Today is a day to honor and appreciate our veterans. Before Matt joined the Army I think I knew four. Gramjack, Grandaddy, and Uncle Dave, and his son, Mark. I’m sure there were dozens more in my life, but I was completely unaware of the military and of the sacrifices made by the service members and their families.
One of the first memories I have of the military is of Desert Storm when my across-the-street neighbor, Patrick, joined the Army (or Air Force or something… see… I really don’t remember many details) and was deployed. I loved how our neighborhood decorated all the trees with yellow ribbons and we made signs to celebrate his safe return. I know both of my grandfathers served but I don’t know many details. Probably because I haven’t asked, and the reason I haven’t asked is because I’m not sure they want to share. I would love to hear their stories, but only if they want to share.
Now that I’m an Army spouse I know hundreds of veterans. I can’t thank each one individually, but I appreciate them, nonetheless. Yesterday I flipped through pictures of a precious homecoming and it took me back to the exact moment we waited for Matt to return home. The anticipation in the days, hours, moments before we saw him were almost too much to bear. In fact, the son of the returning soldier broke down at his mother’s side at the first sight of his father. Seriously… breaks the heart and warms it at the same time.
Of course, I can’t help but thank my favorite veteran in the entire world, Matt Hamrick. I love you and am so proud of all your accomplishments.
Image of the first hug was taken by Dena Braeger of Wellhouse Photography. Used with permission.