My heart broke just a little bit yesterday.
I watched as my son, the Marine, had to say goodbye to his little family and head out to his next duty station. He will be traveling and training for the next month, so we won’t see him for some time. For the Marine and Sunshine, this is nothing new. They have been soulmates during all of the Marine’s 10 years in service, and his share of deployments. But this time he had to leave his little man.
The Marine and Sunshine fought for stiff upper lips as they said goodbye, knowing this must be done. They know, and I know, that Marines, sailors and soldiers do this every day. They say goodbye to their families so they can be ready to protect our country at any given time. Of course, that knowledge doesn’t make it any easier.
We often think of our service members during the holidays, knowing many are away from their families while they’re overseas, often in areas of danger. For many diverse reasons, (economic, schools, elder family care) there are service members who are here, stateside, stationed away from their families. It’s called being a geographical bachelor. And it is not easy. In fact, from what I witnessed yesterday, it sucks. Being in the next state is just as hard as being on the other side of the world.
These are the sacrifices our service members make on a daily basis. The sacrifices their families make are just as important. Children, like the lil Prince, grow up knowing Mom and/or Dad is doing something important for our country and can’t always be here for football games and such, even though they would want that more than anything.
It was hard to watch, but I am proud of Sunshine for being strong for her little man. And for her big man. The Marine wouldn’t be able to do what he has to do, if it weren’t for her stability. Marine wives are a special bunch and their training can be just as hard. The Marine and Sunshine are a good team, always supportive of the other. Their family will always benefit from that, no matter what.
I will be here, helping Sunshine and doing my best for his little family for the next month or so, but it won’t be the same as having Daddy around. Thank goodness for technology! Skype and FaceTime are going to be big hits this year.
The next time you see a service member, don’t assume because you see him at the grocery store, he is home with his family, he could very well be missing them terribly and waiting for his nightly phone call.
If you do happen to see a Marine, sailor or soldier when you’re out and about, don’t forget to say Hello and thank him for volunteering to always be at the ready to defend our country. Even when it means being a million miles away in the next state.