The Navy is a little different in that they deploy for 6-9 months or go on patrols from 2-4 months. It is a cycle that is broken by ships and boats that come in for repairs or get put off course by things they need to check on out there in the ocean. Surface ships are luckier in that technology has given the aboard sailor the ability to send and receive emails and mail on a more regular basis. Submarines are better than ten years ago in that every once in a while they, too, can send and receive emails. I'm a little more familiar with the submarines and know that there are "black out" periods of time where there is no communication whatsoever. Even the Red Cross has a hard time getting through when things are tough.
Any way you put it, the sailors/submariners are gone for periods of time. And they are missed. Missed by wives, family, friends, and especially the kids. They are needed at home to get the oil changed in the car, or to help soothe the fevered brow of a sick baby. They miss so much serving our country and keeping our water boundaries safe. It is a way of life where I live.
Then there's today. A normal average Friday. Kids are gone to school and some husbands are playing golf. You go to run an errand with a friend and on the way back, you see something that just makes your heart smile. It may not be you experiencing the joy and excitement of seeing a face you've missed for so long, but you sure know how it feels. It's something, once felt, you never forget. For me, it never gets old. Every time I see this....I want to cry. Happy tears, mind you.
Please remember our men and women working for our safety this Holiday Season, would you? Not just those across the sea...but those who work day in and day out to secure our borders from those who wish us harm. Because while we may sit down to family dinners, open gifts, and enjoy the company of those we love? There are those who will be freezing out in the middle of nowhere watching a non-moving horizon. There will be those who will make sure your day is as safe as can be while missing their own families.
I'd like to say "Thank You" to the neighbor whose name I do not know. I know not if you are a Sailor, a Submariner or Marine, but I sure am glad you're doing your job.
Special thanks to Carla for tolerating me making her stop to take a picture of something we've seen so many times......