Now that the day is almost over, I guess I should write about today's significance to me
Monday, September 20, 2010
Fifteen years. I can't bloody well believe that it's been fifteen years since the biggest day of my life, before the three days my children were born. Fifteen years ago today, I raised my right hand and said "I, (name), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." in front of my grandfather, the one man that has EVER loved me unconditionally, no questions asked. It was the fact that HE swore me in that kept me going, and it was that fact that made me so ashamed of myself when I was sent home before I completed a year. It took my grandmother saying that they knew it wasn't MY fault I got sent home, my body couldn't do it. The spirit was willing, the flesh was weak.
Joining the Navy was the best thing I have ever done. I made some of the best friends I've ever had, and had I not joined the Navy that day, I wouldn't have met my ex-husband and so wouldn't have my children. Even though I know that my service is a big contributor to my current health issues, I still don't regret a moment. Most days, I'm very proud of my service. There are some days, when I'm at the VA hospital for 12 hours, when I sometimes feel I don't deserve to call myself a veteran, because I still have most of my physical health. I see my brothers and sisters in arms at the hospital who have lost so much more than I have, who served longer than I did, and I feel guilty. But, when I start feeling that way, my friends who are also vets kick me in the pants and tell me that I deserve the title as much as they, because I *DID* serve, and the reason I served such a short amount of time was because of the health issues I spend those long hours at the VA.
The last 15 years have been interesting. Been married and divorced twice, married a third time (let's hope it sticks this time!). Given birth three times, been pregnant at least two other times. Nearly bled to death from an ectopic pregnancy, been knocked to my knees by endometriosis and a torqued ovary. Met some WONDERFUL people that I LOVE and am so very glad they're in my life. Traveled to Italy, seen The Vatican and the Coliseum in Rome. Changed the Path of Faith I walk. Watched my oldest child go from an infant to a fairly self-sufficient pre-teen. Watched the best friend I've ever had have four wonderful children, nurse their father through cancer, and seen her go through their divorce with grace and strength. Been a shoulder for another incredibly good friend to cry on when her marriage fell apart. Seen my roommate from the Navy go from a naive, shy country girl to a confident, mature woman and mother of three. It's been a hell of a wild ride, and I hope to hell the next fifteen years are just as good!