Those veterans are the wives, husbands and children that remain behind when their military member goes off to serve.
It's not easy for them, either. While the service member misses important family milestones, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, sports games, graduations, the family picks up and carries on, keeping life going and as normal as humanly possible.
From personal experience, I know how hard it was on Marti, raising our three kids and maintaining the household, paying bills, dealing with sick children, keeping up a strong face while her stomach was in knots as she worried about me, often having no idea where I was or what I was doing.
We watched our daughter Heather carry on for the year our SIL, Brian was deployed on the ground in Afghanistan in some of the most dangerous areas. She was worried sick, but kept a brave face on as she ran their home life as normal as possible for our grandsons Andrew and Owen. Owen was too little to remember the deployment, but Andrew was old enough to be devastated that his daddy was gone and he really didn't understand why.
Our DIL, Amber, continues to hold down the fort for our son, Ryan, who has spent weeks underway in previous assignments and in his current tour often is gone from home as he travels up and down the Oregon/Washington coasts maintaining lighthouses and other navigational markers. Amber often is both the mommy and daddy to our granddaughters, Taylor and Kierra when Ryan is gone.
Many other military families go through the same things and live for the day their loved one returns home.
So, as we honor our veterans on this day, remember too, the families behind the service member. Their support is paramount to the servicemember's success, they know their home life is being taken care of and it allows them to concentrate on their job serving world wide.
When you see a military member in uniform, don't hesitate to thank them for their service, and if their family happens to be with them, thank them, too.
Lastly, a salute to our family veterans:
My Grandfather, Pvt Oscar W. Measom, English Army, WWI (1917-1919)
My Father, Cpl Melvin R. Dahl, US Army Air Corps, WWII (1942-1946)
My Son-In-Law, LT Brain J. Bedford, USNR (2001-Present)
My Son, MK1 Ryan P. Dahl, USCG (2000-Present)
And me, CWO3 Paul A. Dahl, USCG (1981-Present)
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