Why Do We Choose to Serve?

Day 83
Yesterday was my anniversary. I’ve been married to my beautiful wife for sixteen wonderful years. I truly love being married to this woman. We seldom make much of our anniversary when we’re together. This time being so far a part and for so long I find myself more aware of it. Happy Anniversary my dear. I look forward to many more celebrations of our marriage.

A few days a go I wrote about the question, “why do we choose to serve?” I’ve received a number of replies. This question of why do we choose to serve that many of us over here ask ourselves is not a logical question. Very nearly all of the people in the military have a very clear logical explanation of why they joined the military. For a lot of people over here, September 11 was their motivation for joining. Patriotism, God, country, family tradition, the majority of us fully understand our logical reasons for serving.

The question that I was referring to is an emotional one. It comes to mind after you get off the phone with your wife and you sit thinking about how much you miss her. It comes to mind when you open that envelope and find a drawing your kid did which illustrates what he thinks you are doing over here. The question comes to mind when you see buddy go down and you realise that it could have been you. It comes to mind when you read in Stars & Stripes about another military serviceman KIA and realise that next time it might be you. There are a whole myriad of situations and circumstances that remind us that what we do out here is a dangerous and risk filled business. And when you think too long about the possible ramification of that, you begin to wonder what you’ve done. And then you ask yourself, “Why do I choose to serve?” “Why do I put my family through this?”

As for me and my family, we chose this life together. We are proud of our service. We choose, as a family, to place in God’s hands our future. He will protect me and bring me home to my family or He will provide for them in the event that I am carried home under a flag. My wife tells me that my son understands why it is his dad who has to serve over here. “Because God has made our family strong and we can handle it.”

That’s my son, damn it.


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