My 7-month-old son met his Uncle Christian for the first time today because my brother-in-law is newly returned from Iraq. We are very grateful that he made it home safely after a 15-month-long deployment in a war America is talking about less and less often.
Last night, while at my parent's house, a childhood friend of my brother's dropped in to see us all. He was with his wife and new baby and it was fun to see people we've known since we were kids showing off our beautiful children to each other. He will be shipping out to Afghanistan, coincidentally with my brother's brother-in-law (his wife's brother), in a few short months.
These men and their families serve our country in a very tangible way both while deployed and while at home. When our friend returns from Afghanistan, his baby will be walking, talking, and playing--but probably won't be comfortable around his Daddy. While he's gone, his wife will be doing it all single-handedly and worried about his safety.
When I am tired and disappointed about something in my everyday life, I remind myself that our military families are out there doing it with a war in the middle of their lives. Thank a soldier. It puts things in perspective.