Before I start with my tribute to my military family and friends….I just want to thank those who have reached out to me this week to see how I was doing. Last week just wasn’t so great but as of this morning, I am feeling a lot better. My mouth had been so sore that it hurt to brush my teeth with a soft toothbrush. That is resolving itself, thank goodness, because it is awful. My hands and feet are still pretty sensitive but they are better. I finally reached out to my oncologist’s office to find out the results of my echocardiogram that was done 2 weeks ago. So far, so good. My heart seems healthy and we’ll continue on with the chemo. I have taken on some new tasks at our store that I can do from home which keeps me busy and feeling useful. The darkness which threatened to invade my days last week are diminished. So a special thank you to Paula Buck, Nan Rippe, Joe & Heather Messina, for checking up on me. I am feeling much better. (just in time for chemo next week!)
There is something special about those who serve in the military. There is a bond that cannot be truly explained. The friend and coworker who comes into work to help you labor with your first child…and then becomes his Godmother ( Amy Johnson ) There are friends who you can call in tears because you can’t figure out how to use your Norwegian washer and dryer ( Debbie Engel ). Or people that help you welcome an adopted daughter into your family with a baby shower when you live in Japan ( Shannon Henderson Thomas, Roxanne Aguilera, and Nicole Kobs ) People who step in as proxies when that adopted Chinese daughter is baptized by a military priest from Nigeria in Okinawa ( Chris A Comeau and Chris Beadle ) People who are willing to walk in the rain in the Norwegian countryside because your dogs and daughter need to get out ( Julie Piper Phipps ) Families you have grown to love so much you follow them from Norway to Nebraska ( Ed Oslica , Wanda Doeden Oslica, Morgan ,Oslica, and Zac Oslica ) Fellow military wives who have graduated to military moms with big shoulders to cry on when our boys are deployed ( Wendy Eastop Masin and Carissa Curtis ) Those who have fought cancer and reach out when it seems your fight has begun….even though we were stationed together decades ago.. ( Bruce McNaughton and Mercedes Sink Holmen ) That person who will chat with you in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep and are getting overwhelmed with life…all the way from Japan…because her day is my night ( Adrienne Howard ) And last but not least, my parents, who know what it can be like living overseas as military members. My mom, Karen Ancel Neitzke , mailed me brown sugar and vanilla (a lot of it) when we had a hard time getting it in Norway so I could do my holiday baking. It seems like a small thing. It was huge. To all my military friends and family out there….retired or active duty…. thanks for shaping the person I am and being a support network for all of us. You all are the best!
Serving our great country through military service is somewhat of family affair for both Rich’s family and for mine. Our fathers, my grandma and grandpa, our uncles, cousins, siblings and their spouses, and son all have served or are currently serving. My father and Rich were both career military so many of my friends growing up and friends in adulthood are military. In fact, if you are not military and a good friend of mine, you are the exception, not the rule. I say this because my life has been immersed in military living….hearing reveille over the speakers in the morning, taps at night, standing for the national anthem before movies at the post theater…moving every couple of years and living overseas were all part and parcel of my life. With my son, Joe, he makes 4 direct generations in my family in the military and I am so very proud of that! So thank a veteran today especially, but show your thanks everyday, because their sacrifice is something you can’t understand unless you have lived it. Happy Veteran’s day to all my many friends and family out there. You are deeply loved and appreciated! Below are some photos of family and friends over the years….spanning from WWII to the Vietnam War to the present.