“Claudia Joy Holden: Welcome, welcome everyone to another Independence Day picnic. Today we commemorate the courage of our forefathers who in 1776 through acts of bravery and self sacrifice guaranteed us the freedoms that we now see as our basic human rights. Those rights are still being protected, every hour every day, by our United States Military. I’ve spent weeks planning this party; the decorations, the food, the flowers. Because I want it to be perfect, perfect for all of us. That’s what I do, that’s what I love to do. This has been one of the most extraordinary weeks of my life. I feel both devastated and elated. Today I also feel shaken, I feel shaken by what has happened, wondering if I did enough, if I said enough could have changed the outcome. I married a committed military man. And I have loved this military life. I have also had to put my personal opinions aside, to truly understand that our defenders of freedom are fighting a bigger battle. Not a political one, there battle goes beyond politics. Beyond religion, race or gender. There the defenders for us all. There the defenders of our differences. As one soldier is taken away from us, another returns to us. There’s balance in the universe, a natural system of order. Look beside each soldier and you will find the people who fight with them. The spouses, the sons the daughters the families, we serve too. Their victories are our victories, there defeats are our defeats. Together we fight for our freedom. For 18 years I have tried to be the perfect wife and mother. Each day I disappoint myself. Human life isn’t about perfection, it is about accepting the flawed, the misguided parts of ourselves. We keep trying, we keep loving, we keep believing. I am proud of the role we play in maintaining piece in our country and in the world. I am proud to stand beside a man whose integrity shines like a diamond in the dust. And I am proud to call myself an army wife.”
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This speech really hit home for me. I wanted desperately to go into the military. I gained a contract in 2000 for the Army, and I had everything lined up as an E2, going to Fort Jackson for boot camp, Fort Gordon for training, and then Fort Hood for my initial assignment. I even got a nice size enlistment bonus. However, God obviously had a different plan for my life because on March 21, 2000, I conceived my first born child after having a doctor tell me and my mother that I’d NEVER be able to have kids. I had to lose my Army contract because I hadn’t even gone to boot camp or completed any training. It really hurt me a great deal because it was something that I truly wanted to do enough that I literally lost 30 pounds in two months time and was built to a T so that I was prepared for boot camp. I worked out with my recruiter two hours a day doing Taebo, and then he had me lifting weights and running for another hour at least.
So, when I watch Army Wives my heart goes out to all the characters and all military families in general. It definitely doesn’t appear to be an easy life at all, but it is one filled with lots of honor and duty. I had a boss that I truly respected and loved (like you would someone you look up to–not in an emotional sense) who was in the military prior to working where we did, and he was one of my favorite bosses because he always lived and acted with honor and definitely believed in doing his duties as a manager/employee. He treated everyone the same and he didn’t ask anything of anyone if he wasn’t willing to do it himself. I’ve since learned he got promoted even further up the management line since I quit working there, and I couldn’t have been more happy to hear that news!! The military helps shape a person in many ways. In MOST cases, it makes a person a better person. There are some cases that isn’t the case, but I haven’t seen or heard of that many.
I’m NOT pushing my kids to go into service, but if they make that decision, I’ll be behind them 100%. It is NOT an easy life by any means, but I’m grateful for every military family that serves and helps protect our freedoms that I am very grateful to have.
Thank you military families for all that you do for us!!! I didn’t want to just say it on an holiday. I wanted you to know that I appreciate it daily!!