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What Veterans Day Means For Me, A Gold Star Wife
Growing up, I was always was in awe of those who served in the military, even though I wasn’t related to anyone who did. My appreciation grew when I was in high school, when 9/11 happened. I spent much of my free time then volunteering at the local USO, sending letters, and packing care packages for those who volunteered to go to take the fight to enemy, trying in my own way as a high school student to understand the gravity of it all.
Then I met my husband-to-be, Chris, and fell in love with him right away — because he was a man of honor, integrity, and one who loved his country more than anything. He loved it enough to volunteer during war time to serve as a sniper — not because he hated what was in front of him, but because he loved what was behind him. And I loved him for it.
When the two uniformed officers knocked on my door on Sept. 9, 2011, just before his 27th birthday, to tell me Chris had been killed, it was completely devastating.
During Chris’ deployment, there were many nights I couldn’t sleep. It wasn’t just because of Chris, but because of all the American service members “over there” while I was sleeping in my suburban, middle-class, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home on a fluffy down pillow. They were fighting, and volunteered to do so, so I could continue the life I lived, and sleep in peace. Service members continue to fight, over and over again — deploying multiple times or serving at home.
After Chris’ death, the world didn’t know how to interact with me, or understand what he gave, and I watched how my more and more of my country didn’t understand our troops. And I still watch it today. The civilian-military divide is growing, and I can’t imagine what it is like to wade through a “new normal” with a country and population you fought to protect that doesn’t understand you.
Many service members are out of the service now, and going to school and starting new careers — feeling behind compared to those in our generation who chose not to go to war and instead reap the benefits that veterans fought for.
Veterans have come home to families who don’t recognize them, to face their own self in the mirror, to face their own pain, to know that they are not where they feel they should be in a world full of humans who like to dot Is and cross Ts, but don’t necessarily understand what is really important in life.
There is nothing in this world, or in this life more noble, and nothing in my life I am more grateful for than those who served our country — for what they have given, all they have sacrificed, and the years they spent fighting for my life and the lives of all Americans.
To everyone who has served, although this country may not understand you, and it may seem sometimes as if they forget what you gave, I remember.
And I will never forget.
As for my husband, I will spend the rest of my days honoring him, and remembering him. In each and every one service member, I see him, I see his spirit live on, and I see who he would have been. I see the good, the bad, and the hardships they have had to face.
From the deepest parts of my heart, I am grateful.
I will spend the rest of my life honoring our men and women in and out of uniform and engaging in the country they stood up and even bled for. Today, and every day, I remember them and thank them.
And, in my own way, I fight for them.
The U.S. Space Force has a name tape for uniforms now. Get excited people.
In a tweet from its official account, the Space Force said its uniform name tapes have "touched down in the Pentagon," sharing a photo of it on the chest of Gen. John W. Raymond, the newly-minted Chief of Space Operations for the new service branch nested in the Department of the Air Force.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump gave a minute-to-minute account of the U.S. drone strikes that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in remarks to a Republican fund-raising dinner on Friday night, according to audio obtained by CNN.
With his typical dramatic flourish, Trump recounted the scene as he monitored the strikes from the White House Situation Room when Soleimani was killed.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Two immigrants, a pastor and an Army sergeant have been convicted of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud as part of an illegal immigration scheme, according to federal prosecutors.
Rajesh Ramcharan, 45; Diann Ramcharan, 37; Sgt. Galima Murry, 31; and the Rev. Ken Harvell, 60, were found guilty Thursday after a nine-day jury trial, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Colorado.
The conspiracy involved obtaining immigration benefits for Rajesh Ramcharan, Diann Ramcharan, and one of their minor children, the release said. A married couple in 2007 came to the U.S. from Trinidad and Tobago on visitor visas. They overstayed the visas and settled in Colorado.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran said on Saturday it was sending to Ukraine the black boxes from a Ukrainian passenger plane that the Iranian military shot down this month, an accident that sparked unrest at home and added to pressure on Tehran from abroad.
Iran's Tasnim news agency also reported the authorities were prepared for experts from France, Canada and the United States to examine information from the data and voice recorders of the Ukraine International Airlines plane that came down on Jan. 8.
The plane disaster, in which all 176 aboard were killed, has added to international pressure on Iran as it grapples with a long running row with the United States over its nuclear program that briefly erupted into open conflict this month.