Saturday, April 7, 2012

Face of a hero.

Olivia Winter wanted to come into this world feet first; ready to run.  The weeks after an unexpected c-section he was my hero.  Our hospital stay was a blur.  I don't remember feeding her, changing her, or rocking her to sleep. Simple. That's because I didn't.  He took over the way any soldier would. They are trained that way. They take care of their families; both this one and the one in uniform. I watched him from my hospital bed with Olivia and its as if he'd done this before.  He hadn't. But like any soldier- he was prepared- in every way possible. Ready for battle.

As we prepare for deployment we can't help but think of all the milestones in Olivia's life he'll miss. Her first words, her first step, her first birthday, her first first first. The military doesn't care about these things. "These things" don't wait just because duty calls. We promise to talk about Daddy all of the time so she begins to think of him as some fictional character, like one on tv, that she'll get to meet one day. She needs to hear his voice so she doesn't fear it. She needs to smell his smell so she doesn't hide from it. She needs to find comfort in his warm nature so she accepts it.  She needs to know him.  And I promise with everything that I am that I will make this happen. She needs to know there are two of us.

Olivia Winter looks just like her Daddy.  She was born with the face of a hero.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Forever & A Day...

Soldiers need reassurance. Reassurance that when they get back from war their lady will be waiting, their home will be just the way they left it, and that everything will fall back into place. He often says that a soldier needs this reassurance in order to maintain a clear head to stay out of danger.

We expected a deployment. He signed up for this; as did I.  With a promotion to Sargent came a quicker deployment date. I promised to call him Sargent at home if he promised not to go. Duty calls. The calendar is like a ticking time bomb.. Just watching the weeks go by until that day comes; when the bags get packed, the uniforms washed, and the checklists checked.

As my soldier gets ready to deploy to Afghanistan he often asks me, "promise you'll wait?".. I respond, "Forever and a day..."

The reassurance he needs to bring him home to me...

Soldier in disguise

They don't have it stamped on their foreheads. They don't wear their dog tags as jewelry and it's not something they tell you on a first date... They are soldiers in disguise; and this one wore jeans and a red polo.

The tough exterior was unbearable. The closed mindedness was getting old. And the "I'm not looking for anything.." was persistent and agitating.  This is the mindset of a soldier who just got back from Iraq. This is understandable when you put things into perspective and consider what they've gone through. For a girl who was falling in love...this was unacceptable.

Walls were broken and hearts were left open. "My" soldier had let me in.  The night we moved into our first place together he asked me to be his wife. Without reservation, I accepted. I accepted this soldier in disguise. For everything he was and everything he stood for... I said 'YES' to the Army...