Thursday, November 11, 2010

Making Veterans' Day Last Just a Little Bit Longer

In 12 minutes, Taps will, just like any other day, play here at Ft. Lee. I've listened to more bugles, more cannons, more cadence calls in the past 10 days than I ever thought possible. But with every Retreat that sounds at the end of a day, with every marching Soldier that passes, and with every lone cry of a bugle at 11 PM, I am reminded of one stark truth: freedom is not free. There are sacrifices and tears and a price associated with our freedom to worship God or many gods, to curse the president, to pick a school...a side of war...a side of the street. And when we, you and I, are not laying down our lives for these freedoms, someone is. These men and women get up before the sun. As we are brewing the morning coffee, they are running in formation. As we are kissing our spouses goodbye for the day, they are kissing theirs goodbye for the month...or months. Our daily irritations would be welcome distractions from the routines they know and live.

Today, this is not about me or me and Neal. Do we have our own sacrifice looming? Yes. There is certainly no denying that. But today we are together. Taps plays now, accompanied by his snoring and the glow of my laptop. Today is not our sacrifice. But it is someone's...many someones.

I hope you paused yesterday and thought about the men, women, and children who are affected everyday by a loved one's absence...and about the men and women in uniform who go or have gone, regardless of the orders or the expectations. They all have different reasons for serving. Their reasons don't matter. Their willingness to do so does.

The video posted above is 4 minutes long. I hope you are able to find 4 minutes in your day to sit down and remember those who have sacrificed it all, and send up a prayer for those who have done what we have not. You know I don't post videos...well, ever. And I've sifted through an hour's worth of YouTube videos to find one that I thought is a good representation of how it is to live the military life. It's frustrating...humbling...painful...but at the end of the day, it's nothing compared to the beauty of an American flag waving in a slight breeze.

We are traveling back to Macon today for our pre-deployment Yellow Ribbon event on Saturday. I will be spending Champagne Friday with my favorite veteran (Sorry, Army are a very close second's *almost* a tie...really). I hope you are able to spend it with your own hero...someone who may not wear a cape or even a uniform, but makes life easier through laughter and love. A salute and a cheers.....


  1. Beautiful post, Allyson!! Today wasn't about BBQs or sales at the mall. It's about our troops and they deserve every bit of respect, tribute and honor!!

    With Thomas serving now, Alex at basic, and Shane leaving for basic in June, these special days bring even more meaning to me. Just please God, don't let all three be deployed at the same time!!! There isn't enough wine in Italy to get me through that!!!!

  2. This was easily the most lovely and thought provoking Veteran's Day post that I have read. The sacrifice and risk of your situation and of all other military families rings true. Thank you to both of you, to all of you.

  3. What a beautiful post. I hope you and Neal have a safe trip back to Macon and you get to enjoy at least a little bit of time together celebrating champagne Friday.


  4. Thanks for sharing that video, Ally. Good choice! If it doesn't choke you up just a little bit, then you're not human.

    And you said it all so perfectly. Thanks to all the soldiers that give of themselves so selflessly!

  5. I'm going to have to watch the video when I get home. I'm at work right now and your post alone has me crying big tears. This was so well written. Thank you for this Ally!!! oxxo And Thank you Neal for your service!

  6. Wonderfully written. And striking such a chord for me right now... just spent last weekend with my brother, and next weekend he's off for the third time in less than three years.

    Thank you for this.

  7. This is absolutely beautiful, Allyson. Waterworks over here after watching that video, but thank you so much for posting.

    Safe travels to you and Neal and thank you for all that you do :) *HUGS*

  8. This Veterans' Day I thought a lot about the wives. So many of my friends' husbands are deploying to Korea or Afghanistan. My heart breaks for them (you). You all are my heroes. Drive/Fly safely m'dear! I hope your event went well yesterday!

  9. Great video - very touching!
    I left a little something for you over on my blog...

  10. Very sweet, honest, & true. Mitch & I spent Veteran's Day with some friends...she & I have been friends for ~25 years and she married a military man last year. They remind me of you and Neal. Anyways, we were on vacation with them so I was definitely reminded of the day's significance quite a bit. I love the US Military & their families! May God Bless the USA!

  11. A poignant post! The student body at Our Humble High School is about 75% military kids, so remembering our vets is never far from our hearts. Hope you and yours had a FABulous Turkey Day!

  12. So I am WAAYYYY late to this blog entry but still wanted to comment:

    Wow. What a beautiful post. I am a brand new military wife. Our wedding was Sept 4th and he left for Afghanistan Sept 6th. It was the first deployment for both of us. And we were informed of it with 7 weeks notice. So this Veterans Day had a whole new meaning to me.

    I teared up reading this post, and thankfully my work computer wont let me view the video, otherwise I would probably be a sobbing mess sitting here at my desk! haha!! So I will wait until I get home to watch it so I can have a really good cry in peace.

    I love your description of military life. Its something that only those leaving it can ever truly understand. And I am so thankful to be one of those that do.

    So I send a thank you to your husband for his service, and I thank you as well, for the sacrifice you make every day as a military wife. I hope your husband's up-coming deployment is a safe and speedy one.


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