March 08, 2003

H is for Honor

Honor - Esteem due or paid to worth; high estimation; respect; consideration; reverence; veneration; manifestation of respect or reverence.

I was going to use an Alpha Bytes word today but decided against it. None of them seemed quite right. I seem to be on a kick, writing about John and how being in the military has had such an impact on our lives. And ya know, as much as I love and adore that man, I'll have to kill him if he doesn't stop fucking with my office chair! Anyway....honor.

The phone was ringing at about 6am this morning. Yes, it is Saturday morning. For someone who doesn't normally wake up until about 8:30 or 9, phones ringing at 6am...NOT good things. I didn't answer it of course, but for that sliver of time I was awake, I did realize that John was already gone. I'll assume he is at work. No note or anything but the coffee was made and the newspaper that was out in the driveway last night was inside this morning.

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them.
Mark Twain

He's working hard, getting ready for the first deployment. I don't think he has gotten home before 8 or 9pm most of this week. Even when he is here, he's working on the computer (because the caps lock key is on, how annoying!) and trying to make sure everything that needs to get done is done. I've gotten used to this part. His being the first to go and the last to come back. It is just his way. Even before he physically leaves, his mind is already there, thinking about what needs to get done. He wants to make sure it is right, that everyone else is taken care of before him. I have ranted and raved about it in the past but, secretly, I admire him for his dedication. Well, maybe not so secretly.

Content thyself to be obscurely good. When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, the post of honor is a private station.
Joseph Addison

I would lay a thousand dollars that he's alone at work. That he told his soldiers to stay home and spend time with their families. That he is probably enjoying the quiet and lack of interruptions. It just doesn't occur to him that perhaps he should be spending time with his own family. He is in a position of responsibility and therefore, things need to get done. Family comes second when deployment time rolls around. I used to get insanely jealous when I would find out that he was working alone, having sent everyone else home to be with their own family. Why didn't he come home? Why do we rate second behind those other families? I don't think I've ever gotten an answer that satisfied me. I do understand it though. He would rather sacrifice his own time to ensure that the soldiers below him have what they need.

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.
Calvin Coolidge

This has been an Alpha Bytes entry.

Posted by rowEn at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

G is for Glimpse

Glimpse - A short, hurried view; a transitory or fragmentary perception; a quick sight. A faint idea; an inkling.

Do people really know what they are seeing when they watch the news stories about husbands and wives leaving on deployment? Do they understand the overwhelming emotions that are washing over everyone involved? I always feel a little dirty after seeing things like that, like I have just watched one of the most personal moments between people.

The first time John was deployed we lived here. It was August, 1994. I knew it was coming. It had been scheduled for months. The war was over and this was just a routine trip to the desert. I walked around like everything was just fine. No problem. Don't worry. I even remember being a little mad, since it was the weekend of my 10-year high school reunion and I couldn't go. I went to the briefings and steeled my heart to protect myself from all the crying wives and obvious pity from those in charge. Don't feel sorry for me! I'm a military wife, I can do ANYTHING! I could....until I had to take him to the unit to leave.

We woke up at some ungodly hour of the morning. We dressed in silence, neither one of us really sure what we should be saying. He dressed the WildChild in some warmer pjs for the drive across post. I knew he wanted to do that and welcomed the chance to be alone in the kitchen for a bit. As I sat drinking my coffee I was suddenly scared. What if I couldn't do it? What if something went wrong and I didn't know how to handle it? What if something happened to him? I never signed on to be a single parent! This isn't what I wanted! I wanted him home, with me, every night. I wanted my partner. My buddy. My best friend.

The drive to the unit was quiet. The normal questions. Do you have everything you need? Is there anything I'll need to send right away? We stopped at the gate to show our IDs. The young soldier at the gate handed them back to us and leaned down closer to the window, looking at my husband dressed in his desert uniform and simply stated "Good luck sergeant." As I drove away from the gate I silently cried. It was real. He really was leaving.

Saying goodbye was a blur. I remember parking away from everyone. There was no big building for everyone to say goodbye at the same time. WildChild really didn't understand what was going on and smiled and waved goodbye to daddy. I got out of the car and clung to him, not ever wanting to let go. He told me he would be OK. He told me he would be home in six months. He told me I was strong enough to handle all of this. Then he kissed my cheek, turned, and walked away.

This has been an Alpha Bytes entry.

Posted by rowEn at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)