I often get asked how hard it is be a military spouse and I never know how to respond. The word “hard” isn’t what first comes to my mind.
The word that I immediately think of is proud. There have been so many moments in the last five years as an Army wife that have actually been hard and so many moments that I would’ve done anything to have my husband Greg home. For example, when he missed the birth of our child, or all the holidays and celebrations he couldn’t be part of. But to me he was the one in Iraq serving our country and he was the one that needed support.
Greg and I focused on small talks about our everyday happenings, me telling him about our sweet baby and all of her milestones and him telling me about the softball tournaments he had created among the Army bases in Kuwait to help keep the guys focused on something other than being away from their families.
From the moment Greg joined the Army, he has embraced it and excelled. He goes to work every day with a can-do attitude, he never comes home stressed or sick of his job. To me, he exemplifies what Veterans’ Day is all about, it’s about the men and women who serve and have served our country. To say I’m proud is an understatement! – Suzy Woodring, Right-Hand Woman
Coming from a strong family of veterans with the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, I have always had admiration and a deep gratitude for our service members. However, when my oldest son Jake enlisted into our Kentucky National Guard, an extraordinary feeling of pride overcame me as I realized I had the honor of raising a young man who now stands among our nation’s finest. – Earla Rose, Number Cruncher
Brandon has grown up listening to stories from his great-grandfather about serving in the Army during World War II. He was the trigger man of a 50-caliber anti-aircraft gun mounted on the back of a Jeep. He served under General Patton in the African campaign and told Brandon everything you hear about the general is true: he was very strict and came across as harsh, but he was a great commander.
After Africa, his great-grandfather landed on the beach at Normandy the day after D-Day, and experienced the carnage firsthand. While there, he and his fellow soldiers thought it would be fun to shoot the anti-aircraft gun at a flock of geese, which cost them all one rank. A week after D-Day, he and his brother were shooting at German forces from the window of a church in Germany. His brother was killed by enemy fire right behind him. His final fight was in the Battle of the Bulge. The fighting was so intense that all the soldiers involved were encouraged to send letters to their loved ones because they weren’t expected to survive. Brandon’s family believes they still have the letter in a trunk of his great-grandfather’s belongings, which his great-grandmother has forbid them to reopen.
But his great-grandfather survived being shot twice during the battle and was honorably discharged shortly after. He returned to Kentucky and farmed tobacco for 55 years, living to a ripe old age of 94. Brandon and his family are looking forward to reopening the trunk that holds even more stories of this hero’s military service. – Brandon Mason, Right-Hand Man
For Veterans’ Day I would like to show appreciation for my uncle, Sean Nall, who has always been more of a big brother to me. He has already served 5 years in the Navy, but is reenlisting to the Special Operations, EOD. Sean hasn’t had the best year, in fact he’s come across some obstacles that would normally tear a person down. Instead of letting these bumps in the road carry him down, he worked harder than ever and decided to shoot for the moon. He has been training harder and harder each day to get in shape for the NAVY Spec Ops EOD tests. He has been a great inspiration to me in the past year. I just want him and all other actives/veterans to know how inspiring they are. – Lindsay Ratterman, Right-Hand Woman