Photo Credit - redbloodedamerica.tumbler.com
If you are in the military I know that you are strong, And, I don't necessarily mean physically strong. You are mentally and emotionally strong. Even though you receive the best training available, it can be emotionally and mentally draining to continue to be "strong" - to always be on the top of your game.
It has been 20 years since my husband retired from the Marine Corps and I still see his scars from his time spent in Desert Shield and Desert Storm over 25 years ago. He experienced so much that he will never, ever be able to remove from his memories and that he will never, ever share with anyone - because that is how the "old corps" Marines roll.
I don't mean for this article to be all doom and gloom, but this is reality for our family.
We left a week ago for our only family vacation in over 2 years. We are down in Disney World with our oldest child, our son-in-law and their two children and our granddaughter that we are raising. 2 weeks of fun in the sun!! Disney World, Universal Studios, Epcot, MGM and yesterday Disney's Animal Kingdom was just awesome!
Thank goodness my Marine is strong because we were here only 2 hours when we received a phone call from the wife of my husband's best friend. They are in Ohio. She called to say that his best friend had passed away. I didn't know who he was talking to on the phone at the time, I just knew that he went from being extremely happy to being in tears and sobbing within seconds of receiving the call.
I can't speak for the rest of the military services, but in the Marine Corps you typically have tons of "acquaintances" and just a few people that you call "friends". Eddie and Marty were friends for over 37 years. They shared apartments together, served in the same units together - they were both Military Policemen - they survived on measly salaries by making macaroni and cheese the main course for most of their meals. The memories are deep and wide.
As we are out and about thinking of the holidays at this time of year, it is easy to get caught up in all of the "hoop-la" of presents, spending money that we really don't have and thinking about the next best and biggest electronic item that the kids think they can't live without. It can be hard to continue to be strong for the children when what they really want is for their mommy and/or daddy to be home for the holidays.
I'd like to ask you to think about things a little different this holiday season. Think about how you can possibly give to others instead of how much you can give to yourself. And, I'm going to be a little selfish this year and ask you to consider helping a military family in need. I know, first hand, what it feels like to have a husband gone for Christmas and have to be strong for the children. If you would like, a way to make a difference is to donate a toy to any Toys for Tots location at your local Fredericksburg Starbucks. The Blue Star Mothers has been helping with these efforts for 3 years now and we have generated up to 5,000 toys that are given to military children on Christmas morning.
Let's help each other stay strong this holiday season.
To find out more about Blue Star Mothers of Fredericksburg visit our website @ www.bluestarmothersva4.com