Living in Pensacola, Florida, we are surrounded by people in the military. With active Navy, Marines, and Air Force bases around us, it is very common for us to see people in uniform daily, to pray with friends through deployments, celebrate homecomings, and read about the good times and the struggles. I remember a couple of years after I moved here, I was on a plane flight returning to Pensacola from a Minnesota visit, and when I walked onto the plane, I was surrounded by people in uniform. And it instantly made me think "I'm heading home", as it is something I have grown accustomed to as well as love seeing around me. My dad was in the Air Force and my brother-in-law was in the Marines, and so it has been a part of my own family's life as well. I have friends whose husbands, brothers, sisters, and children have been deployed, and all that I can think to say on this day are these two simple words.
Thank you for all you have done for our country. For your sacrifices. For your bravery. For so many things that we aren't even aware of as civilians, for having the courage to stand up for this country of ours and fight for our freedoms. And to those of you who have someone in the military in your life, for the wives and girlfriends who miss special holidays together, the mamas who are having babies and raising children alone at times when their daddies are deployed, and for everyone else who has someone special who has contributed time in their lives to the military, thank you. The military wives that I have had the pleasure of getting to know, you are some of the strongest women I have met. And so on this day, thank you too, for everything you have sacrificed as well.
The first photo in this post is of my friend Christina and her husband, captured by Kiyomi Photography when her husband returned from a deployment. I remember seeing this photo the day that she posted it, I immediately felt the emotion of that moment, and I completely feel that this is the way that homecomings are so many times. These are the emotions that grasp so many people in our country now, as they wait for the day that their loved ones will come home.
I have had the privilege of planning a few weddings with military couples, and so wanted to take this day to highlight these incredible men and women, and just say thank you, putting faces to a few of the brave and wonderful people who are serving in our military to help keep our country great.
Thank you, Meredith and Eric, for both being as amazing as you are. To learn when we were planning your wedding that one of you were actually in the Pentagon on 9/11 was heart-wrenching and I was so happy to be a part of your wedding day. You both are such wonderful individuals and your commitment to each other and the military is incredible to me.