My parents met each other when they were in the Army stationed in Germany. After they decided to get married, my mom got out of the service so she could take care of Bubba and I. My dad went into the Army Reserves so he could be around while we grew up. I will always remember those weekends when Dad would come home from the Reserves all dressed in his camo. I would run outside to meet him in his off white Nissan hatchback. Sometimes he'd let me sit on his lap and "drive" (steer with his help) into the garage. After being gone for most of the day/weekend, I was so happy he was home and could play with us.
When I was in elementary school, my dad's unit was called into active duty and he had to leave for a YEAR to go to Hungary. It was a hard year without him. I missed him like crazy and thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes. Sometime during Christmas time I was watching Hey Arnold and the episode was about someone's dad being gone or going away or something of that nature. It just broke my little heart. I ran downstairs and starting sobbing to my mom and pleading for her to bring back Daddy. That's when she told me we were flying out to Colorado to visit her brother and his family and that Daddy was meeting us out there...just days before Christmas.
This all came back to me this morning since it's Veterans Day. I'm so very thankful for all the men and women who have fought for our country. I think we forget that freedom isn't free...it does come at a price and I'm eternally grateful. Thank you Dad, thank you Mom, thank you friends, thank you veterans, for fighting for our country and for our freedom. I love you and will always support you.