Veterans Day honors the extremely brave men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. It’s a day that has been observed, and respected since President Woodrow Wilson declared the holiday in 1919, yet after a quick weekend trip to visit one of my very best friends, now means so much more.
My best friend of more than 15 years recently married a 28-year-old Captain in the Army. He was the first “military boyfriend” to come into our girlfriend group, so his background and what he does for a living was new to all of us.
I’ll absolutely admit there was a lot to the military life that I was unaware of, even having a grandfather who served in the Marines and my husband having a best friend also in the Army. Though it’s now been more than a year since I’ve gotten to know him and gotten to know the two of them as a couple, it wasn’t until being immersed in their new life together, and their community, that I grew to understand a very small piece of what it’s like to be an Army wife and to live an Army life. And my BFF and her husband taught me some important things about love.
Time spent together should not be taken for granted
The two of them genuinely want to spend every possible moment together. When living in a situation where you may be asked to go away for an extended amount of time at any moment, you learn to really appreciate the time you do have together. They want to have dinners together, go on trips together and even just lay low at home together. It’s something I find myself taking for granted at times, as I’m sure most people do. But seeing these two in the situation they’re in, knowing their time together may sometimes be limited, makes me remember why we’re all so fortunate to have our loved ones.
Having a good support system is so special
The sense of community they’re a part of is astounding. Not only with those who are serving, but their families, neighbors and community members. The stories I heard of groups getting together as friends and supporters is something to applaud. It also made me feel more at ease for my friend, that when her husband is away, she has such great people surrounding her for support, and even better, as friends. We all learn growing up and growing older that it can be hard when your friends and family are half way across the country, and your BFFs turn from a walk down the street to a phone call away. So knowing my BFF will have others around her when she has that time alone makes me feel much better, and is a reminder of how much a good friend can really mean to someone, and how I need to continue to be one for her (since I know she’d always be one for me!)
Sometimes life is filled with just plain uncertainty
I find myself getting stressed on a Monday morning if I don’t have my next-weekend plans already set, or if I’m unsure where I’ll be a month or year from now. But then I see how this type of life my friend has graciously taken on has much more uncertainty, and on such a greater level. But what I noticed is that even with uncertainty in their future hometown, time apart and where life will take them, they remain each other’s constants. He may have to leave, but she will be right there waiting for his return, just as he supports her decisions to take jobs where she will thrive and find hobbies for when she needs activity to fill her life in his busy times. Uncertainty is one thing, and unfortunately one that will remain in their lives for a time, but remembering who and what in your life is your constant is a reminder I can use time and time again.
So as we take time to thank our veterans this year, I know I’ll be thanking a certain one especially. I’m so thankful myfriend really picked a winner, and that between the two of them, they could remind me of the importance of togetherness and why we can be so thankful every day that we have people who willingly give their lives to serve our country.
[Image via Lifetime]