Why We Fight (Freedom Isn't Free)

I realize I'm writing this a few hours late, but I was on the road all day pondering the whole existence of this day in history. As I'm sure you've realized, today is 9-11, an anniversary of one of the most catastrophic and horrifying events in American history.

During the 7 hour trek back to the good ol' MD, I got to hear recount after recount of the events of this very day 8 years ago as well as tons of Patriotic songs (mostly thanks to the country stations). I got to thinkin' of so much... where I was 8 years ago, how our country has changed since that day, and what it means to be married to a member of the nation's military (The Few and The Proud!) now.

On September 11th, 2001 I was in... 10th grade? I was sitting in Spanish class when rumors started rolling around (not unlike the deployment rumors circling my head right now). Something had happened, people were dying, but what???
Upon entering my next period English class, the story started being pieced together more accurately. Planes had flown into the World Trade Centers in NYC and the country was very literally under attack. School was being let out early and we would soon be home to see for ourselves via television what was going on. I remember that I started spazzing out (as I'm so known to do...) and calling my mom. My mom wasn't answering. I called and called and then began freaking out as Maryland is NOT far from DC and we live within walking distance of a military base, could these attacks have spread? When I finally reached her, she was in Best Buy with a friend and not too concerned about what was going on, as the details hadn't reached her yet. When I got home she was already there and she was crying as she was watching the tv. It was horrifying to watch the news feeds, hear the stories... My mom and I sat there in awe and disbelief. And we couldn't even talk to my dad about this, as he was in New Hampshire taking care of my sick nana.

The days following the attacks also stick into my brain, maybe more than what I would think. Dad couldn't get home for quite a while, as flights just weren't going anywhere... Security to get on post had been heightened and every morning on the bus on the way to pick up other schoolmates armed Soldiers would walk the length of our bus both outside and inside of the vehicle. I was frightened, I'd grown up around Soldiers my whole life but this was... serious. Looking back I realize I should not have felt frightened in the slightest, but protected.

Now, eight years later, I am married to a United States Marine. I've never been more proud to be an American, more proud of our troops (although I've always had a die-hard military pride, it is beyond what I ever thought it could be), or more understanding of the changes the country has made since we went to war.

Yesterday, word got around that my husband's unit may be deploying sooner than usual. By sooner, I mean in a month. My first reaction was to totally spaz out (like I said... typical for me) I started freaking, we have so much to get done, what about our daughter's birth?, will I stay or go home? So many things we need to cover before deployment!

But as the radio reminded me of why we are at war and why my husband and so many others fight, I have to put the selfishness aside. This is the life I chose and I wouldn't choose another path. My husband is one of the few and the proud and he does it to protect everything America stands for. To protect me, our baby, our families, friends, and people we don't even know! Because of that attack 8 years ago, we are at war. And that's the reality of it all, especially as a military wife. It is also why all those Patriotic songs tend to bring a tear to my eye and make me sing/yell the lyrics a little louder. Because this is my reality. This is every American's reality.

Now as I prepare for our first deployment on the anniversary I also take a minute to think of all the other families who have prepared for deployment, for all the service members who have given their time, their lives, to remember all the people who were lost the day the towers fell and to just think of how lucky and blessed I am to be a Marine Wife.

I suppose all this can be summed up with a simple...

1 comment

  1. What an amazing post!

    Tears drench my face as I see the reality of you writing as a wife with a living husband compared to being a widow.

    You are so beautiful.

    Your story has shaken me to my core, and really made war so real to me.

    You are the only Gold Star Wife I know

    and I feel like your journey makes me a stronger patriot, and a stronger milwife.

    I know the Lord is blessing your husband every moment of everyday, and my continued prayer will be for peace, strength, and happiness for you and your precious daughter.

    Thank you for being so real.


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