Today is a day I am thankful to be an American. Thankful for the “right” to vote, bear arms (even though I don’t…it’s still a “right” I have), freedom of speech and more. I am thankful for my father, who served over two decades in the Marines and my husband who has been serving in the Navy for over 12 years. Being surrounded by such family, I have had my fair share of the military life. Moving every three to five years, deployments that take my husband away for months and months with only email as means of communication, and the amazing homecomings that end the sad time away.
Everyone in my family can share stories about how being a part of the military touched their lives. Things are different when you know you are part of a greater cause. The husbands, wives, mothers, daughters, sons, all play a part in supporting the military member of their family. There are sacrifices, as in every other family, and there are adjustments. You have to be flexible; like the time my husband received HOURS notice that he had to detach onto a ship. When he arrived at work, he was told to turn around, go home, and pack his bags. He would be flown out to the ship by dinner time. Luckily, I was able to leave work during lunch to say goodbye and he stopped at the kids’ school for a hug before leaving.
There was hurricane Sandy. His ship was on its way home from a week out to sea when the hurricane was on its way. They were turned back around and one week turned into four. Luckily, my kids are getting old enough to understand its their Daddy’s job to help other people, not just our own family.
Those are only two semi-recent examples. It is a pain when things like this happen, but we try to take it all in stride, because a long time ago he made the decision to help ensure that I have the RIGHTS that being an American affords me. But while we take advantage of, nay DEMAND, that we keep those rights, please remember today that it is not only your voting, but the people out there fighting, that make those rights possible. Give a service member a hug today and say thank you, because without the hard work they do each day, we wouldn’t have the right to have our kids in safe schools, or trustworthy public transportation, or any other thing that we demand as Americans, to be safe on our own soil.
To celebrate we will be with several military families today, enjoying a good ole traditional American BBQ. I wasn’t able to go buy American flags, or red, white and blue cups, because I am trying not to spend any extra money this month! (so far so good, but I did “have” to spend some money on a tea ball because ours got stuck in the garbage disposal and it would have cost a lot more money to have to start buying tea for my husband than use our own from the garden. oh, and a package of underwear too).
After lunch time we got started on what has become a new holiday tradition for our family. Holiday hats!
We don’t buy any supplies in advance for them, just use what is around the house. Today we used brown papers bags for the head bands, markers, paper, wires, and tissue paper. We have a BLAST every holiday we make these. It is great time to sit around talking and helping each other. Talk about a conversation starter when you show up at someone else’s house too! We wear them all day long and proudly parade around in our holiday hats!