Thursday, November 11, 2010

my gratitude

Underneath our bed, there is a large suitecase that holds memories from another life- photos, receipts, paperwork, foreign money, postcards, uniforms, dog tags, and letters from loved ones.
This suitcase is my husband's time capsule of five years spent as Search and Rescue in the Navy. Yep, my long haired, yoga expert, surf bum, liberal, creative, pacifist husband spent five years of his young adult life traveling the world, jumping out of helicopters and serving his country. At eighteen he turned down a scholarship to art school to join the Navy- a part of his history that I never understood but realize that this decision made him who he is today.
We often pull everything out and look through the photos, read the letters, look at receipts, examine coins (he saved EVERYTHING!) and I listen to stories about a life before I knew him, stories that I've heard hundreds of times but never seem to get tired of. While in the military he did some amazing stuff, crazy stuff, had fun, made lifetime friendships, experienced fear and challenge, acquired discipline, learned lots of lessons and grew up REALLY fast. When I look at his photos, it always hits me how young he was (a skinny kid jumping out of helicopters!!!) and what a different life at eighteen he had from the rest of us.
I met him during his last few months of service and at the time I was shocked by the reality of his schedule, his time and life belonging to someone and something else- our country. While I will never quite understand, relate or even agree with this chapter in his life (sometimes I wish he had gone to art school instead), I will always respect and honor this part of my husband's history. His experiences inspired change, brought him to who he is today, created the path that brought us together and laid the foundation for the life that he created for himself.
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Today and every day, my honor, gratitude and thanks goes out to my husband, friends family and all veterans who served and are still serving our country.


bonnie said...

You said it so perfectly and touching. Please thank him from someone he does not know, but appreciates what he did.

De Leon Signs said...

Please thank your husband for his service! God Bless and Happy Veterans Day!

Single Stone Studios said...

What a beautiful post. My dad has a box like that. And though he only shares it with my mother it's sacred to us all. One day I'll get to go through it. Till then, I'll be thankful to have my dad :)

Claire Kiefer said...

What an interesting journey he's had. Thanks for making me think of today just a little differently . . . I can't imagine doing those kinds of things at just 18.

Single Stone Studios said...

PS - I took your mini canvas class. So. much. fun. I had a great time making some new projects with the techniques and now adding them to my work on a regular basis. I look forward to signing up for more!

Lynn Cohen said...

Wow.......I saw the picture and thought it was a much older soldiers treasure trove. Interesting!
I add my thanks as well.

Joan Princing Art said...

Boy, Alisa - I am so very grateful that I stumbled upon your blog a while back because not only do I get to admire all your beautiful creations - art - photos, the list goes on and on, I also receive the gift of reading your beautiful words! Thank you.
Joan & Jane Austen Eyre

lynda Howells said...

I read your blog today with interest. I met my husband just before he entered into the British Army...hard but interesting life. He came out after being injured and worked until quite recently for a Bank and we went all over the world. He retired at 6o last year and we have been married for 38 yrs this Christmas. The Army/Forces changes your attitude for the rest of your life for good and bad but l am glad there are people like your husband and mine who help to keep us all safe.
Tony and l both have a box/case full of stuff from those days too! lynda

Mindy said...

And I am thankful that there are young men and women, like your husband was, who are willing to serve for their country. Thank you for sharing.


What a wonderful post.
A special man...
My Grandad was in the Royal Navy during the World War I remembered him especially and all brave men and women who serve to keep our countries safe.
11th Hour of 11th Day of 11th Month
'Lest we Forget'
LOVE PEACE enJOY our freedom

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

Beautiful post! It is wonderful to hear of your gratitude and respect for your husband, even though he chose a path that you would not have. You are right about people's choices making them who they are. This world would be a better place if more people thought like that!

Artist said...

Well said. Gave me goosebumps. Thank your husband. Navy search and rescue, admirable.

Peace and Art to all.

deb did it said...

thank you for this beautiful heartfelt post. My son is deployed, so this rings especially true today. I blogged about my hero here

Anonymous said...

It was very interesting for me to read this post. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more soon.

Hilary Hakkinen
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Deanna said...

A very nice tribute to your husband... there is something special about those who make the sacrifice to defend our freedom. My son was also in the Navy for 5 years and is now a full-time college student. His last duty station was the USS Ronald Reagan in San Diego :) He has a similar box of collected items from his travels and deployments and we enjoy rummaging through it from time to time. I have saved other items that he sent home and will return them all to him one day when he has a son of his own. Thank your husband for his service!

Nelda Ream said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. And a big thank you to your husband for giving a part of his young life to all of us.

dianne said...

As a teenager, I couldn't understand why anyone would want to serve. As an adult, I am able to respect the choices and dedication that people make when joining. The military is a totally different place with its own set of rules. Like Lynda said, for good and bad. Thank you for sharing your husband's story.

GreenStockings said...

Long before I knew him, my husband served in the Canadian military. A back injury forced him to accept a medical discharge, but I have no doubt that if he were able today, he would be in Afghanistan. Like you, I can't really understand it, but I do recognise that it is a part of him that makes him who he is today. And that person is wonderful, though really, I don't understand him now either, so perhaps that's just the state of affairs!


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