“Where are you headed?”

This question was posed to me in Lent of 2015¬†at the front gate of my local military base. I was headed to the Friday Stations of the Cross and Soup Supper hosted by the CWOC. I was asked by the young Marine who was guarding the gate. It showed me how “different” I am when I no longer have a car with base stickers nor a military ID.

This question brought to mind the continual moving I did and most military families do during the career of the military member. It also reminds me that I am not doing that any more—the next time I make a major move it will be because I choose to due to getting my own place in town (the most likely of the three reasons); getting a job outside of my current area (have a job in the area I am happy with); or getting married.

This question also brings to mind what does the future hold for me? What is my plan? What are my goals in life?

To the first question—the answer is ¬†I have no idea but in true military brat adventure style I look forward to finding out. As for my plan—teaching high schoolers or college students for the rest of my career; a husband and some kids would be nice but I am happy with where I am right now!

Now my goals are a little loftier—I plan on adding a certification to my teaching license (if I can ever pass the test!). After that I plan to go back to school (I am an education junkie apparently) for either a Theology Masters or a Sign Language Certification or perhaps but very unlikely a Phd.

As we journey through Lent, this question of “where are you headed?” takes on another perspective. Where is your spiritual journey taking you? ¬†What is your next step?

I pray that my journey is taking me closer to God and closer to Heaven. These last few years have been testers and strengthen-ers of my faith. The more I learn about my faith the more I love my faith!

I am fluent….

“….in Army”—how my mom would finish that statement. Matter of fact, when I told her I was looking forward to the “96”, her response what “what?” When I explained that “96” is what the Marine Corps calls a four day weekend. Which gets me the following, “Well I am fluent in Army.”

That statement said it all—We become comfortable with our world the way it is. We learn the words and ways of that world becoming fluent in it. It is that fluency that makes it so comfortable for us. It the fluency that we can fall back on when times get tough; connects us to each other as fellow Army dependents; and gives a sense of community. It can be a separating factor—I can chat a million miles an hour about Army life and my civilian friends’ eyes glaze over. My comfort level with the Army specifically and the military in general as not minimized much in the years since my dad retired.

It is this comfort–this fluency that makes it so easy for me to say “Yes, I will be a Marine’s girlfriend.” Not because I think it will be glamorous because I know it will not be. Not because he looks Hot in his uniform especially those Blues—though he does!! Not because of a lot of other reasons, I could list—Rather because I know I can handle it and I know that I will be fine. I may not always feel like I am fluent—like I am competent but I know that I can with time, continued practice, and lots of prayer be the Women behind the Marine. Now with that comes a new community to become comfortable with; a new language to become fluent in.

My mom’s quote has been floating around in my head since mom said it. It makes it clear that I am in uncharted territory—I am in the world of the Marine Corps. What adventures wait me remain to be seen but….I am looking forward it. I have a whole other language to learn but I am ready!!

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Homecoming….

……The goal of every deployment in the eyes of military family. Now of course we ‘understand’ the need for our military to be deploying but seriously, we are generally happier knowing they are safe and in arms reach.

I just, this past weekend, posted about the¬†religious¬†homecoming as well a the college one….I wanted to expand on the military one over here. Let me tell you from a personal view, it is an amazing thing; one of the most blessed amazing days of my life, one I will always remember.

It is not that day that really brought it home that I was really going to get the keep my father in my life for a reasonable amount (2 weeks) of time. It was two months (give or take a few days) on May 16, 200x, the¬†official¬†homecoming. My father marched for the last time in formation with his unit; he worked one of his last protection details; he wore his ‘war face’ one of the last times. I finally had my father home!!!

I will not deny that¬†separation¬†changed me and my¬†relationship¬†with my dad. I will say that it changed me in some amazing ways but in some ways I wish it had not. I feared him coming home, would he know me or would I know him…I don’t me recognize him, I mean would he understand what i was feeling and would I be able to relate to him??? I mean I had survived a lot with him directly there, granted not the first time but this time it was ‘more meaningful’ to me (please keep in mind that I was a teenager). I worried a lot the few weeks before and for several weeks, months, even a few years later; how much did that experience change us?

So in summary: Homecoming is joyful and much awaited but holds a certain fear/concern.

9/11

9/11/01 ….a date that I will never forget….a date that most¬†Americans¬†will never forget.

I found myself sitting I down to write this post and had no words….

…..even nine years later I find myself at a lost for words to describe what I am feeling and needing to say.

So let me leave it with….Thanks to the men and women in uniform, those who came home and those who gave the¬†ultimate¬†sacrifice. ¬†Thanks you to my father and Friends.

Freedom Friday

Every time I listen to this song I get chills. Those chills are the same that I get when I seethe cross in Arlington or Normandy! Those chills normally lead to tears. Tears for the¬†sacrifice¬†for those who died protecting my freedoms. The tears stream in happiness and gratitude for the protection and God’s forgiveness as well as ultimate¬†sacrificer.

Blue to Gold

I can’t imagine Mrs. P’s pain…so I will let her tell you herself. My warning though, it is a tear-jeaker. For you see, her Husband, Cpl P. died March 14, 2010 never having held his daughter, who was born in January.

Gold Star Wife

I can say this I know that the military community, especially the Marines will be there in whatever way they can for her. My prayers are with her and her daughter.