"This year marks a very special anniversary. Ten years ago in October, I began my courtship with a boy and the United States Marine Corps. I remember the excitement and wonderment as I was thrust into a world like I've never seen before. It was like a child walking into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, with all the oddities and trinkets that adorned the life of the military.
I was only able to get baby sized spoonfuls at this time of life. My beloved was a reservist at the time so I was only subjected to this crazy Chocolate Factory one weekend a month and two weeks a year. The little oompa loompas or "Marines" as they were called in this world wore funny little outfits and spoke in funny little acronyms. They marched and chanted. They even
barked. My child-like gaze could not be broken as I watched them scurry about their business with such determination and efficiency.
As my relationship grew with a man who would become my husband, so did my relationship with the Marine Corps. Once a year, I entered an inner sanctum of sorts, the Marine Corps Ball, and watched as magical things happened throughout the night. I saw how things were made: honor, duty, pride, courage, commitment. I saw it through a history that dated back to around the time of the founding of this country and through men and women who had devoted their lives to a cause greater than themselves.
Then, I was brought into this world in such a way that I was no longer an outsider looking in, but I now had the word wife attached to the word military. The acronyms weren't as funny anymore because they usually meant something that greatly affected the life of my new family. The cause became my cause and the sacrifice was one I equally shared with that of my husband.
Ten years later, I am still that girl who viewed this military life with the eyes of a child walking through a captivating candy factory. Around each corner is something new, something surprising, something magical. Even though this life has progressed with more difficulties and challenges, I can still stop and see the enchantment that exists within our armed forces, their
families, and all the things that life in the military brings.
"Life is what you make it," may be a cliché to most, but to those who live a military life, it is a way of sustaining. With a whole lot of faith, a good portion of patience and a little sense of wonderment, this military existence can evolve from a life you endure to a life you embrace!"
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." -
Romans 12:12 (NIV)