Friday, May 7, 2010

A Salute to the Silent Ranks

Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day.  I do not know firsthand what it is to be married to the military. I know what it is to be a daughter of a soldier, a cousin to the Navy, granddaughter to a retired Airman, and sister to a Marine. I don't know that I could do what is often described as the toughest job in the military.

Through my various connections I have had the honor of meeting those known as the Silent Ranks - the wives left behind to man the home front. I have yet to meet one who didn't inspire me with their strength and wisdom. Their lives are interrupted, plans change at the drop of a hat, but they adjust and persevere. 

Below is one of my favorite poems. It is similar to one my parents have  hanging on our "military wall" at home. It is my tribute to all those married to the military. I admire you. 

The Silent Ranks

I wear no uniforms, no blues or army greens
But I am in the Army in the ranks rarely seen
I have no rank upon my shoulders - salutes I do not give
But the military world is the place where I live
I'm not in the chain of command, orders I do not get
But my husband is the one who does, this I can not forget
I'm not the one who fires the weapon, who puts my life on the line
But my job is just as tough. I'm the one that's left behind
My husband is a patriot, a brave and prideful man
And the call to serve his country not all can understand
Behind the lines I see the things needed to keep this country free
My husband makes the sacrifice, but so do our kids and me
I love the man I married, Soldiering is his life
But I stand among the silent ranks known as the Army Wife

So today I send a shout out to you who have so inspired me to take life one step at a time, breath, and laugh:  

Karie, who has loved and lost so much. Nikki, who makes me laugh every day and reminds me not to take life so seriously. Becca, who makes classy military-inspired decor. Megan, who is transitioning from an active military life to a retired military life and shares her story. Wife of a Wounded Soldier, who gives insight to the struggles our wounded soldiers face upon coming home, while staying positive and helping others in the same position. And Charity, whose blog I have just recently started reading, but is an amazing wife and mother of three.

You all are so amazing and I feel so blessed to have come across your blogs. Thank you for sharing your stories.

Wearing a yellow ribbon until they all come home.

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