Yesterday, my mom was in the car and heard the host of a radio talk show on WGN, out of Chicago, read a letter from a listener. She emailed it to me as soon as she could and this is what she wrote:
I just wanted to let you know that I am very proud of you and all you do. Mom, Dad, Daughter & Sister - you do them all well and you along with all the military wives who do this should be honored right along with their soldier.
I was very touched by what she said, even if she is my mom. She is not the first to share this sentiment with me and, for that, I am grateful. I have always had very positive experiences with my civilian family members, friends, and acquaintances. I think that after reading Andi and Joan's recent posts, this letter is most appropriate as it comes from a civilian with no ties to the military. It's not a short read, but a good one.
Letter to a Military Spouse
While I have never had the pleasure of meeting you and your husband, I felt the need to write you and express a very deep feeling that I have in my heart.
I as a person, am not brave. I do not tackle things head on, as I hate confrontation. I will travel 100 miles out of my way just to avoid a conflict. I am a American woman that has no idea what is going on in the military other that what I hear on the news. I never had to let go of someone so that they could go fight for people that they did not know, people that sometimes do not appreciate or understand what they are fighting for.
I have never had a sleepless night of worry because of a report that another bomb has exploded and I still haven't heard from my husband. I have never had to wait for months on end to hold the one that I loved so.
I have never had to tell my children that daddy wasn't coming home tonight because he was so far away fighting for something that they aren't yet old enough to understand. I have never had to hold my head up high and suppress the tears as I hear that it will be at least another six months of separation before my loves one gets to come home.
I have never had to deal with a holiday away from the one that I thought I would share every day of my life with.
And I have never had to feel the panic, rising in my heart at the sound of a ringing phone or knock at the door for fear that it is the news that everyone is terrified of getting.
For the reasons listed above, I can not tell you that I understand how you feel. I can not tell you that you must be strong. I can not say that you shouldn't be angry, because you " knew what you were getting into when you married a military man." I can not say these things because I have never had to walk in your shoes.
What can I say for certain is that because of your unselfish acts of bravery and your husbands willingness to stand up for those who see him as " just another soldier"---- I will never have to walk in your shoes.
I do understand that a military wife you are expected to uphold a certain amount of control , but I never understood how you could do it, until now. I have figured out that you are not like other woman. You are of a special breed. You have a strength within you, that holds life together in the darkest of hours, a strength of which I will never possess. The faith you have is what makes you stand out in a crowd; it makes you glow with emotion and swell with pride at the mention of The United States of America.
You are a special lady, a wonderful partner and a glorious American. I have more respect for your husband than I could ever tell you, but until recently I never thought much about those that the soldier leaves at home during deployment.
Until this moment I could never put into words exactly what America meant to me.
Until this moment, I had no real reason to... Until I heard of you.
Your husband and his military family hold this nation close, safe from those who wish to hurt us.... But you and those like you are the backbone of the American family. You keep the wheels in motion and the hearts alive while most would just break completely down. Military families make this nation what is today.
You give us all hope and you emit a warming light at the end of a long dark tunnel.
Because of you and your family...I am able to be me. I am able to have my family. I am able to walk free in this great land. Because of you and your family, I can look ahead to the future with the knowledge that life is going to be okay. Because of you and your family, I can awake to a new day, everyday.
I realize that you are a stronger person than I will ever be because of these things and I just wanted to take the time today to say thank you to you and your family for allowing me that freedom.
I will never be able to repay this dept to you, as it is unmatchable. However, I hope that you know that no matter where you are... what you doing... what has happened today...or what will happen tomorrow...your husband will NEVER be " just another soldier" to me... And you, my dear sweet lady, will never be forgotten.
You are all in my prayers everyday and I pray that God will bring you back together with your loved one safely.
Melissa G. Bouldin-Reeves
I personally believe that there are many more in this country of ours who feel just as she does. Maybe they don't know how to express their gratitude or what to say, but I believe they're out there.
Note: Although this letter was written to military wives, of course, there are male military spouses too. Substitute "husband" for "wife," and everyone is covered, and thanked for their sacrifices. I simply printed this letter as it was written.