I have welcomed my husband home again. It was a beautiful day for the summer dress I chose to wear, and perfect timing as I was able to greet him right at the terminal door. I love everything about the day he comes home. This time he had to go right back to work, and there I am thrown back into the “vampire” schedule of nightcheck and it can still feel like I am alone.. until I walk into my kitchen and there are two dirty plates on the counter with two dirty sets of silverware and two dirty glasses. I can’t help but smile as I load the dishwasher, I am so glad that he is home I really don’t mind. While cleaning up my kichen and straigtening up the livingroom that only hours before was prestine I thought about the years ahead of us. One day I will have been doing this for 25 years. Will I be tired of hanging up the towel and moving the shoes? I wonder if those entire 25 years I will be a Navy wife. Will I be tired of the military life? I don’t know how I feel either way about it now, but I can’t imagine how it feels to be at that place. Looking back on your military life instead of looking ahead at it. I know a lot of times it can be a dificult transition, but I can’t help thinking with that comes a sigh of relief. I would love to talk to that lady and ask her how she feels. From my starting line perspective to hers. This article was written about that woman.
The ‘lovely wife’: She deserves thunderous applause
By Regina Galvin –
Posted : July 21, 2008
A woman in our midst is moving on — from her current place in life — from the military, to a new locale.
She is the lady we see standing next to the military fellow, dutifully by his side at his retirement ceremony. At other times, she has been invisible to us. We see him, but her presence is transparent. Don’t be fooled, however. She is always there in a place of honor.
But who is she?
We hear the accolades for the one in uniform and his impressive collection of professional accomplishments. We may not know him personally, but his uniform tells the tales of where he’s been, what he’s done and with whom he has served. Speeches are given and his sacrifices, his challenges, his career, his service to country are extolled.
But what about her?
She wears no uniform, yet she carries herself with equal distinction. Her contributions may not be found in a speech or in a proclamation signed by dignitaries. Yet somehow, we know her. We know of her service. We know of her sacrifices. We know whom she helped, whom she served.
We are the ones she comforted. We benefited from her leadership, her guidance, her shared experience and — if we were lucky — her friendship. We were mentored by her. She was the one we admired. She was the one who set the example for others to follow.
But this is his retirement, his moment. At his ceremony, a few words will be spoken about her role as partner. Perhaps she’ll be given a certificate suitable for framing or a trinket to hang around her neck. Items that, not unlike her, are an understatement of the lives she touched, of the difference she made. Items that won’t show up on an “I love me” wall, but will be stored away, appreciated but not flaunted.
Who is she? She is the one whose name follows the phrase, “… and his lovely wife …” She is the one who spends endless hours “hurrying up to wait.” She is the fulcrum on which both the family’s and the mission’s needs balance.
She is the commander in chief of the house. She is the advance scout. She is the logistics support. She is the rear detachment. She is all things to all people. But most of all, she is whatever she needs to be.
So when the moment comes to acknowledge her at his retirement, please refrain from polite applause. Instead, jump to your feet. Give the woman a sincere, thunderous standing ovation. Show her you mean it. Show her she meant something to you, to the military and to the service of her country.
Who is she, you ask?
She is his wife. A “lovely wife.” A military wife.
Regina Galvin is editor-in-chief of CinCHouse.com, Operation Homefront’s online community for military wives and women in uniform. An Army brat and Army wife for 22 years, she is married to Col. Jim Galvin and has two daughters, Shelby, 14 and Olivia, 10. They live at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
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