Being an Army wife for 4 years gave me a special glimpse into military life. I am so proud that my husband has served, I’m so proud to know the many other men and women who have served and I’m so proud of this country even.
I caught a news story this past week about a group called Team Red, White and Blue. Their mission is “to transform the way wounded veterans are reintegrated into society when they return from combat and exit their position in the Active Duty force or National Guard”. One of the men in the group said that above anything, what they want the average American citizen to know and realize is that these soldiers and veterans do what they do for us, and they would do it again.
The majority of soldiers Jeremy and I came into contact with will tell you that they signed up because ultimately, they want to serve their country. They really do make this radical life decision for us. And many of them paid the ultimate sacrifice. Death and sacrifice are a part of daily life for a military family. You hear of lost loved ones from your neighbor, your friend, your fellow-wives and sometimes, it even happens to you.
This Memorial Day, our family is meeting Sgt. Dale Griffin’s family in Terre Haute, Indiana. Jeremy became friends with Dale while they were in the L.E.S. (Language Enabled Soldiers) program at Ft. Lewis where they studied Arabic for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 9 months. It was a grueling program and Jeremy loved how “Griff” could crack jokes with him. They were class clowns and regularly stirred up trouble with the professors.
Dale’s Stryker was driving through a dry river bed in Afghanistan when an Afghani man tripped the wire buried beneath it. Everyone in the Stryker was killed. Everyone.
It was awful.
The families of these wounded men have continued to live their lives and I think it’s important that we thank them, that we remember them and continue to tell their stories.
For those of you in WA, you can be a part of Lisa Hallet’s organization, Wear Blue Run to Remember. Lisa’s husband, Captain John Hallet, was Jeremy’s commander and was killed in Afghanistan while traveling back from a humanitarian effort. They had gone to a village to distribute vaccinations to people. On the way back to base, their Stryker was baited and an explosive was set off as they drove over a culvert or ditch. Lisa has turned her heart wrenching grief into an opportunity to continue to live life while forever remembering the loved ones they’ve lost. WBR2R’s mission is “to establish a running community that serves as a living memorial to the service and sacrifice of the American Military.”
Jeremy and I both come from a long line of brave men who have served in the military. My Grandfather, Robert Douglas, Jeremy’s Uncle, Lloyd Perry, his great Uncle Ivan Nevil, his Grandfathers, Jay Hall and Vernon Nevil all served proudly.
So today, I thank these men, I thank my husband and I thank the husbands of my current military friends. Thank you:
The Morgan Family
The Herken Family
The Jefferes Family
The Weaver Family
The Feicht Family
The Hewitt Family
The Clemons Family
The Kisley Family
The Ross Family
The Norquist Family
The Hallett Family
The Reynolds Family
Thank you for fighting for freedom and for us. I remember you. We remember you. We love you!