Day 26: A picture of something that means a lot to you.
This is my AF shadow box.
Most people who serve in the Air Force do not get a shadow box unless they retire from the service. However, my Father in Law was kind enough to make me one. I wanted to keep all of my AF things, but I didn't just want to throw them into a box and forget about them. I couldn't have asked for a better display. It was beyond important to me that I was represented in two ways...who I was when I came in to the AF, and who I was when I left. Because honestly I am not the same person I was before I joined. Although my military experience was completely different from what I thought it would be, I am so grateful and proud that I did it and I can say I served my country. Without the military I would not have met my husband and I wouldn't have all the blessings that God has given to me since. I believe that God had a plan from the beginning. I felt called to serve, but only wanted to sign up as a linguist. Somehow I past the entrance exam for the linguist school but after months of training it wasn't working out...and when that ended I could have walked. I could have been done with the military and returned to civilian life with no penalties, but I felt a need to fulfill at least four years of service. So I put my trust in God and got re-classed. When I received my new assignment, I bawled. I had no desire to do the job assigned to me but something brought me to sign my name on the dotted line.
That was it. Committed to fulfill the rest of my four years, I headed to a different Tech school and then off to my first assignment. When I got there I was gun hoe about learning the job and jumping in...again that wasn't the case. Things in the military happen much slower than one would expect. My "idea" of having a "military job" wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. It was way less "active" than the term implies. After playing the "hurry up and wait" game for months, I couldn't wait to get out. Well that along with some bad supervision and feeling like I was stuck in high school click again without being able to say what was really on my mind to the people who probably needed to hear it the most.
Along the way I met Wes. 3.5 years younger than me, he was a little less "mature" at the time, but when he wasn't being brutally honest, he was actually very nice and great to be around. We became good friends very fast. Knowing I would never date him, he heard it all. And I am sure he told me things he might have thought twice about too, if he ever thought we would date. Then one day something changed. I don't know if either of us can really pinpoint exactly when, but it was somewhere around the time frame of him finding me a sand dollar late one night on the beach while sitting in borrowed beach chairs and watching the stars...me putting it in my hoodie pocket for "safe keeping", it getting smashed....then he left for vacation, Jeremiah (a mutual friend) and I joined in the beach clean up and I ended up finding a sand dollar almost identical to the one he gave me. I was so excited to give it to him, and knowing he hates surprises, I was sure to tell him I had a gift for him when he came home.
It bothered him. But when he got it he loved it. Anyways....something clicked. He asked me out. I was scared and took awhile to say yes. Luckily he waited. We dated. I broke up with him while he was deployed. He came home. We decided to date again for the summer because he was suppose to leave in Oct for Korea. God must have postponed it because he got delayed until Jan, and we started talking about marriage in Oct. if he would have left when he was supposed to we probably would be wondering "what if" right now. In Nov. he asked me to marry him, and without hesitation I said yes.
The small delay in his departure put it perfect timing for me getting out of the service the same time he was done in Korea. And the rest is history.
So the Military means a lot to me because I felt called to serve my country and I am proud I did, but it is also where I met my now husband, and without it I wouldn't be where I am today.