* It took me a ridiculous amount of time to write this. I don't expect the intended reader to ever see it but I needed to get it off my chest.
Dear _____ (a person who I care so deeply about),
I don't expect you to understand. You've seen me go through several relationships convinced that he could be "the one." Rather, that was me trying to convince myself that somebody loved me enough to bestow that title unto me...
Well, I'm here. I'm in love, engaged and ready to start the next chapter in my life, with this man, my Marine. You don't think it's glamorous or sexy. All you see is what you see from your television. The men and women dying in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I get it. I know that you don't understand that to me, he isn't just a Marine. To me, he is the man who loves me even when I am the grouchiest-grouch on the planet or when I've just woken up and my hair is standing in a million different directions. He is the man who makes me laugh and tries hard to keep the foundation of our relationship strong. I cherish that.
I know that being career military means that he will get deployed. Yes, I'll have to sit through pre-deployment briefs where they will talk about wills and CACO (Casualty Assistance Call Officer, worst job ever... the person who goes to a house to tell them that their loved one has been killed) that I don't want to hear. We'll have to say a temporary goodbye so he can go fight for his country. Yeah, it sucks. (tears)
But becoming a military spouse is an honor. I have learned about a world I had no prior knowledge. I get to spread my love (and sometimes grumbles) about the military to my liberal friends who probably still have no understanding... I get to be a teammate of this crazy-awesome web of military spouses who share their stories and listen to yours when you need it most.
Nobody in their right mind would send their loved one out to war without hoping that he/she comes back, safe and sane.
I don't want him to get deployed. But he will. That's something that I have to come to terms with. I have to learn to pray and pray well for him to come home.
But please, please don't ask me "are you sure you're choosing the right guy?" Or implying "shouldn't you just marry somebody safer? Maybe a investment banker or a lawyer or a teacher?" Because the man I fell in love with is a Marine. I'm not changing my mind. I'm planning on standing by his side until he decides he is done.
Believe what you will of what you hear from your news stations. Maybe, if you listened to the actual hub-bub of military life, you'd understand it's not all scary. Maybe even you'd like it on the inside...
Love and pain,