Memorial Day's Unsung Heroes

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Art Credit: Virginia Guard Public Affairs

Memorial Day may have just passed, but its significance remains at the forefront of many Americans lives everyday.

This came to mind recently when I attended a military homecoming with a friend. As I waited alongside many military wives and children, the anticipation was palpable. I was prepared to be moved by the heros that have finally been returned to their families. But when the bus pulled up and the soldiers ran to greet their families, I realized that the soldiers weren’t the only heroes at the army depot that day.

I saw several women tearfully embracing their husbands, with babies in tow they’d probably given birth to alone. Seeing the wives and children waiting to greet the soldiers made me better understand the full sacrifice military families make.

I couldn’t help but ask Kinsey how she did it. Here’s what she told me:

Saying goodbye to my new husband five days after our wedding was the hardest thing I’d ever done. Instead of packing for a honeymoon, we were packing fatigues and boots for a war overseas. Would I ever see him again? Would he be wounded fighting for our country? Would his time at war change him?

Every day was a trial. Will I break down today? Will I be okay? Will I get a good phone call from my husband? Or will I get unbearable news? I counted down the days, but it seemed like he would never get home. This wasn’t how I’d envisioned my marriage. Every time I saw a young married couple I felt a pang in my heart—a longing for my husband.

Despite all this, I am very proud to be an army wife. It brings out your patriotism like nothing else. When you understand what our soldiers go through to protect our freedom it is very humbling.

Her story really struck me. It shed light on a forgotten corner of military holidays—the unsung heroes of our nation’s army wives. These women stay behind while their husbands protect our country. They do diapers, dishes, take out the trash, mow the lawn, drive the carpool, give baths, cook dinners, and read bedtime stories, alone. At the end of the day these women lay in bed at night alone, begging God to protect their husbands.

These women serve our country in a profound way, and while they don’t have a national holiday in their honor, they should be appreciated, thanked and admired every day of the year.

(Photo by Virginia Guard Public Affairs )