I believe I've already stated this before on my blog, but it's merits deserve further mention. THE toughest job in the military is being the spouse of a deployed service member. In my case, Leslie has a more difficult job than I will ever fathom in theater. Yes, there are moments when my life has been in danger; however, those events pale in comparison my wife's daily struggle to hold down "the fort" while I am away.
For all intents and purposes, right now Leslie is a single parent. Since I am not there to do much of what the other parent does (or should do), she bears the burden of being both the nurturer and discipliner. What is more, Ellie is at that stage in her life where she needs greater oversight and attention. Despite her bubbly personality and charm, she has her moments of being a little monster. As desperately as I want to be there to both attend to Ellie and support Leslie, I am half a world away, busy fighting my own set of little monsters.
Throughout the lead up to my deployment, I've had numerous people come up to me and thank ME for MY service. Yes, I'm doing something that a fraction of our nation's population has ever done; yet, I cannot shake the fact that my wife is making a sacrifice far greater than anything I will ever do over here. Although it's easy to look at my circumstances and say that I'm making a huge sacrifice, I ask that you please consider how much the most important person in my life is sacrificing on a daily basis.
A good friend of mine who is a singer/songwriter in Nashville wrote a song called "She Lives To Give." It's a story about a wife and mother who embodies selflessness and love. Every time I listen to it, I think about Leslie and what she means to me. She is truly a Proverbs 31 wife and I am so blessed to have her in my life. Lord knows where I'd be without her. Luckily I don't ever have to worry about that!
I would like to ask a favor. If you're reading this, please take some time to thank Leslie for HER service. It can be something as simple as a Facebook post, text message, phone call or even just a prayer for her during these trying times. She deserves praise and consideration for her actions far more than I do.
Leslie, I love you and thank God you are my soul mate. Hopefully you will accept this simple message as a token of my love and appreciation for you. You are my everything.