In honor of Military Appreciation Month, we asked Sarah, a Care Force employee of 4 years, to tell us about her Marine husband. What we got back was something different. Her husband --currently based in Japan--- decided to share his appreciation of her. This beautiful letter gives a glimpse of the love, devotion – and hardship -- military families face. We want to thank all of them for their service to our country.
So here we are again, on opposite sides of the world, counting down the days until I get home. Is it strange that this seems to be normal, waiting like this? After all this time that I’ve known you, how often have we actually been together? I miss you, and I hope that you are able to take a little bit out of your busy day to read this letter to know how much you mean to me.
I feel that it’s been a long time since I have been able to share my feelings with you. It always feels too awkward to do it over the phone. Somehow, I feel that writing this letter (although I’m cheating a bit and typing it), lets me take the time to make sure that what I say to you is from the heart. I always end up speaking before I’ve thought about what I’m going to say to you and I think I only manage to get it right about 75% of the time (rounding up for my pride’s sake, of course).
We’ve known each other over half our lives and words can’t describe how extremely lucky I feel to be married to my best friend. A best friend that’s stuck with me through this crazy lifestyle and has never wavered in her support. In fact, none of what I do could ever have been possible without your continued love and support. Through all the late nights, the stress, and the deployments, you are there for me on the phone or by letter, encouraging me to make it through the difficult times and lending me a sympathetic ear to complain to, all the while dealing with your own troubles and hardships at home (like the time the boys became plumbers and flooded the house). You are always inspiring me to do better and to try harder. You don’t tell me that I need to improve, all I have to do is watch you to see how amazing you are, and it makes me want to work harder so that I can prove to you how lucky I feel and to be the husband that you deserve.
You make sure that I don’t worry about you or our boys when I’m gone, and you make sure that I don’t worry when I’m home. You run a tight ship and I know that when I come back, as happy as you are to see me, it can be a bit annoying to have to remind me (for the 100th time) what dishes go where, what time the kids get home from school, and where I left my hat eight months ago (it’s the brown one, remember?). You sit patiently in the car while I try to remember how to get around in a town that I’m just a tourist in (it wasn’t a one-way street last year, I swear). You graciously suffer through this reintegration time after time, and as soon as everything feels normal it’s time for me to leave again.
You are tirelessly dedicated to our family and somehow you make it all seem easy. How do you do that? We’ve lived in nine different homes in the twelve years since we’ve been married, the kids are in their third new school, there’s no family close by to help or to lean on when times get hard, and you’re constantly having to make new friends as the old ones move to new duty stations. Yet somehow you make it work. I know I’m gone more often than not, but you make sure that those times that I am home are something special, and that those memories can help to tide me over until I come home again, wherever that happens to be. You are the most capable and beautiful person that I know and I admire you for your strength, your resolve, your selflessness, your strength of character, and your unending support. This family is forever in your debt. I am forever in your debt.
I Love You,