The military is not for everyone. Since time began and mankind took to battles families have been separated so their men (and now women too) could join the fight for a number of things. It’s not easy when families are separated when their loved ones are deployed. Husbands and wives can’t share the day-to-day parenting or home life when one of them is stationed where “home” isn’t. I believe this is the heaviest part of their burden as a military families – when serving and fighting for your country or the rights of human beings to be free means you are not with those you love and fight for the most.
My personal “Sailor” and I met in church in Norfolk, Virginia. He took my breath away when he sang. I took his when I sang. It’s a wonder we managed to get through the Christmas Eve service since neither of us could draw a real breath. Somehow we did and the next day we had time to get to know one another enough to know we wanted to know more…four months later…we eloped. Fifteen years and two months later we’re still together.
Chris’ Navy career was something we “endured” as newlyweds. Me, the previous Miss Independence found herself feeling unmoored with her husband floating around the Mediterranean Sea. Chris, Mr. See the World, wanted only to be home. We were grateful for that phase of our life to end.
Something occurred to me Sunday in church, as the choir sang the military hymns and current and former military members stood for a few minutes of recognition and appreciation, the Navy lost a good man when Chris was finished. For he has integrity, courage, faith, dedication, honesty and loyalty…his love for his country is passionate and steadfast. His belief in a personal God and that God has been and remains the answer for America and mankind made Chris a sailor the Navy could be proud of.
Every time I see him standing before us and I remember how he looked 15 years ago in his uniform my heart melts. The Navy lost a good sailor and I am eternally grateful I gained a wonderful husband and a marvelous father to our daughter.
As we approach American’s Independence Day I plan to offer this woman’s view of our faith in God and honor our military families. For it is my belief we need more Chris’ in this world…men who will stand for the right in spite of the personal cost…men who believe in God and the absolutes of right and wrong. So tomorrow’s post will express gratitude for our military in broader terms, but for today, I express my deepest love and gratitude for my personal military hero – my husband, SM3 Christopher J. Valentine.