In Others' Words: Heroes
I was a military wife for 24 years. For two of those years, my family lived overseas--in Turkey to be specific. We moved with three kiddos, ages 5, 2 and 3 months. I remember telling my husband, "I didn't even know the Air Force could send you to Turkey. That must have been in the small print."
I finally understood patriotism when our first 4th of July rolled around while we lived at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. As I watched the fireworks and the jets flying over, tears streamed down my face. I had never been more proud to be an American.
The reality is, our overseas assignment was no real hardship compared to what some of my friends experienced. Sure, phone reception was unreliable and the products in the commissary, i.e. the military grocery store, were limited and often out-of-date.
But I didn't experience the heartache of losing my husband. I never stood beside a flag-draped coffin, surrounded by my children, wondering what the future held for me.
Several of my friends did.
These are the people I remember on Memorial Day. Yes, I honor all of the military men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country. But I also think of my friend Susie--and her husband Mark. And my friend Barbara--and her husband John.
I remember the ones we lost--and the ones who remained behind.