It's the oldest cliche in the book..."There's just something about a man in uniform." These days, there must be something about those ladies in uniform too because I have seen more than my fair share of guys going gaa-gaa over the gals in their military best.
But, after marrying Hubs, I often wondered where my respect, love, admiration and awe for those who volunteered to protect our nation came from first. I had all those warm, fuzzy feelings long before I actually had Class A's hanging in my closet. Hubs knows exactly those in his life who influenced his decision to enlist. I had to wonder if there were similar people in my life who influenced me to love those troops and to love one more than all the rest.
A little searching and I think I found my answer...
This is probably one of my most treasured photographs. I had perhaps seen it a few times growing up, but it wasn't until after my grandfather passed away in 1999 that I came to realize how significant this photograph is to me, my family and to how we became who we are.
My grandfather carried this photo in wallet from the time he served in WWII. It was taken in a small photo booth in New York City when he was on leave. My father, the chubby baby Grandpa is holding, had to accompany my grandma to New York to meet my grandpa during his leave because, as she so eloquently put it, "Well, in those days, if you left a baby that small at home, he'd die...babies need to eat, you know." Yes, Grandma, I know!
I also remember the wall in my great-grandmother's house full of my uncles, cousins and even my grandfather and father's photographs. All 8x10. All in uniform. Army and Navy men who proudly served and whose images instilled in me, even as a young child, that there was something about our nation worth putting on a uniform, leaving your home and accepting that our nation is special enough to protect. I remember each Sunday going to Grandma Great's after church to eat a big dinner and sometimes being able to talk her into telling me again where each had gone and how long they were away. I remember thinking how important it must be to do what they did since every man in my family had done it.
This was an interesting little journey for me. I wonder how many of you have taken the same mental walk? Do you think something prior to meeting your spouse prepared you to take on the responsibilities of a military spouse? Was there something more than his buzz cut or her confident gaze that drew you to the military way of life?
We'd love to hear about it!