Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever.
To most people that wouldn't make a bit of sense but to those who have braved the terrors of war truer words have never been spoken. War changes a man. Some changes you can see and others you can't.
When I started this blog it was a way for me to deal with my husbands injury and his PTSD. It was a way for me to chronicle the ups and downs of dealing as a family with these terms that have become so taboo. I came here to laugh, to cry, to rant, and to rave. It was a place where I could pour out those rough nights where I just needed it out. It is hard watching one of the strongest men you know toss and turn and cry out and beg his brothers to forgive him. Some nights I wasn't sure what he was begging forgiveness for. It broke my heart every time.
It has been almost 7 years since his tour began and just over 6 since he returned home. On the outside he was fine. He had all ten fingers and toes. He walked and talked like normal. But we all know that looks can be deceiving. Looking at him that long ago February day I never would have guessed what kind of special hell he was living in.
In the intervening years I have learned more and more about those seven guys who lost their lives in OIF 3. I learned about what they liked and what they didn't. I learned about what made them laugh and what made them angry. I learned about their families and their habits. Lastly, I learned about their deaths. One thing always stuck out to me throughout these stories and today I want to remember that.
Every single one of them are ok with their sacrifices. They know that the sacrifices they made through their blinding fear and uncertainty and fierce determination allowed one of their brothers to come home. I say brothers for a reason. It is a word that transcends all normal ideals us normal people have of family.
They fight together, they live together, and die together. Watching any number of them together and you will see what I am talking about. The teasing and loud boistorous racket that would annoy most on the outside looking in is in all acutality the true sign of their dedication to one another. To those of us who get to see it from the inside it is humbling. That dedication doesn't lessen when one leaves this world either. They honor each other every single day.
Every year on Memorial Day when we put our boys to bed we tell them a story. The boys like to call it "the story about the heroes". When we lay them down that night we tell them about each of them. We tell them what they were like and how they lived. We try our best to tell them about theri sacrifices and that they should always remember what that means. Every single one of the freedoms we enjoy were bought and paid for with someones blood sweat and tears.
Today I challenge everyone who reads this to remember. Remember the sacrfices of the servicemen and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
I know this girl will. I may not be able to erase the pain from those who loved them and lost them. I will never be able to make the fact that they are gone ok, but there is one thing I can always do. I can ensure that their legacy and sacrifices are never forgotten. As long as I live their stories will be told.
Hug your families today. Hug them as tight as you can and offer up a prayer of thanks to those who gave their lives for you.