Tonight at the stroke of twelve, my son-in-law will have a Cinderella type experience, as Cinderella became the servant girl again, tonight, my son-in-law will become a civilian once more. This event will go mostly unnoticed, except by his family and close friends. His work place will continue on their mission just as they did today. His replacement is already at his desk. His personal things are most likely in a box sitting in a room at his home. Tomorrow his uniforms will be put into another closet. Tonight marks the beginning of another chapter. This is an incredible moment in the life of any military man who has given most of his adult life in service to our country. Twenty years is a long time.
Unlike my husband, our son will not have a ceremony to commemorate this achievement. My daughter will not be recognized for her service in support of our military. He will not be piped ashore in a traditional way. Since he will not be recognized I am going to recognize his achievement, thus this post.
Rusty (yes, I used his name) was first introduced to me via my daughter. It was not a personal meeting, no, I first heard of him with an endearing term I will not mention here. I just knew that there was this Navy man with incredible arms who was training in San Diego. They dated for a few months, and we never got to meet him that time around.
He was always in the background though, conversations, dates, and frustrations as they went on their way of growing up. He was deployed and I could see the worry in her eyes. He did serve in the hot spots around the world. He did his job well, and it was not an easy job to do. He would run in, drop in, dive in where support was needed. He did an excellent job.
He married our daughter and they have Little Miss. I have seen this man go from a hardened warrior, eager to get onto the field of battle to a family man. No, we did not get along when this family was formed. But, I knew that I would grow to love him. What I didn’t realize is how quickly he crept into my heart to stay. Yes, he is a warrior, ready for battle, but, he is also a Daddy of girls. It takes someone special to do what he has done in the military, but, even more so, it takes someone special to be a Daddy to girls. This man has done both well. I am proud of him.
I have also said that it’s time for my daughter to retire from military life, I have said she has forty years in the Navy, but that is incorrect, she has 35 years in. She has gone from Navy brat to Navy wife. Her first outing was to see her Daddy of two weeks re-enlist. She screamed through the whole thing , her last day of being a Navy wife was spent in the car taking care of stuff that seems to pop up when you are planning something different. It is a typical Navy wife type of day.
So, as this day will draw to an end and we see the end of August tomorrow, this family will begin a new chapter in their lives. Our Little Miss will start first grade and life will continue. Work will be done, family time will continue and yet, the memories and achievements will linger on. Stories will all be past tense. Such is the life of a Veteran.
So, Rusty, I salute you. If I had a boatswains pipe, I would pipe you ashore. There is a saying that is given in times like this. It is a saying derived from sailors. It is an appropriate saying for today.
My dear son, Well done. May you have Fair Winds and Following Seas. I know this next chapter will be a wonderful one. Dad and I are proud of you. Thank you for your service, we have slept easy knowing you were on duty.