I recognized the perfect card the minute I read it; it was straight to the point, said everything it needed to say, but it wasn’t sappy. I showed it to Marlin and he said I would make it sappy by writing a big long message inside, so it didn’t really matter. I told him he didn’t know anything and we went about the rest of our shopping. The next day when I dropped it in the mail, the inside of the card was filled on both pages. Okay, so maybe my husband is always right (did I really just put that on the Internet for him to use against me forever?), but how else do you say everything there is to say? It may be a little sappy, but sometimes a little sap is necessary.
You see, our brother-in-law leaves today with his Army unit for his first overseas deployment, and we expect that we won’t get to welcome him home until January or so. On one hand, I know it must be exciting because he wants to serve in the same way that so many others are serving. He’s a trained soldier; this is what he signed up to do. On the other hand, he’ll be half a world away from his new bride, everything he’s ever known, and any sense of security. Needless to say, it’s an emotional day for our family.
I’ve always been taught to respect the soldiers, to wave the flag, to say you support them no matter what the political backstory is here at home, to honor them on Memorial Day and Veterans Day with a moment of thanks and rememberence, to make a donation to a well-known fund every now and then. But their work has never hit home the way it has since we all met Travis and my sweet little sister-in-law just fell head over heels for her Army man. It’s always different when there’s a personal connection, isn’t it?
So today I’m asking for more than a thought of rememberence and a feeling of respect. I’m personally asking for your prayers, your wishes, your meditations (whatever it is you do) to keep this soldier safe and to bring him home quickly. It sounds like the politically correct thing to do, but there is more power in prayer than we’ll ever know, so we would be eternally grateful.
For Travis, you’re already a hero; there’s nothing else you have to do. We’re proud to send you off with an American flag on your arm, and we already can’t wait to celebrate your homecoming. From all of us who don’t have the courage to do what you do, we owe you. Big time.