For my husband on Veteran's Day, 'You will always be my hero'

by Sara Horn |

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Well, I'm a little late on this and I could go into all the things that have kept me away from blogging the last few days but mainly I've been processing what it was I wanted to say for this, my 100th post.

We celebrated Veteran's Day this weekend but that's probably too strong a word. "Recognized" might be a better one. Cliff was recognized during our Sunday morning service when he and a few other men, who were much older and grayer than he, stood when the pastor asked them to. During the fellowship time later, a guy sitting in front of Cliff made it a point to turn around and shake his hand and thank him for his service. That actually meant more to me than the traditional "stand and be recognized" routine. Later that night we were talking in bed and I brought up how I wish more was done to recognize our veterans and Cliff chuckled at me.

"You take this way more seriously than I do," he said, smiling.

He's probably right. But then again, I've also had to say goodbye to my husband and deal with the fear of whether he would come back. As a military spouse, I've seen up close what sacrifice for friend and country means from the family's end, and I don't want to ever again take it for granted what our military and our military families do for America. So I want to honor my husband on Veteran's Day with these words....

To my husband on Veteran's Day.

I wish I could put into words just how proud I am of you but I know that even if I tried, you'd have trouble hearing it without trying to make a joke or shrugging those compliments away. You'd say that it wasn't just you, it was everyone; you'd say that there were others who sacrificed more than you did – who gave all. They are the ones we should honor, you'd say. You were just glad to be a small part.

So I'm thinking about all of the small parts... the millions of men and women who have served their small part for the greater good. You are part of a minority (2 million) that serves to ensure that the majority (300 million) have the freedoms they've grown accustomed to. You understand better than others that our freedoms are not rights. Our freedoms are gifts that have been bought by the sacrifices, seen and unseen, of the many who have served before.

I know I didn't always feel this way. I know that in the past, Veteran's Day was just another weekend to enjoy a good sale at the store, with barely a thought about why that day was even important. Well, I was wrong. And those who still feel that way are wrong as well.

You reenlisted when most would have said "I'm done." You signed up again, knowing full well that you would probably be asked to leave your family and miss your son's birthday and our anniversary and all of the other special moments that happen when we're together. I'm so proud of you for doing that. You joined the Navy as a Seabee with the full intent of serving 20 years, and war and deployments haven't shaken your commitment to do just that. I love your loyalty. I love your belief that sometimes sacrifice is required and that hardships only make us stronger. I love you.

So on this Veteran's Day, I want to tell you thank you for doing what you've done. Not just for the almost 10 months you were away serving in a war. But also for all of those one-weekend-a-month's you could have been doing something else. For all of those two to three week trainings when you much rather would have been at the house playing with Caleb or going to a movie with me. For all of the times you've had big goals and big dreams for your civilian job that had to wait until you came back from your Navy one.

And I want to tell you I'm sorry for all of those times I gave you grief for being away on those trainings, all of the times I complained that yet another special anniversary or birthday was going to be missed because you were going to be gone. I know now that anniversaries and birthdays will come and go, but it's having you in my life that is what really makes it all so much better.

Happy Veteran's Day honey. You will always be my hero.

-- From the blog of Sara Horn, first posted Nov. 13, 2007. Sara Horn is a writer, author and speaker who is also the founder of Wives of Faith, a military wives ministry. Her first book, A Greater Freedom: Stories of Faith from Operation Iraqi Freedom, was written with Oliver North and received a nomination for a Gold Medallion, the highest honor given in Christian publishing. Since then she has written God Strong and the Bible study, Tour of Duty. Her purpose as a communicator is to encourage women to seek God in every aspect of their lives.

Sara's most popular book to date, My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife was a personal narrative which chronicled her one year experiment to see if it was possible to live out the principles found in the Proverbs 31 passage. Her most recent book, How Can I Possibly Forgive: Rescuing Your Heart from Resentment and Regret released in October of 2014. Sara has been married to the love of her life, Cliff, a Navy reservist for over 16 years and they have one son, Caleb, who is in eighth grade this year. For more about Sara, go to http://www.sarahorn.com/