Time Out With Trish

Red, White and Blue Christmas

We are all touched by the Air Force dad that wraps himself in a huge gift box to surprise his children, that 16 month old that toddled across the tarmac to greet his Marine father he only knows from video calls, and the Army mom that returns from Iraq to surprise her daughters at school. There are similar stories in newspapers and on social media from large military communities around the nation. Yet it's worth remembering that for all these stories of heartfelt holiday embraces between family members who have been separated by military commitments, there are tens of thousands of related stories that aren't as frequently told. They're about the men and women deployed around the world in service of this nation who won't be with their families for Christmas.

“Blue Christmas,” “Christmas just isn’t Christmas without the one you Love,” “I’ll be home for Christmas,” and “Please Come Home for Christmas” are sung through tears by many families this time of year. Of this I have first hand knowledge. It began 15 years ago when my daughter joined the US Air Force and continues through to this year. Brittni, my daughter, married an active duty military man a year after joining and duty called them to be stationed in northern California. The same weekend of my daughters wedding my son graduated from Army boot camp and was then stationed in New York. Patrick is now in his fourteenth year of service. While serving as a Drill Sgt. he met and married a fellow Drill Sgt. Since their marriage Patrick and Catherine have been sent from South Carolina to Washington and now are in Kentucky.

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