Wounded to Save

In honor of Veteran’s Day, I have written a poem for those soldiers who were wounded in battle. Each year, as I meet more soldiers and veterans, it has become increasingly more difficult to say “Happy” Veteran’s Day.

Happy to me is not a fitting word for this day. It is not a joyous celebration with squeals of laughter and cheer. Instead, it’s more like a “Thank you” day. It is a commemorative day to honor the service and sacrifice done on our behalf; a day to stop, acknowledge, and appreciate.

Whenever I see a license plate with “Vietnam veteran” or “Iraq veteran”, I am flooded with gratitude. These men and women did so much for our freedom. It makes me want to jump out of my car at the next stoplight, go up to their window, and say “Thank you.”

Today, I want to thank all of the veterans who have served and sacrificed for our freedom. Thank you to the soldiers who fought and protected our country on land, air, and sea. These brave soldiers doing their duty are the reason I am allowed to speak as a woman, attend a weekly church service, and lay my head down in peace every night.

I am eternally grateful. Thank you. Happy Veteran’s Day.

I have titled this poem, “Wounded to Save”.  The only explanation I would like to give is for the use of the name “Battle”. This name is used by soldiers in all branches of the military to refer to a battle buddy. Soldiers will sometimes call each other “Battle” instead of by their last name.

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God of the Rain

Storm - editedYou know the saying: “The days are long, but the nights are longer.” In separation, that’s not a saying, it’s a reality.

Before our first deployment, I was not sure what the hardest part would be for me. I had thought it might be going to weddings alone or celebrating birthdays apart or watching the occasional romantic movie by myself. The hardest thing was actually a much more common phenomena…going to bed each night. Many nights, I would lie awake unable to sleep because his voice or breathing was missing. The silence was deafening, and my brain would not stop thinking. …Read more

One Step, One Day, at a Time

IMG_5877 - rounded cornersCrossed off an item from my bucket list this week! I went backpacking for the first time in the mountains of North Carolina!

Our group was incredible, both boys and girls, and we backpacked for 4 days. I had never done anything like this before…overcoming steep mountain ridges, hungry bears, and incessant rain and fog. The trip could have been deemed a complete failure by some, but not for us. We took each adversity and turned it into an opportunity to praise God and to draw closer to each other. And the mountaintop sunrise at the end was unforgettable!

Throughout the trip, I could not escape the thought of Daniel. We had done so many day trips during our marriage. We would hike through parks and climb mountains together at least 2-3 times a year for Thanksgiving, New Years, or a “just because” as a break from the mundane. Being on my first backpacking trip ever, without him, was very difficult. …Read More

Deployment – The Dreaded Word

IMG_5080 - rounded cornersDeployment. The dreaded word in every military family.

The first time this word impacted my life was during engagement. My husband, Daniel, and I were engaged to be married when we received his orders to deploy to Afghanistan. That moment will forever be burned in my memory.

It was a chilly November day and I was standing by the driver’s side of his black Hummer. We had just finished packing up the gifts from our one and only bridal shower. He was hesitant and very concerned, and he made me promise not to be mad or discouraged. A million things rushed through my head: the wedding, his family, my family. Then, he solemnly told me the news with tears in his eyes that he would be shipping out to Afghanistan exactly one year almost to the date of our wedding. I would be spending our 1-year anniversary alone. …Read more