Thursday, November 10, 2011

Active Duty (TTT170)

Tears hung in the corners of my eyes as my husband's grandfather swore him in as an officer in the US Army. His grandfather was an retired Army officer. He had spent a lifetime dealing with what he saw and experienced during war. There he stood, full of emotion, proudly reciting the Army oath with my husband. He would support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. He would serve the way his father served in the Air Force and his grandfather served in the Army.

The days were long and full of laborious tasks. My husband was on staff in a Transportation company. The job required long hours. It required weeks in the field. He gave it his all. Every task, from paper work to physical exercise, mattered. They were determined to be the best.

I was able to visit my husband for 2 weeks when he had a year-long remote assignment in Korea. The Koreans were protesting the US Army. It is engraved in my memory because during a sight-seeing trip to Seoul we accidentally walked right in the middle of an area where there was a protest. Two Korean children had been in harms way- in the road way when tanks were rolling through- and were killed. The protesters were angry. There were pictures of the accident scene. And my husband, who happens to be 6'3", and I stood out in the Korean crowd. We hightailed it to a side street and out of that area as quickly as possible. The military accident was tragic. Nothing could fix the situation. The soldiers serving kept serving, doing their best daily to protect South Korea.

He participated in the service with reverence. The mood was somber. A life was lost. He was in his dress uniform and if it weren't for the circumstances, I would have been looking at him with admiration. Tears were shed. Words were spoken. A man was given a good tribute. At the end of the day, I greeted my officer husband with a gentle hug. I held him tightly. His heart was heavy because a soldier took his life.

It was departure day- night really. They were leaving in the middle of the night. My husband was the commander of a Transportation Unit in the Army and they were deploying to Iraq. As he walked to the bus, our eyes locked. Would this be it? Oh God, please protect him. For his part, he carried the burden of a couple hundred soldiers. Would he bring them all back alive. What would they face? The weight of responsibility weighed heavy on him.

It was my birthday and I didn't hear from my husband. I knew he was on a remote mission but I thought, just perhaps, I'd get a quick email. I didn't hear from him for several days. I was fraught with worry and fear. I prayed and waited for communication. I didn't know it for quite some time after but on my birthday, he was being shot at. As the bullets filled the air when his helicopter lifted up, he worried that he would be shot on my birthday.

A training exercise would require my husband to be in the field for a month here or a week there. Often he wouldn't get very much notice. He'd have to come home from a long day at work to let us know he was leaving. He was dedicated to his service and devoted to his family. It was hard to come home and leave time and time again. He loved his job and he loved his family.

This week, I am thankful for:

1. My husband and his 10 years of service in the Army.
2. My father-in-law and his service in the Air Force, which included Vietnam.
3. My husband's grandfather and his career in the Army, which included WWII and the Korean War.
4. My brother-in-law and his service in the Air Force. He is currently serving. Please keep him in your prayers as he is constantly flying missions.
5. My sister and her service in the Air Force.
6. The numerous men and women in the Army that I know (or know of) from my husband's time in the Army.
7. All of the military families who support their service men and women.

This is my Thursday Thanks Tank.

Even if you do not know anyone who is serving in the military, honor them this week by saying a prayer of thanks for them and a prayer for their safety.


sharon said...

Thanks for sharing your heart here. And for sharing your husband with your country. I admire the military spouses for their sacrifices, too. Thanks for the reminder to pray for these families. It's so easy to take them for granted. It shouldn't be. It's only because of their committment and sacrifice that my life can be so easy that I even have the chance to forget to be thankful. So, thank you Jane Anne and thank you Seth.

Pam said...

I echo what Sharon so beautifully said.

Thank you Jane Anne and Seth, for your willingness to sacrifice on our behalf.

Martin Jones said...

It always amazes me how our live intersect others. Our son Matt was in Korea at the time the two young girls so tragically died. And was at Fort Carson on 9/11. As a vet, son of a Pearl Harbor Survivor and father of two vets this is very special day. I am so proud to have served with so many dedicated men and women. I especially pray for the families who give so much while we serve. Thanks moms, dads, wives, husbands, children and extend families for supporting us.