Seven years into military life, I think the shininess wears a little thin. When I first saw my husband in his dress blues, boy-oh-boy, I understood intimately how easy it was to love a man in uniform.
Yet, how quickly the Velcro goes from gosh-that’s-a-cool-patch to could-you-rip-off-your-patches-the-night-before-so-you-don’t-wake-me-in-the-morning??
The pair of combat boots by the door stops being a romantic, sepia-toned photo on Pintrest. Instead those boots become the reality you face as you sigh and wish he’d shaken out the gravel before you mopped.
The novelty really wears off as you wash and refold the duty shirts time and time again. You find yourself saying, “Can you please put away all your medals so the toddler doesn’t choke?”
I’m so guilty of forgetting. On Veteran’s Day especially, I am so aware of how much the everyday of our lives allows me to forget.
I forget how privileged he is to wear the uniform and how fortunate we are to see him in it. How many have died wearing it for all our sakes?
I forget that the same man I whine at to take out the trash on his way out the door for muster is the same man who swore the oath to defend the nation.
I forget how the same man who writes the USAA checks is the same one who wrote the military a blank check up to and including his life if need be.
I forget all the time.
It isn’t practical to walk around all the time as some sort of hallowed saint blathering about how fortunate we are. And I know better to be short-sighted enough to believe all troops should be celebrities just because they are serving.
But some passing admiration is always appreciated from others. “Thank you for your service.” “Wow, you’re in the military?” “Is that really cool?”
Yes. Why, yes, he is that cool.
I really should tell him more. It’s true that the military is a job, a profession, even a career for some. It’s also true that it is a lifestyle, a hobby and a mindset for others.
I’m glad Veterans Day isn’t every day, but I’m glad it comes once a year. This year, I want my husband to know that he really is a hero to us.
Sarah writes about life in the US Air Force, raising a Jewish family and interfaith marriage. She lives in the southwest with her husband, son and daughter. Her idea of perfection is walking her dog, reading in a hammock and eating breakfast tacos.