My torn coat flaps in the vicious breeze as I walk slowly back home, my four year old brother running and skipping ahead, oblivious to our suffering. Pain shoots through my empty belly as I jolt and shake with each jagged step. My skin feels burnt, despite the cold, as I stride to what I humbly call my home. Disappointment reddens my face every time I walk the broken garden path to my front door. The door is dull and weathered, the lock all but broken. My sunken eyes blur as I notice the torn curtains and empty closets. I check for letters then hurry inside to start dinner for my little brother. My father is in the army. He will not be back for supper. I pour water into an iron pot and open the pantry door. I stare at the same thing I stare at every day. Nothing. I stifle a sob, not wanting the carefree nature of my brother to be corrupted by my hopelessness. My mother is dead. She was shot protecting the daughter of two complete strangers. The fruits of a country too long at war. She will not be home for supper.
In the front hallway of Mom's house are a set of photos, taken on an Air Force base, portraying a dashing man in uniform and the fighter plane behind him.
First thing is first is that boyfriend/girlfriend or girlfriend/girlfriend or boyfriend/boyfriend relationships can be easy at times and really hard at other times. It goes the same when you are a civilian, and you are dating someone in the military. The the word civilian is what people in the military call people that aren't in the military. There are many rules and/or things to know that come with dating someone in the military (just like dating someone not in the military.)
On 6th June, 1944, allied forces undertook what became the biggest seaborne invasion in history. In what was known at the time as "Operation Neptune," 160,000 American, British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and other allied soldiers stormed a 50 mile stretch of heavily-fortified coastline in Normandy, in Nazi-occupied France, landing in amphibious craft and immediately coming under heavy fire. The operation has been re-imagined in countless movies, TV shows and video games—perhaps most famously in Steven Spielberg's 1998 film Saving Private Ryan.
My Grandfather was a very silent, angry man. He shouted a lot, especially at other drivers in traffic. He never hugged anyone or said, ‘I love you,’ and although I was born on the fourth of July, he never went to see the fireworks with me for my birthday.
His Greatest Honor was to serve. Mine will be to tell his story. Over 50 years ago, 1967, CW4 Gordon Eatley served two tours in Vietnam as an Army helicopter pilot. It was his greatest honor to serve his country. In August of 2019, he will be traveling back to where his service began. For three weeks we will travel throughout the country of Vietnam, visiting places he once traveled, where he lost friends and searching for some peace amongst it all. We hope that this will help change the memories that he has carried for all these years. We pray that it will allow him to come home under much better conditions and a warmer welcome. Over the next month, we will be telling stories, bringing everyone up to date with his life and in August we will be departing for 24 days, life-changing experience. I am his Son, Jeffrey Eatley, and I will be documenting it all in order to create a Documentary about his life then and his life now. Not many Fathers and Sons get the opportunity to do what we are doing.
Signing up as a military spouse is one of the toughest things you will ever do. When you say "I do" and your service member takes the oath, you are promising to always put your country first, learn to overcome your emotions alone, and to live anywhere in the world without a say. This is not a job for the weak, but there are some tips that can help you stay strong and muster through. Here are ten survival tips for military spouses.
The Rehoboth Beach, Delaware waters swelled into a blue-green splotch against the graying skies. Master Gunnery Sergeant Hamner Coral sat with his grandchildren Titan and Marietta. A fire in the corner toasted the trio on this February day. Coral always loved to see the snowflakes fall on the sand like pencil shavings spilling into a wastepaper basket.
The tale, as far as I know it, started in 1979. It started with Saddam Hussein. It started with conflict, with war, with struggle, hostility, bloodshed. It started with death. My grandfather, then 25 years old, was in combat for six years. He was married and left behind six beautiful young children. I talked to him the other day about the Iranian Iraqi war and he had told me that he had fought in the defensive position and shot down Iranian fighter aircrafts to protect his base. He had told me that at some point during the war, the Iranian military had surrounded his base, and that for three days, they were left to starve. The soldiers had to resort to eating grass and drinking muddy water.
As Remembrance Day nears us in 2018, I want to take some time to honor the veterans in my life. I didn't know the men in the picture above very well, but the impact they've had on my family is indelible. Veterans fight the worst battles, not only on the frontlines, but also in their minds when they return home. Mental health among veterans is somewhat of an area of stigma, when it truly shouldn't be. They have gone through unimaginable horrors for our sake.
In 2009, I married the love of my life! He is charming, funny, a great listener, and the best friend I've ever had in life. We still get each other, even after eleven years of wedded bliss. It hasn't always been easy, but somehow, we made it work. When we married that fall day, I had no idea what I was signing on for. I married my husband, but his mistress is the military. My husband has served this great country of ours for 31 years... and counting! He loves serving his country and he loves his troops.
Your husband or wife is gone and you feel like you've been left behind. Scratch that attitude! In order to survive deployment, you’re going to need to keep a positive attitude. There will be lots of situations that may appear to be discouraging at first, but if you keep your head on straight and your heart inspired, there’s no reason why this needs to be a gloomy time. We’ve done half the work for you by rounding up these expert-approved tips for military spouses to make the best use of time while your spouse is on active duty.