March 22, 2012
The Life Hidden
The funny thing is, you wouldn't know it to look at us.
There are no bumper stickers. No yellow ribbon magnets. No camouflage purses with "proud Army wife" stitched onto them. Uniforms are stuffed into closets and drawers. Boots are shoved behind work shoes and flip flops. A set of dog tags is kept in an old jewelry box. Only once a month does his hair get cut close on the sides to stay within regulations.
You would have to search hard to find it, but somewhere in the recesses, it's there.
His hat rests on the table after he forgot to put it away from the weekend. The picture of us from the ball last spring, perched high on our bookshelf. A schedule of the year's drill dates, with an official looking seal and Army Reserve printed on top, hangs on the side of the refrigerator. The calendar that marks the days or weeks that we know he'll be gone. We'll only add to it as the year goes on and more things are assigned.
We walk this line between two worlds. It's strange sometimes, and hard to explain to others how the military can be such a small part but such a big part of our lives all at the same time. Most of the people Sky greets at work would have no idea that he is a veteran and a soldier. But once every month, I see Clark Kent step out of the phone booth in ACUs.
And just like people admire other professions- teachers, firefighters, nurses- I see a man who has done so much. He's driven through villages with names I can't pronounce, and flown to places I never knew existed. He's done more push-ups and lengthy runs that he could probably ever count. He's slept under the stars on the hood of his Humvee with body armor as a pillow.
Most girls don't get the honor of marrying a soldier. And even though it's usually covered up by the civilian side of life, I see it. And goodness, I'm proud of him.