deployment

‘Your meal’s already been covered.’ I don’t have the right words. I teared up.’: Stranger’s act of kindness for mom-of-3 at Cracker Barrel came when she needed it most, ‘my brother was killed on his way home for Thanksgiving’

“At the end of our meal, our server brought us a to-go box and said 5 words with a smile that hit me hard: ‘Your meal’s already been covered.’ Here’s what no one could have possibly seen: Today, 4 years ago, my little brother lived his last day in this world. Today was a ‘Just make it through’ kind of day. Until this moment.”

‘Time’s Up!’ The words cut me like a knife. I watched as he left. ‘I Love You,’ he mouthed. Then he was gone.’: Military couple’s whirlwind romance through training, deployments, ‘I’m proud to stand by his side as he serves our country’

“Deployment day arrived. As I hugged him, the cool metal of his dog tags pressed against my cheek. I said through tears, ‘You better come back safely to me!’ before he climbed onto the big plane to take him away. He looked me right in the eyes. ‘I will baby.’ He said, ‘Life is too short, let’s get married.’ He was serious. I don’t know what he saw over there. I have never asked. We married 3 days after his return.”

‘It can’t be him. My life can’t go on without him.’ It was 10 days before his return from deployment.’: Marine wife mourns fallen hero fiancé on what would’ve been their wedding day, ‘I will stay strong for you, carry on your legacy’

“I remember every text I sent him that day, with no reply. I’ll never forget the terrible gut feeling I had when I found out 3 American soldiers had been killed. It was windy and the trees were blowing, as if Ben was giving me a sign. ‘It can’t be him, it’s finally our turn.’ I remember trying to go to sleep that night, but was tossing and turning. And then came the pounding on the door at 1 a.m.”

‘You chose this. You knew what you were getting into.’ I don’t judge or criticize you.’: Wife recounts the raw reality of being a military spouse, ‘I knew I loved him and wasn’t going to walk away’

“I have to say ‘see you later’ to my husband soon and my heart is broken. We have been preparing for this awful day. I have my spouse wear a sweatshirt every day for a week before he leaves so when I’m lying in bed bawling, I can at least have his scent to give me a small amount of sanity. Your husband’s 3-day business trip is not a comparison, but I’m still sad to see you without him. Because it does suck and I won’t judge you.”

‘I adopted a deployed soldier. I knew he’d be my husband. People thought we were nuts.’: 10 months after ‘random selection’ pairing online, couple says ‘I do’ after emotional military homecoming

“I signed up through a website where you ‘adopt’ someone who is deployed. I figured, ‘Why not help someone serving their country?’ We exchanged a few emails. Just small talk. As the days got closer to meeting him in person, I got nervous. I was hours away from meeting my potential husband. My heart just knew.”

‘I got a message from a stranger offering condolences for my fiancé. My heart raced. I had NO IDEA what was going on.’: Deputy paralyzed in shooting, girlfriend embraces his ‘new normal’ with open arms

“I knew I needed to be wherever he was. I raced upstairs, put on clothes. After several unanswered phone calls, Jamie’s sergeant picked up. ‘He’s been shot in the back.’ He was paralyzed from the sternum down. The news didn’t hit until I had to relay it to my parents. I can’t make his pain go away. I can’t make his legs move again. But what I can do is love him.”

‘Here.’ Our social worker opened her back door to an 11-pound baby. My eyes locked on hers. ‘There you are.’: Foster mom gains custody of little girl after 2 years of raising her, ‘our family is finally complete’

“‘Don’t get too attached. This is only for the month,’ our social worker warned. ‘I know.’ My brain knew that truth, my heart just didn’t care. ‘I know I’m not who you’re looking for.’ She blinked up at me, so light and frail. ‘But I’ll be here every time you look for me, okay?’ She was malnourished and tested positive for drugs. I was already attached because she needed me to be.”

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