Thursday, November 11, 2010

Even Hippies Like a Veteran

Confession: I sorta consider myself to be one of those peace-loving, live-as-one, roll-in-the-grass, love-your-brother hippies. I do shower. I'm not a fan of patchouli oil. Everything else, that's sorta me--in a mild sense. I believe that life is simple: live through love. You can't fail if you follow that, right?

This war is extremely controversial, and I don't want to get into the politics of it (so please passer-by-ers--shhh!). I think one thing all most of us agree on is that our soldiers deserve support. So in honor of Veterans Day, I want to take a bloggy moment to say thanks to those here and above who have served and who are serving this place we all call Home: THANKS!

Being from an area that was built around the biggest base in the mid-west, it's a good guess to say that I know and/or am connected to a lot of soldiers. There's no way I could cover ALL of my service friends, but I love and appreciate you all! So quickly I'm going to highlight of few of my uniformed homies:

First up: My father-in-law and The Husband's dad, Joesph III (RIP)
 This is Joe's first photo after joining the military. Joe was born 1955 and died in a car accident in 1984;  The Husband was 2. So as you guess, he has no memory of his father. He left behind his wife, Nancy, sons Graham and The Husband and daughter, Kate. I wish I had more to write here, but unfortunately I can't say much about the man that is Joe. I can say that he shaped my husband's life--in his absence and through stories. In his absence my husband learned to be strong--even when a person should shatter. Seriously, my husband is the strongest man alive. Truth. He also learned to appreciate the time with his own kids. My children adore their Daddy, and they are so very lucky to have such a man for their father.

The Husband's mama, Nancy, was also a service member. I don't have a picture of her in uniform. Shame that would be too fun! So I'll share this old wedding photo.

 Nancy is unlike any woman you will ever meet--she looks sweet and kind, which she totally is, but she could also snap your leg with one ninja kick. Ok, I may be exaggerating, but still she was in the service when women weren't treated so awesome in the military. So right on, Nancy!

Also, one of my BFFs, Rachel.

Basically, she's a badass. I've known her 90% of my life and I'm so proud to call her my friend. She's currently serving in Iraq and is due home soonish (shhhh! I can't say, but can't wait to see her!!!!!!). She left in February and we all miss her so much! 

And this last one is going to be a real emotional bitch. Maybe. I usually try to shy away from real feelings so we'll see where this goes:

This is Cpl Jonathan Daniel Porto, USMC:
 February 26, 1984-March 14, 2010

I met Jonny in middle school, and we've been friends every since. Through distance, disputes and all--we managed to stay friends. Jonny was born on February 26, 1984 to a huge family. He was the kid with the infectious smile. He always had something to laugh about. We shared lots in common--mostly he was just as weird as I was--and he will always remain very close to my heart. Jonny married his wife, Rachel, in May of 09 and soon after they found out they were expecting a baby in January. In December Jonny received deployment orders to Afghanistan. His daughter was born in January, and he got to be on the phone with Rachel from around the world through most of his baby girl's birth. The next few months, (mid Feb through beginning of March) I hardly heard from him. No messages, nothing. I was worried (duh. I've been worried since the Marines was only and idea), but heard nothing from his wife or his sister. I knew communication would get tight as time went on--he warned of that. March 15. Weird day. I remember that day because I felt foggy. Foggy is the best word I've got. I wasn't ill--I just didn't feel right. I worked all day. Had a business meeting that afternoon. Came home and neglected my computer time. It wasn't until later that night that I logged onto Facebook. That's when it hit me like the cold bitch that reality is. Jonny's sister's post was the first thing on my feed. "This world has lost a truly great human being..." She went on to say that he had been killed the day before in non-combat action. I couldn't read anymore. I knew. I couldn't breathe. Sometimes (like right now) it still hits me and my breath is taken right out of my chest. He's gone. His daughter? Never held by her Daddy (he holds her now), never saw his one year wedding anniversary, his wife never saw her Marine's boots hit the asphalt after getting off that bus, and the list goes on. The young Marine of 26 lead one hell of a life and I'm so grateful that even for a few minutes--I got to be apart of it. Rest in Peace, Jonny-Boy. You are so very missed and I can't tell you how proud I am to be your friend. 

Whew. That was almost (Ha.) painless. It never gets easier missing someone. Anyone. These soldiers are so brave. They lay it all out there. For you. For me. For us. Whether you agree with the motivation or the moral of the war--it's besides the point. These men and woman are away  from their families and friends so that the rest of us can be with ours. Again THANKS!!

These are original (copyrighted) photos that I thought I would share.

I hope this post wasn't too heavy. After all, saying my thanks is the least this hippie can do. Peace::.

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