My husband retired in May from the Army after 24 years of service. I think he deserves a big Hooah for that sacrafice and dedication. Yet he had no retirement ceremony (partly his choice.) Hero's don't want pomp and cirumstance they are more humble. In all his deployments he never had a true homecoming. Again he liked it that way. Does that make him less deserving of one? Of course not! Would he put his ACU's on in a minute of the Army called him back... uh yeah faster than he could shake a stick at it. It was a family choice to retire... you just know when its time to hang the beret.
Because Rick and I were only married three years ago I wasn't looked at much as for an Army Wife. I wasn't the one who waited on him to come home from his first deployment during the first heat of the war in OIF. I wasn't the one writing letters while he was at boot camp. I was the one who waited on him from Korea and his second deployment. I was the one who's heart broke when he told me he was facing deployment and I hadn't even met him face to face yet. I may not have earned much rank in the silent ranks... but I earned enough in my opinion, I stayed faithful, loyal and worked hard. I didn't fall apart and I kept it together. I stayed strong for US.
Now I face life with the Army behind me. Is it really behind me? Rick has never fully come back home. Things are probably never going to be the way they were... maybe one day I have faith they will be better! I still cry during deployment songs, I still cry when one of our own fall, I still cry watching military salute videos, I still cry for homecomings (I never got), I am still very emotionally connected to the Military in my own weird way. Since he retired I bought an Army Wife hoodie and a t-shirts (maybe more)... I still dress the kids in Camo and carry my ACU purse with pride.. I am still an Army wife even if my husband is no longer active duty. Once a Soldier always a Soldier... Behind every good Soldier is a Loyal Army Wife! Hooah!
My son, my step son still serves... as we wait paitently for every phone call and visit.
Next time you see a wife of a Veteran just know a piece of her heart will always remember and be part of the Military just like her husband.