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Thursday, March 27, 2008

There's a seabag in my basement.

It's beckoning me to open it on up. Full of old cammies and blouses and a couple of pairs of boots, I'm sure it smells lovely. Don't get me wrong, it's all 'clean', but it's been collecting dust for sometime now. It used to reside in my parents' attic, but they have since decided it belonged with its owner.

Since I'm nostalgic, I enjoy looking at my old photos, reading letters of bootcamp days and attempting to squeeze into my old uniforms. It's funny because in the past I have used my uniforms as a measure of how in or out of shape I am. If I can fit into them, I am doing pretty good. After I had my second child, I lost an enormous amount of weight and was probably thinner than my post-RT days. One day, I decided to slip on my dress blues, just to check them out. I was elated to find the uniform was loosely fitting my somewhat svelte frame. Now, with baby number three in my arms I'm a little more hesitant to try it on again, but with a little PT, I might just give it a go in a few more months.

Aside from the seabag in my basement, there is a box of memorabilia and letters under my bed. There are pictures too. All of this stuff is more than just stuff. I cherish it. I remember my military days fondly, though they may have been fewer than I liked. I had planned to enjoy at least a 20 year career, but life has a way of changing. You know "God laughs at your plans" and "Fate, blah, blah, blah"--all that jazz. At first, I will say that it was a bit odd switching gears from military to civilian. Though, now that I'm back in the military world as a spouse, I'm back in my element (sort of). I feel like this is where I'm meant to be. I may not wear the uniform any more. I may not march, and I may not travel to far off distant lands, but I wear a rank of a different kind. I tender to the embers of the home fires, I keep the spirit of love in the face of uncertainty, and I proudly standby and support my husband as he serves.

That seabag in my basement reminds me where I started, but it's the family and friends and memories I'm continuing to make that remind me that the military life is multi-faceted. We can serve in more ways than one. So, to all my military spouse friends, if you are ever doubting yourself and question how you ended up in this life, remember you are serving in the honorable silent ranks.

I leave you with this poem that has been shared on many websites for years, but holds true for so many:

The Silent Ranks
I wear no uniforms, no blues or army greens.
But I am in the military in the ranks of rarely seen.
I have no rank upon my shoulders. Salutes I do not give.
But the military world is the place where I live.
I'm not in the chain of command, orders I do not get.
But my husband is the one who does, this I cannot forget.
I'm not the one who fires the weapon, who puts my life on the line.
But my job is just as tough. I'm the one that's left behind.
My husband is a patriot, a brave and pride-filled man.
And the call to serve his country not all can understand.
Behind the lines I see the things needed to keep this country free.
My husband makes the sacrifice, but so do our kids and me.
I love the man I married. Soldiering is his life.
But I stand among the silent ranks, known as the
Military Wife.

Author Unknown

1 comment:

Just a Girl in a Port said...

You know, I never did update this.

I actually tried them on a couple of months back and they fit. Well, glory be, isn't that a kick in the pants? Three kids haven't kept me from getting back into shape after all.