On This Veteran’s Day – Looking Back: 2020 Vision

Certainly today we honor all service members, Officers and enlisted alike. Those that came before, those that paved the way, those that stand in the gap today, and those to come.  But for me personally, this Veteran’s Day is different. Perhaps it is the isolation of semi-quarantine and the effects of this virus that seem to never end. It could be that I have a lot – perhaps too much – on my plate. It could be my desire for 2020 to end and thankfully never to return. It could be my job that reminds me of the fragile world out there. Or, it could be that this Veteran’s Day is unlike any other.

We have treasured our USNA and Navy family as parents for the better part of the last seven+ years, and are blessed to be a part of it. As I always say, as parents of our remarkable young men and women, we are on a unique journey that very few can relate to.  Our journey takes many different paths that only our fellow travelers can relate to. Battle buddies and prayer (at least for me) are a staple in our trade and we could not navigate this path without them. Only my battle buddies (you know who you are!) can fully understand what we and our children endure

Sacrifice is the signature term of our children’s and our families’ life of service. Adhering to rigid standards, missing holidays – because they simply can’t be there; limited communication, facing dangers that even we can’t imagine, extended time away from loved ones and that is just the tip of the ice berg. For those with families of their own, time away from their spouse and children, who live life and grow up despite their absence.  

I remember the years as a Navy parent, knowing what is to come, but living in the “now”. Traveling to Annapolis for concerts on Veteran’s Day and football games; to New York, LA, or Dallas following the Glee Club, being very cognizant of the sacrifice, but not facing it fully out in the Fleet then. 

I remember the USNA trainings during summer that were also training me for days without news when the danger is real; for holidays that were not complete, with a very cherished one out in the world somewhere unseen. And the joys and exhilaration of promotions, celebrations, times together.  I have come to know and realize that they are more precious than gold indeed. 

Besides our own, we have many friends who serve. That life of service binds us all in a special way, making instant connections where there were none, making us willing to help and sacrifice for a “stranger” who travels the same path that we do “just because” we understand what they are going through. A dear friend always tells me that for any one that serves in the military, the family of that service member also serves. How true those words ring for me specially today, with loved ones in the Fleet.

Few today answer the call to serve our nation which makes that dedication to service all the more precious. So today and every day, I want to express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all of our men and women serving in the Armed Forces: Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine, and their families. Thank you for taking up the call when no one else would; thank you for your Honor, Courage, and Commitment; thank you for all that you sacrifice each day, and for all that you do to stand in the gap for us at home. Thank you for your service and sacrifice, and know that you are appreciated more than you will ever know.

GO NAVY! BEAT ARMY!!