Today I was reminded. Reminded of all of the sacrifices that others have made for the love of our nation and the belief that their lives are a small price to pay for my freedom. I was reminded of why my husband serves with such dignity, such honor, such integrity and such patriotism. Today I remembered Pearl Harbor, I remembered D-Day, I remembered the battles that were fought in honor of defending our nation, proving that we are a force to be reckoned with and to show the world that we will not stand for injustice.
It is very easy to go about life forgetting. I have three dogs named after famous Marine Corps battles. I laugh when I tell people. I laugh when I type their names. But, while many would think that it dishonors those who fought, I am reminded that we are giving them the highest honor. We have named our “children” after those who should be remembered.
I see my husband, standing tall and proud in his uniform and I am reminded that all I have is because of people like him. I say my dogs full names and I remember those who gave their lives in a time when no one thought we could win. I remember those who feel compelled to put the lives and safety of others before their own. And I want to shout to the world, “I remember! I remember their sacrifices!”
Each time my husband tells me the tales of war, each time he tells me the stories, passed down from generation to generation in the Marine Corps, I am reminded of why I am proud to be a military spouse. Tales of those who wouldn’t give up, stories of times when they were outnumbered and instead of surrendering, they said things like, “We are surrounded. That simplifies our problem.”
Our nation is strong, but only as strong as the men and women who serve and the families that stand behind them. And while we live in a time where we are constantly under fire, constantly being told that our spouses make too much money, our benefits are too lavish, our lives are too cushioned, I am reminded of the fact that those benefits are paid for not by the tax payers, but by the blood and tears and sweat of generations before us. I am reminded that, while we may be a foreign creature to others, our lives being fraught with stress and worry just as much as laughter and joy, I still remember.
I remember those who came before who fought for all that we have as a nation and all that we have as a military family. I remember why my husband serves. I remember how proud he is to be a Marine, benefits or not. He is not in it for the money, the health care, or the tuition money. He is a Marine because he is honored to be one. And he will be a Marine with or without the benefits and I will be proud to stand besides him, supporting and loving him, no matter what.