Living. Loving. Being happy. Peace. Understanding. No limits. College. Finding myself. Enhancing life. Being a leader. Learning. Fighting. Being. Giving. Receiving. Seeing. Believing.
I wrote this piece as a commemorative speech, giving tribute to the women who marry into the military. Particularly the army. Who knows, dating a man whose first love is the military, maybe it’ll be me someday.. check it out!
“I wear no uniforms, no blues or greens. But, I am in the military, in the ranks rarely seen.”
To the women who stand alone, who hold their heads high, who let the prideful tears silently but powerfully stain their cheeks. Who find themselves rolling over to an empty side of the bed. Who answer the question, “Where’s Daddy?” with tight smiles saying, “He’s being a hero.” For the women who are always praying that their hearts will remain intact while they stand on enemy lines. They are the silent ranks.
To the women who find camouflage comforting and Skype to be God’s greatest gift to man. To the women who guard their hearts with iron cages of strength. To the women who give up their husbands for months to a world of unknowns. To the woman who tells her child she will pick them up at 1500 hours knowing that the child will expect her at three. To those who find combat boots attractive and hear cadences in their dreams. They are the silent ranks.
To the women who long for their husband’s smile and fight against the commanding tears that threaten to take hold each and every day. To the women who fear the “d” word; deployment could mean death. To the woman who remembers the jingle of her husband’s identification tags while they hang loosely from his neck, slicing the air with the constant reminder that he may need to be recognized when he can no longer utter words. They are the silent ranks.
“I am not the one who fires a weapon, who puts his life on the line. But my job is just as tough, I’m the one who is always left behind.”
To the women who fight for their composure when they see a couple walking through the grocery store holding hands or sneaking a smooch. To the women who long to hear their husband’s voices and envy those who grasp the rough hands of the men they love. To the women who never flinch at discussion of M4 weapons. To the women who find talk of tanks commonplace, rather than terrifying. To the women who understand the difference between officers and enlisted men. To the women who still refer to their husbands by first name when everyone else calls him by his last. To them he is a husband; to others he might just be a man in uniform. To the women who revere the red, white and blue. They are the silent ranks.
To the women who hear the whoosh of their American flags flying high with pride; wishing, waiting, wanting for their husbands to return. To the women who understand that units are families and respect the males who stand alongside the men they love and adore. To the women who understand the meaning of serving. To the women who exemplify being “Army Strong.” They are the silent ranks.
“Behind the lines, I see things needed to keep this country free. My husband makes the sacrifice, but so do our kids and me.”
To the woman who looks at her left hand at a diamond sparkling bright and misses the contours and etched lines of her husband’s hand holding her own. To the woman who hears the echo of her husband’s laughter as she stands watching her children play. She remembers the pushup punishment placed on her children when he was home. To the women who watch their children learn and grow without a husband by their side. To the women who watch their children outfit the pieces of uniform left behind, hitting the wall with the hard helmet, carrying the heavy rucksack, wanting to resemble their daddy in the photo they grasp. As the children carry the heavy bag, their mothers carry the heavy burden of their husbands being gone. To the women who must fill the shoes of both mother and father. They are the silent ranks.
According to National Public Radio, fifty or so percent of each military branch is married. 82 percent of males serve. So, to you 930,000 something women: Thank you for giving your spouse for us.
“I love the man I married. The military is his life. So I pledge to support my hero and stand among the silent ranks known as the military wife.”
I have been incredibly lucky to call myself a Beaver and attend Buena Vista University, in Storm Lake, Iowa; not only because of the incredible education I am receiving, but because I have been exposed to life and the pursuit of greatness. When I began courses here, I had every intention of becoming a clinical psychologist. I wanted to help others; I knew that much. Little did I know that a public speaking course would impact my life forever. Dr. Bryan Kampbell, a professor of Communication, made me realize my talent and love for communicating. As I gave speech after speech, learned about ancient rhetoric, and became more familiar with the program, I knew it was my calling.
I am now a Communication Studies major with minors in both Sociology and Psychology. I couldn’t ask for anything more interesting, fulfilling, or impacting. Recently, I had the chance to go on a University service trip to Chicago, Illinois for an alternative spring break. Our goal was to help combat hunger and homelessness, and we did. However, we accomplished so much more. My life changed for the better on this trip. I knew little about the AWOL (A Week of Offsite Learning) program, and had no idea that I wanted to take a leap of faith and give my service. I have never been so confident that I went in the right direction. While we were in Chicago, we went to a place called By the Hand, an organization for inner city children that offers faith-based programming for them, in order to keep them off the streets. When I saw the love that each employee had invested in those children, I just knew that I needed to be there. I felt an emotional tug toward non-profit and I knew that the major I had chosen was the right one. I have never been so sure of something in my entire life. I wouldn’t have known it without the wonderful opportunities that Buena Vista University offers its students.
My heart was absolutely tugged while in Chicago. I know now that money isn’t a factor in choosing a career path. I am positive that I will be led in the right direction and that everything will work itself out, as long as I am able to offer my service to a non-profit organization. We don’t always allow ourselves to be exposed to the bad in our society today. When I opened my eyes, I came to the realization that I am being called to help.
Our motto at BV is “Education for Service.” I exemplify this daily, being a part of our Student Senate, our Orientation Team, our tour guide group, Esprit de Corps, and many more. We are exposed to service every day at the University. I wouldn’t have been able to find the life I want to live if I wasn’t able to go to BVU. The faculty, staff, and students have been instrumental in making me the person I am today.
I’m sure you’ve always heard people say that you shouldn’t think about the past, you should avoid the future, and you should hold on to the present because that’s the most important. I always thought this saying was a little whack just because if I didn’t think about the past, I would lose out on some pretty incredible people I’ve had to leave behind when moving, when changing schools, when growing up. If I avoided thinking about the future, I lose out on all the dreams I’ve conjured up for myself. However, the present moment is what we have. It’s tangible. We can reach out and take it for all its worth. We can embrace it, live it, feel it. Most of you reading this are probably college students. Looking at how far we’ve come, and how much more life we have to live, it’s only fair that we live it up where we are now. We should be celebrating making it this far and not worrying about what we might face in a few years. This is our time. Don’t be afraid to live in the moment or make leaps of faith. We’re supposed to! If there is a guy or girl out there that you feel could make you happy, go for it. If you want that internship, even just a little bit, apply for it. If you want to switch to a completely different major, why be afraid to do it? Life is about so much more than being afraid of taking chances. We are all put on this earth for a reason; so, go forth and find out your reason. Take that leap. Find out what you are good at and what makes you happy.
The present, also known as: Our time to shine.
It’s amazing how much college can take away from the things you love doing, ie. blogging!
Anyway, this whole life thing… it’ll get you. Ever heard the saying, “Life’s a bitch, then you die” ? Some days I feel like there is no better explanation than that one. So many things get thrown at me in a day, and I hate being unenthusiastic in every aspect of my life. I love being known as the girl who constantly gives every ounce of happiness and heart to every situation she gets herself into! Some days though, it’s hard to put a smile on. It’s hard to feel like the world isn’t rough. It’s hard to see the positives. As much as I want to sit here and complain, however, I do know that so many people in this world are worse off than I happen to be. I have yet to lose someone near and dear to my heart suddenly. I have two amazing parents who love me with all of their being. I have an older sister who would do anything and everything to make me happy and keep me happy. I have another older sister, whom I fight with constantly (and am still currently fighting with), but still have her here on this Earth with me. I’m not alone. I’m never alone. I have fantastic friends who put a smile on my face just by being there. We have so many incredible factors that play into our existence. We complain, we whine, we cry - but why? It’s so difficult for me to think of the positives, but when I do, I realize how incredibly lucky I really am.
Life is about living. We can’t stand back and let everyone else continue on in their quest for happiness - we have to continue on our own journeys toward it as well. Recognize those things in your life that put a smile on your face. That allow you to be who you are. You’ll feel incredibly empowered and lucky when you do.
IF YOU DONT REBLOG, YOU DONT HAVE A HEART.
STORY OF BEING IN COLLEGE.