Honor is reserved for what you give
By Julia Dye, Ph.D.
Being a part of a military family is tough; it always has been. If one member of a family is serving, the whole family serves.
I am blessed. I have been loved and protected by Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines. I have been taught and mentored by Airmen and Guardians. I’m not always sure what they’ve gotten in return, but I never take it for granted—neither from those who came before me, nor those who follow in our footsteps.
My Dad taught me that family always comes first. He had time for each and every one of us eight children. Yet he always managed to make time for just him and Mom, because marriage is important too, and it’s not always equivalent to the family as a whole. He taught me to know what is important to someone by looking at how they prioritize their time. What do they spend the most time doing? That’s what they love the best.
Don’t misunderstand me here. I’m not saying someone that spends most of their time at work loves work best. It depends on what they’re doing there. Are they working to provide for their family? Then they love caring for their family the most. Are they working to get praise and reward for themselves? Then that’s what they’re doing. It’s what they’re doing, not where they’re doing it, which matters most.
I know someone always has my back. Anywhere I am, no matter what wrong turns I make, there will be someone to take me in and value me. That’s family, and it’s more than blood.
I know passionate acts of courage. I know sacrifice and commitment. Real heroes should make you feel safe and warm. Real families, too.
I know it’s 1700 somewhere.
I know that separating out colors in the laundry is pretty simple when it’s all green. Matching socks is a piece of cake, too.
I can recall my husband’s friend’s last names faster than their first names.
It’s tough but it’s worth it. Just remember, you won’t be honored for what you get…honor is reserved for what you give. Military families give a lot. The love and rewards are worth everything.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julia Dye earned her doctorate in hoplology (the study of human conflict) from Union Institute. She is a frequent consultant for the History Channel, Military Channel, and Discovery Channel, and has served as consulting expert on a number of television and film productions for the likes of HBO as well as for Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Barry Levinson, and other leading directors through her work with Warriors, Inc., She is the author of the award-winning BACKBONE: History, Traditions, and Leadership Lessons of Marine Corps NCOs.
Visit Warriors Publishing Group, or find them on Facebook.
Photo by Pat Loika