forget. He lives for the moment, not just in the moment.
We live in a bubble every single day where the littlest thing can instantly change our mood. We take for granted the ability to look beyond what is in front of us and see the good in what lies ahead.
I am good at finding the problems and dwelling on them. He pushes me to see beyond what I have now and envision what I can have IF I just keep trying. His famous words, “Just give it time” do not always go over well with me, but every time I continue to believe because he does.
He is my role model for OPTIMISM
The moment he made the decision to fly there was no looking back. He knew it could impact his ability to find a spouse, find a place to call home, and be at every one of his future child’s birthday. Yet, he had no hesitation signing a paper that would forever change the next 12+ years of his life. He had all the power to choose a different path and he stuck with what he knew he was meant to do. He had the strength to accept the challenge and work hard to not just survive, but to do his absolute best.
If you could go back and ask my naïve 19-year-old self how I was going to do military life you would get the answer, “I won’t. There is no way I will be a military wife, I couldn’t do it.” I had no faith in my own personal strength. I didn’t want to live a life in the unknown and constant change. I wanted to stay in my bubble and never leave.
Then something happened, this guy shows up at my parent’s house to hang out with my brother and he changed all of that. While we were dating, not once did he show me any weakness or wavering in his decision to commission as an officer in the Air Force. His strength gave me strength and that is all I have ever needed to be able to be the military wife that people always wonder “how.”
I “do it” because I made the choice to support him. No regrets, no looking back.
He is my pillar of strength.
There is this joke within the piloting community that says…
Q: How do you know someone is a pilot?
A: They tell you.
There is for sure some truth to that. My husband is not one to hide his love of flying. If the opportunity presents itself to discuss his job, he will talk FOR-EV-ER. I can’t tell you how many of his stories I could tell you myself. SO MANY, but I love that he is not shy about his passion and lets others in on his adventures.
What he, and most military members do not do is put the uniform on everyday and walk with the expectation to receive praise for what they do. While they deserve it, they do not ask for it. Their sacrifice is only something that they look at as a job that they choose to do. To them it is not something of more value than what you or I do.
Honestly, he is actually uncomfortable and awkward when he is put in a social gathering/event where he is in uniform. He graciously accepts the “thank you’s," but you will never catch him dressed up in a flight suit for Halloween.
Some days as a mom I feel so completely underappreciated I start to de-value my worth. I start to think that every little thing I am doing for everyone else is going unnoticed. I want praise in order to feel like my job as a mom has value. I want to put on that “uniform” and walk around with an applause sign.
Then he comes home looking mighty fine in his uniform and I am reminded that I do not "mom" to receive praise. I did not choose to become a mom to be applauded for a job well done. It is so much more than that! My praise comes with the endless hugs, kisses, and “I love you’s” I receive daily from them.
He keeps me humble.
He has missed holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, recitals and kids games while answering the call of duty. There was a time in his career when we didn’t know on Wednesday what country he would be in that weekend. He works nights and weekends so his men can be home for special events. He shows up for them and supports the mission even when it takes him away from home.
However, even with his constant “on-duty” I know me and the kids have always been his #1 priority. He sleeps in airports to catch horrible red-eye flights to make it home for a kids soccer game. He fights jet lag in order to be on our schedule. He takes kids to school after getting home at 3 am from a 24 hour shift so I can go to the gym. He steps outside a restaurant half way across the world to Facetime so he can sing the girls their bedtime songs.
Moving a handful of times in our 10 years has challenged me socially. Each new place I am learning to “start over” and build a new HOME for my family. I learned really early that I need to establish connections with people that I could trust and rely on. I need people to help me pull through the deployments, endless missions and constant training's. In order to build these connections I need to be the one to show them the exact same things I needed from them. I need to show the same loyalty my husband shows to our family. It was time for me to show up for others.
This has been my GREATEST lesson I have learned from him. I feel like I can say loyalty was part of me to begin with, but because of my introvert personality I did not let it be one of my greatest strengths.
Now, I know what you are thinking, “How can I get myself a Military man?!” Sorry, this one is taken!
The military has given us many challenges, but it also helped us grow as a couple and family. I will forever be grateful for the time we spend in the Air Force. We wouldn’t be who we are otherwise. I think we are just as POSITIVE, STRONG, HUMBLE (maybe…) and LOYAL people just like you and this is how we got here!
I am so grateful you took the time to read the post so I could share this little part of me with you. Please take the time to share (links below) this post with family and friends who you know may want to learn more about why we do it, or that have the same struggles we do.