It has been a few years now since we separated from the military. I certainly say “we” because being a military family means that everyone is involved whether they wear the uniform or not. There are so many different things that remind me of our time in the service. Regularly, I see or hear certain and my body has a physical reaction. I feel a heaviness in my heart and at the same time, a sense of sadness and longing for those times as a military family. I can fondly remember what it felt like watching my husband walk away to board a bus that would take him to a plane, setting off to a land that was worlds away. I titled this the Memories: How a USAA Card Can Evoke Memories because this is the most recent reminder of how important service time can be to a military family.
The other day, I was in line at the local fast food joint and I handed the worker my card for payment. She asked if I was in the military and I smiled and said, “no, my husband was.” First, I wish I had a better way to phrase that. I did not meet my husband after his service time, but was there with him, embedding myself into his life. We were married outside of post during his service. We had two young children, a little baby who was unexpectedly born in our home outside of post; her umbilical cord was tied off with parachute 5-50 cord. As you can imagine, many parts of this time in our life has remained in our memory bank. We bring up the good times and the bad time regularly in our life. I digress, I knew why she was likely asking about military service and that is because she had seen my USAA debit card. There were many times that I was in the same position. I was excited when I saw someone paying for a bill with their USAA card and I immediately had to ask the exact same question. I knew I asked primarily because I wanted to have a sense of connection again, to let others know that I had experience with military. I would bet that this girl had the same reason for asking. Someone in her life is likely in service and this aspect of her life has impacted her. Perhaps she was a military brat, a sister to a soldier or maybe she has a boyfriend, fiancée or husband in the service or maybe she has an intention of joining the service. Either way, I know her reason for asking. It is a question that was meant to form a connection with others who were in the service.
I know there are others who have had a reaction when they see parts of the military world in every day life. It is normal, seeing bits and pieces when you live near post, but moving back home is a totally different story. For me, when I see any piece of a green uniform, I immediately think of my husband in his uniform, kneeling to talk to our son in the backyard. When I hear the taps, I am reminded of being with my husband on post when the flag was lowered and the requirement; he had to turn towards the flag no matter where he was on post. When I visit an airport, I think of the morning I dropped him off to go back overseas and how difficult it was to make the 2.5 hours back home without him. When I hear a helicopter, I am brought back to our home in Kansas and the sounds of the birds flying overhead, making their rounds as they trained. I remember always hoping one would land nearby our house and drop my husband off earlier from his deployment. These are memories that will never leave me, they are forever a part of me, and truth be told, I never want them to go away.
I get what it means when these memories pop into the mind. We are a proud part of a small population and that is why I originally embarked on my journey into counseling. I knew that if there was a small bit of experience that I could use to help someone else then that is what I wanted to do. I remain a dedicated advocate to the military community (past, present and future).
If you like this post, please check out the link below and sign up for updates and special tips and tricks for subscribers only.