(Which is good, because I just got around to writing this post)
This past week was a double whammy for The Man.
His birthday (He turned 236. Happy Birthday, Honey) was November 10th. And Veteran’s day was the 11th.
I would have liked to done something to celebrate, but we couldn’t. Because I spent a large portion of this week with him in the hospital. He has a completely inexplicable recurring illness that can’t be diagnosed, nor cured. It comes without warning, and all we can do is wait for it to pass.
It’s a souvenir of his first deployment to Kuwait in 1990. He signed up in 1989, right after he graduated from high school. And before he could settle down to his very first duty station, he had orders for his first deployment. After he did his 4 years, he talked about getting out. Told me that he was going back to civilian life, going to school, blah blah blah.
But he didn’t; he went back for more. Two unaccompanied tours to Okinawa, Three deployments to Afghanistan/Iraq. At least 5 military moves with the family, and all that entails: including changing schools for 2 kids, and figuring out whether we were going to live on/off base, and supporting a wife who worked intermittently because just when she got comfortable somewhere, it was time to change duty stations. And then leaving said wife and kids because he had a field op/deployment/some other thing that he had to leave for several months missing birthdays, anniversaries, and other things he would have preferred not to miss.
That is what military life is. Missing things that you’d rather not miss, doing things that (sometimes) you’d rather not do. BUT. Being a Marine was what he wanted to do for as long as he can remember. And even when he hated it, he loved it.
I’m pretty sure that if he never heard one “thank you” in his entire years of service, he still would have done it. It’s the life he chose for himself.
Still. It’s nice that people are grateful. ‘Cause I don’t know that I’d want to risk my life for y’all motherfuckers.