I share a lot on my blog, I share a lot in my life…it's just the way I am. I am not a super private or reserved person because I feel like life is what it is…the good, the bad, the crazy, the embarrassing…I am an open book and that is the bottom line.
I believe that Leif and I have a pretty solid relationship…one that took a lot of work to build…one that isn't perfect by any stretch but it is perfect for the two of us. I never envisioned, dreamt, or even wanted to be a Navy wife. I fought it for a very long time. Sometimes, when I am overwhelmed and tired, I still fight it. But I am in it for as long as WE are in the NAVY and I am in it with all that I have!
Throughout this deployment I have heard this one question/comment at least once a day. "How do you do it" or "I don't know how you do it"…One day, when I have the time to really write and reflect I will try to give all of my reasons, secrets, tricks or whatever you want to call it…but for tonight I will share with you one of the biggest motivations that I have. This is a personal email from my husband on the night before Thanksgiving. I wrote him about a comment that Aiden made that went along the lines of "I wish daddy were here so that he could…". I told Leif that I immediately welled up with tears and I am sure that those words stung Leif in the same way….here is the email I received back along with the attachment he sent. I share this only to give a little perspective to those who may not understand, to those who wonder how I do it, to those who wish they could read the mind of a service member who has "chosen" to leave their family...or to those who have absolutely no sense of duty and are completely selfless, take notes (yes, I said it)…THESE WORDS and RAW EMOTION are what keep me going and make me so incredibly proud of my husband!!!
Have a wonderful time! I wrote the attachment tonight while thinking how much I wanted to be home with you and the boys! Sometimes I have to put it into perspective to make myself understand. I love you so much! Eat some turkey and drink a couple cold ones for me. But most importantly, hold our boys. Hug them as tightly and kiss them as much as you can for me! I will be home soon!
I am thankful…
As I sit here and type on the eve of Thanksgiving, I have many thoughts running through my mind. I really want to be home with my family! My beautiful wife, and my 2 wonderful young boys. But I cant. I am here out in the ocean, thousands of miles away from home. Thousands of miles away from putting up the Christmas tree with you and Aiden. This was Aiden’s first time really helping and I missed it! Thousands of miles away from the Thanksgiving eve preparations of making sure everything is ready to go for the next day. Thousands of miles away from sitting and holding hands with you. Thousands of miles away from playing with the boys. Thousands of miles away from my parents who will come to visit. It hurts not to be there. But, as I look into it further I am reminded of why I am here. I am here with many of my shipmates, thousands of miles away, so that the every day threats to our great country, that many take for granted, are not in our own backyards. We are out here executing the maritime strategy in order to keep our loved ones safe and happy and safe on Thanksgiving. And for that, I am thankful.
The Navy conducts its mission every single day regardless of weekend or holiday. When war breaks, the Navy is the first on the scene pave the way for our other brothers in arms. The Navy continues to provide support for the mission in Afghanistan. When Syria gasses its own people, the Navy is there, as a force to ensure further acts of disgrace do not happen again. When Mother Nature strikes, the Navy is first on the scene to provide humanitarian relief. When Iran threatens to close the most critical strait in the world, the Navy is there.
The Navy supports not only America, but many of our allies and assets around the world. To support this mission we are required to be so far away from home. I have navigated the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, English Channel, Dover Strait, Strait of Gibraltar, Mediterranean Sea, Suez Canal, Gulf of Suez, Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea, Bab al Mandeb Strait, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Strait of Hormuz, and the Arabian Gulf. I have been to Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Oman, Djibouti, Yemen, and UAE.
I have sat in the Red Sea waiting to exercise the right of freedom. I have patrolled the Gulf of Aden, Horn of Africa, and Arabian Sea ready to engage pirates and smugglers. I have operated off the coast of Iran conducting missions unsaid. I have operated a US Warship and worked together with the likes of the Russians, Germans, Saudi Arabians, Chinese, Japanese, Italians, French, Pakistanis, Jordanians, Israelis, British, and the list goes on.
While I would give most anything to be home with you and the boys celebrating, I am celebrating here, thousands of miles away. I am celebrating because I know that my family is safe. I am proud and honored to serve America and my family. Today and always I am thankful…
I love you! Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! I will be home soon enough.