Whenever I see a video of family greeting a soldier coming home from a deployment, I love it so much! The excitement, the rush of "is this real life?!" And sort of an out-of-body experience, especially when it's a surprise. It hits home, because I am also the daughter of a Soldier. The year long plus deployments. The hearing my mom cry in her room. The scary phone calls where the bombs are exploding in the background and mom is scared. Vey scared.
I remember that. I remember it so well. The missing, the waiting, the lonely, and then when the return happened: the adjusting, the stress, the struggle between being so glad they are home safely and "it was almost easier when you were away and we were supporting, loving, and missing from afar, because this adjustment is hard. Very hard." The balance between, "We love you so much," and also accepting that "You aren't the same person I've always known." There's the post traumatic stress. There is the knowing that you've seen so many things that I can't even comprehend. And it's changed you. So while the "I love you unconditionally," is always in effect, the "We need to start over to get to know each other, and jump through these hurdles with forgiveness and understanding" takes hold. The "I'm so proud and would never take back this sacrifice for our Country," is mixed with, "Having to deal with adult realities, transitions, worry, and war, and sometimes being robbed of small childhood joys and carefree days just isn't fair."
It's hard to totally comprehend unless you've been in it. The joy, the frustration, the strong sense of community among the wives and families of those who are deployed. The stomach dropping that happens when the land line would ring or the door would be knocked on. The Birthdays, Christmases, and School Achievements that would be missed because they were doing something bigger than themselves. All of it is because of what we believe. That this Nation is great. That this great land the Home of the Free and the Land of the brave. That we are one Nation under God, indivisible. And someone needs to keep it that way. So the willing and brave go out on their way, to make sure we can continue in freedom. They are selfless. They are strong. And although the path isn't always easy, I'm proud to be an American. And proud to be the Daughter of a Soldier. #daughterofasoldier