I don’t know a lot. It has taken me awhile to learn that. Years. In fact, I feel sometimes that I know nothing. I will think I know enough about something in life. Enough to get me victory over that. And in the middle of it all, I will realize how I know absolutely nothing.
I do know that you just entered into the Army Life. Active Duty, Reserves, National Guard–it doesn’t matter. Every Soldier in each gives so much. Each Soldier, regardless of classification, is willing to do one thing: give everything he has, everything he is, to defend our country. I know that is a source of great pride, but also a source of great fear. I know that, no matter how hard the day or the week or month, you must make sure the pride wins over the fear. Never let Fear win.
I know that you are an Army Wife. That makes me so proud! I know you are strong, resilient, beautiful. Proud. I know that you love my brother fiercely. And that love will give you victory every time. I know you have two families who love you dearly and support you completely. You have a wonderful husband who will make you so proud. Proud. Pride. It’s a huge part of what goes into this life. It’s a humble, strong virtue that will keep you going, even when you feel you cannot. I know you are worthy of the title of Army Wife. I know that I am proud and comforted by you being one. Because I have a fellow sister-in-law, a fellow sister in my ranks now. I know you will kick butt. I know this because you are amazing.
I know that nothing will suck your joy away like this life. I know there will be days when you feel you cannot move forward anymore. But, I also know you have Faith. Faith in your Soldier, faith in our God. A God who will never leave your side. I know He is a God who, I believe, gives us Army Wives special graces to survive this life. Thrive in this life. I know, on those days when you are down, trodden, so sad, that I am here. In prayer, a phone call, in letters, cards, cheer. I promise you that. I will never let you fall. Because we are sisters.
I know that nothing will give you greater sense pride than this Army Life. Pride in your capable, strong Soldier. Pride in your Soldier. Your husband. I know that people will thank you for your service almost as often as they thank him. You will stand a little straighter, hold your head a little higher than others when the American Flag waves, when you hear the National Anthem. Because you know the blood, sweat, and tears that weave the threads of that flag, play the notes of that song. You will laugh about how handsome your Soldier is in his uniform. You will sacrifice much, because of your love and pride for our country. And I know this will slowly but definitively make you a stronger woman.
I know he will go away. I know he goes away today for four months. And all you will have are letters. You will not see his face. Those last precious few hours will tick painfully by. I know you will stare at his face, trying to take in every distinct characteristic of his face, his hands, his eyes. Praying you don’t ever forget. I know this will tear you apart. I know, as you turn away after saying good-bye, you will finally completely understand the phrase, “ripping my heart out of my chest.” I know you will cry. You may not be able to catch your breath before the next sob. But, I know I am so proud of you. Because you do this out of love for him. Something most women will never have to do.
I know you are not ever alone. You may feel so isolated, so terribly lonely in some moments, that no one can possibly understand it. I know this because I’ve felt it. I have gripped the table, the sheets, the tissues, so tight my knuckles turned white. I have sobbed so hard that I couldn’t breathe. Because he was gone. I missed his face, his voice. His presence in our home. But, I know I am not truly alone. I know I have God. I know I have sisters who know. I know I have you. And I know we have God, where all souls are united in His mercy. There, you will find your Soldier, because God has us all in His merciful loving heart.
I know that you inspire me. I know that I look up to you. I know that I am so joyful, so blessed to have you a part of our family. A part of my earthly family, but also a part of this Army family. I know that you have added a precious, irreplaceable dynamic to my brother’s life and my family’s life.
I know you will survive this. I know you will thrive. You will stand on the other side of this stronger, braver, more mature. You will not want to ever go through it again, but you will find yourself grateful for the woman it made you.
I know I am praying for you. Praying for your Soldier. My brother. I know that for every card I send to him, I’ll send one to you. Every pictures your three nieces send to their uncle, they will send one to their aunt. Because I know that for all the sacrifices he is making, you are making them, too.
I know I love you.
I know at least this:
You are incredible. Charlie Mike, Sister!