As I stand in the back of the room on Halloween training Air Force TACP operators at Gowen Air Field on providing their own medical intervention in case of injury in the field, I find myself reflecting on my own deployments and the loved ones I left behind. The simple things like trick or treating with my young children or carving pumpkins had to wait for another season, a year or two down the road. I didn’t take things for granted when I was on leave and loved my wife (when she was still with us) and my children so hard it often almost brought me to tears.
Some of these men might not make it home. Some might change (like I did) based on what they see and experience. This is cost of being a husband, father and patriot. You sacrifice one for the other. It’s a negative sum game.
Sure the brotherhood sustains some but I’ve never loved and missed someone so hard in my life than when I was deployed. It’s times like this when I realize how blessed I am, despite everything I’ve lost along the way.