September 11 has come and gone yet I still am struck with it's memories. I will never forget the day that our country came under attack. I was in class at UNA and remember coming down the stairs and seeing a mass of people watching the TV in pure silence. As I came to the end of the stairs, Shawn caught my eye with a look that made my stomach turn. As we rewatched the Towers come crashing down I almost lost it. I thought how could AMERICA come under such attack and where did that leave us? The innocent people who lost their lives that day. Shawn was doing ROTC but also was SMP with National Guard in FLorence. AS we walked he told me that there might be a slight chance he would have to go immediately overseas to defend the country. We were not engaged at this time (it would come a month later) but I still knew he was the one God sent for me to have forever. My heart sank at the thought of him leaving and wondering if he'd return. AT that time though I didn't know exactly what being an Army wife entailed but got a snippet of what it might. Thankfully he didn't have to go at that time.
Now 8 years later and 2 deployments under the belt it brings a whole new meaning to "Proud to be an American". My husband is one of the ones who defends our freedom. He does it so selflessly and without complaint. He works long hours and never complains or fails to do his "duties" around the house.
The first deployment to Iraq we had about 2 weeks to prepare ourselves for that first deployment. I wasn't sure what to expect except lonliness and worry. The Batallion Commander dropped the bomb on us at the Christmas Hail and Farewell. Shawn had clued me in earlier that day so I was not as shocked as others but the news was so hard to swallow. At that time I had only been working at DSS for 3 months, no kids so that was a blessing at the time. I met one of my dearest friends in NC during that time. She kept me sane during that time. She was one of the few non-military friends there I made. She was awesome. She'll never know how much her friendship meant to me during that difficult time and in the times to come.
When Shawn was in Afghanistan he missed the first year of James life which I know was hard but he also knew he had to go in order to ensure James safety and freedoms at home.Shawn initially left thinking 12 month deployment and later was extended 15 months. Some say oh that is only 3 more months. Until you have been there you don't know what 3 months, 90 days means. That means 90 days of sickness of worry, praying he'll return home in one piece. Praying that he not see so much that he isn't able to return home to a normal life. When Shawn left James was 2 months old, when he returned he was 17 months old. Shawn missed all the firsts with him. We have so many friends whose husbands are deployed right now and my heart aches for them. We know that Shawn is "safe" for 2 years but we know next duty station will more than likely deploy him again...we are not nieve. Part of me feels guilty having my husband home while so many are gone but then I remember that was me just a year and a half ago. While Shawn is here I wonder how I did raise James alone for 15 months while being away from family? All i can say is God gave me strength and a wonderful baby. Sure it was hard but I learned so much about myself and had to branch out and meet people. I met wonderful wives who were going thru the same things I was. The sitting by the phone and computer waiting for them to call or IM. Shawn was involved in heavy firefights and battles in Afghanistan the entire time. Although he was Signal his experience as Infantry officer landed him on the ground Commanding an Infantry unit. It was gut wrenching anytime I heard news on the TV about things and then not hearing from him for days. ANytime a battle occured all communication with "outside world" was cut off until all clear.
the day he left and the day he returned
I am so proud of my husband and all our soldiers who are serving so that we can be free. People take things for granted and it is sad. I just hope that we can enjoy these next 2 years together because we know that we will be seperated too many more times to count in the next 13 years. YES 13 LONG years left but he enjoys his job.
- The Dalrymple Family
- Shawn and I have been married almost 10 years. We married right before he commissioned out of college so we have gone thru military life together. Not always easy but makes you appreciate the time together. We have one son, James, who was born in Nov. 2006. Ethan was born July 2009 That's it for us! Two is a good number.
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