Being a Military wife was the highest honor God bestowed on me other than the birth of my miracle baby. My husband was in the Army and we traveled about every one to two years going from duty station to duty station.
Some of the places were so beautiful they took my breath away and some were so foul they took my breath away but in a bad way. But I do not remember the places as much as I remember the faces. Our house was like a magnet to G.I.’s who needed a family. I remember them all fondly. There is nothing like a friend you make at a duty station. Especially overseas where they do not have other Americans to do things with.
I was the Mom and my husband was Pop and we were once referred to as Ma and Pa Kettle. They were single soldiers or they did not have the fortune to bring their families with them. So we made our home a place where they felt like they were home with loved ones.
Holidays were special and we always made a big deal out of it for our “family” The Holiday season before the Gulf War the soldiers were told not to make any plans they would be in Kuwait by then but Thanksgiving did come and my husband and my boys were home. They said not to expect Christmas to come before they went to the Gulf. But Christmas came and My husband and all those buddies bought me a Black Forest Cuckoo Clock. I still have that treasure. We also saw the new year come in together and then they were gone.
I did not just have a husband to worry about my “boys” went to war with him. I felt like a Wife and Mother of men that were going to war and that may not come back the same. I prepared myself for that.
The Gulf War was short and they came home in the middle of May one soldier in the unit was killed by an explosive device and one soldier had a serious foot injury, but the rest came home.
I knew these men and I knew their hearts and I know it was not like the war in Afghanistan but they came back changed none the less. For all those months they were there they knew they could die at any moment. It hurts my heart to know that thought stayed in their minds.
As their buses pulled in from the airport to the base I found them one by one while I was looking for my husband. I was like a mother hen counting chicks Finally I found my husband and life felt real again.
When they got back to Germany, where we were stationed at the time, they found out their unit was disbanding and everyone was being sent in different directions. My family was breaking apart. One by one they left and I had a real taste of empty nest syndrome. I still worry about the soldiers God placed in our home throughout the years, I know one had a son that was killed in Afghanistan and I feel deep pain over that.
My daughter has more Uncles than I have brothers but I am glad that the ones that remained and sustained our friendship are still a part of our lives. Military friends are different than any other kind of friend there is. A bond between us is so strong it links our lives together while we remain on Earth and I will be looking for them in Heaven just like a mother hen counting her chicks
I am exactly the same person that opened my home all those years ago to those soldiers and if I lived near a Military Base my home would still be open to soldiers who needed a place called home and a Mom to welcome them home every day.