The subtitle of my blog is “Reflections of an Army Wife.” I may have to change that to “Reflections of a Retired Army Wife.” Read on and you’ll see why.
My Soldier and I are going to be heading out in the very near future. The end of the road comes for all of us one day. For some it’s sooner than we would have liked, for others it took too long! For us, it’s just right. Kinda like Goldilocks. Not too hard, not too soft, just right!
We are both so very grateful for the many years we have been given to serve and to serve with our nation’s finest, the Soldiers and families of the U.S. Army!
What a gift for us and we will leave with our hearts full of gratitude and memories, the good far outweighing the bad, as we transition to civilian life. It has been an honor and a privilege for both of us.
I thought of all sorts of things I could share in my parting remarks, but I’ve narrowed it down to the following three.
1) As a professional volunteer, something I dubbed myself at least a decade ago when I was trying to explain what I do to someone, I heartily encourage Army Spouses to volunteer. Even if you work for pay in a profession that you enjoy and that you work hard at, try to find some time once in a while to volunteer. Giving of yourself to others in need is the most rewarding thing you can ever do. And it doesn’t have to be much. It could be making a meal for someone after a surgery or birth of a child. It could be an hour of your time at a fundraiser for your Spouse Club. But volunteering for the good of others is an energizer and a spirit lifter. I always get more than I give.
2) “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” – RJ Palacio. This is something I’ve shared for several years now with younger spouses. It was initially part of my talk on Army Tradition.
(I can share the link: https://youtu.be/UL4tmkGQfoE if you’d like to view the entire thing.)
I was discussing customs and courtesies and making sure that everyone you meet in any social situation feels comfortable and part of the group. You can make someone’s day by showing them kindness, even if they might not be dressed properly or know all the right things to do, or even have the best manners.
You can be an example of charity and even of what “right looks like” by your actions. Treating others with respect is the best example of all.
3) “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6:31. Yes, this is similar to Number 2, but it’s not exactly the same. While this is out of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of Sacred Scripture, it was said to his followers and to us, by Jesus Christ. I know of no better advice I can give you. Always put yourself in the other person’s “shoes” for a minute before jumping to conclusions, before judging, before condemning or hurting someone. When someone’s feelings are hurt, that can turn to anger; then there is little hope of having a positive social interaction or relationship with them. Recall the part from Choosing to be Kind from my last bit of advice about being an example.
So, that’s what I would share with you all as we prepare to leave the Army. I love our Army families and will miss working with them/advocating for them! They are not perfect, but they are beautiful. The selfless service and willingness to support one another is not equaled in any other walk of life save first responders. And they are all an inspiration to me.
Please remember to pray for the safety of all our deployed Troops around the world. And please pray for their families, too.
God bless each of you and I will be praying for our Soldiers and families long after I’m gone from this life. See you on the high ground!
With gratitude and affection,