Monday, April 18, 2011

The difference a YEAR makes.

Anyone that has known me in the last 365 days knows exactly what I was doing a year ago today. If you need a little recap, here it is...

Fast forward a YEAR to the very day he returned home from his last 12 months in Afghanistan and just this morning I watched him walk out the front door of this empty house in uniform for the last time. He never saw it and I never thought I'd say this but I'm going to miss that ugly drab uniform.

It has come to mean several things to me over the years. I'll never forget back in the day when the uniform was still green. We had only been married for a few months and I remember the day he brought home that drab tan and grey uniform. It's presence meant only ONE thing. Deployment. Man I hated the day he put that uniform on. It was the day we said goodbye for the first 7months we would spend apart. The next time I saw him in person in that uniform was still one of the happiest days of my entire life. That uniform took on a whole different meaning when i saw it march through the doors of green ramp in multiplying succession. It meant I could breathe again, that he was SAFE, that I was safe, that he was HOME. I've seen that roller coaster come around the tracks several times now. It still usually has the same stomach sickening effect when he leaves and similar relief at his return.

Today marks the ending of a VERY exciting book. One that I never anticipated to read. Some chapters have been joyful while others were very trying. The reading of this "book" called Army life has forever changed who I am. It has made me a better person. It made me more independent, patriotic, and understanding. It has made me and my children more adaptable because we all know, in the Army, everything CHANGES. Today we make our biggest change yet. We will leave the first house we have ever owned, the first neighborhood I ever loved, the first post we ever called home together. Today we begin a new book. In this book, the ending is yet to be written. We control our destiny. It is being set free. Free to go and do and decide. With the knowledge, lessons and integrity that was afforded us by our choices to serve among heroes in the United States Army, we have no doubts that our opportunities will abound. We are lucky to carry with us the life experience we gained as part of the Army family and I know we will always feel a part of it. I am so proud to have been married to a man that would sacrifice it all for the sake of his country. I'm happy to continue friendships with those that are called to serve and protect. I look forward to taking the things I've learned in this lifestyle and applying them to better our civilian life.

Today, we say goodbye to the Army but we both know very well that the Army will always be a part of us.

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