Today is the 10th anniversary of the attack on the United States. I was asleep as the first plane crashed. My husband, son and I were living with my mom in California, so for us, the attack started before 6 am. Mom woke us up and we watched in horror as the second plane crashed, the Pentagon was hit and the plane went down in Pennsylvania. I tried for hours to contact family back on the east coast, finally reaching them later in the afternoon. It was a stressful day, not wanting to leave the television, but needing to care for my 9 month old son.
The next day, my husband contacted the Marine Corps and tried desperately to re-enlist. It wasn't meant to be at the time, but that day set things in motion. In 2003, he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves and spent some time in Iraq with them. After he returned, he enlisted in the PA Army National Guard, went through Officer Candidate School and is now an officer with them. He spent last year in Afghanistan and is getting ready for another deployment in the near future.
All of this has shaped my life today. Specifically today. Today I spent part of my afternoon in a meeting with other family members of my husband's troop. Today was the first Family Readiness Group meeting for our troop. The very first one. I have to admit, I was nervous. I've never been a part of an FRG, in fact during my previous two deployments I had no contact from any FRG group. So when I was asked not only to be involved but to be President of our group, I readily said yes.
Why would I agree to not only be a part but be the President? After going through two deployments with the only information I receive being from my husband, I don't want anyone else to go through that. I want this deployment to be different. I want the families to be able to rely on each other and step-up to help each other. I want us supported so our soldiers will KNOW that their families back home are being taken care of. They will feel better knowing their families are being looked after. No, I cannot be everything to everyone, but I've got a shoulder and I can listen and empathize with the other family members.
I am already feeling better about this deployment. I know I'll have other wives to talk to, other mom's who are dealing with the same child separation issues that I'll be dealing with. I can't tell you how good it feels to know that I won't be alone this time.
I don't know that my husband would be back in the military had 9/11 not occurred. I did know from our first date how much my husband loves his country and that he had served in the Marine Corps in the 90's. But I had no idea I would be a military wife and be so involved with the families. Would I change it? No. I'm glad to be here. I'm glad to support my husband. I'm glad he helps protect my freedom. I'm glad I am able to work with the families. I'm glad to be exactly where I am today.