THe Harting Family

THe Harting Family

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Military Wife Random Thoughts...It's the Loss that Hurts

Military Wife…It’s the loss the hurts I read a lot of articles written by military wives. There are times when I relate, a little. There are more often times I feel like I am a stranger in a strange land and I do not relate to most things I read of my “life” as a military wife. I don’t relate to how “hard” it is. Life is hard in general, no matter what your spouse’s profession is. Do we go it alone a lot; yes we do…is that hard? It can be…but really, there are things in life a lot harder. I guess for me being part of this life seems to me a privilege. I get to share this life with my husband; it’s an honor for me. To every day live in the presence of those who decided to serve their country. I try not to dwell too much on the hard parts that to me aren’t all that hard. Everything is of course about perception, perceptions based on each individuals life experiences. Maybe for me it’s not that hard. I came up in life tough, learned to fend for myself early, never expected life to be easy. When I married my husband, he had just stepped foot out of boot camp. When he left for boot camp I wasn’t too sure I would be there when he came back. I knew what this life meant. My father was a Marine, my mother was a young widow when he was cut down in Vietnam at the ripe old age of 25, my mom had two kids, my sister (5) and me, 8 months old. My older sister was also married to a Marine; he was hardly ever around, because even in peacetime, Marines are gone … a lot. When I say it isn’t hard please don’t confuse that with I don’t miss him or worry. I miss everything about him, about us, when he is gone. Always have. I can tell you that there were times I would cry because his absence was felt so deeply that there was not a single person in the entire world that could fill that absence except him. He is my best friend, has been for over 20 years. I tell him everything and vice versa, I am not sure about the term “soul mates” but if such a thing exists surely it is he and I. Do I worry, yes? But that isn’t a one-way street. Ask any Marine how much he worries about his family when he is sitting in the most dangerous piece of property in Afghanistan…. they worry just as much about their families…. this is a fact. So back to what my point was when I began this. Today like a lot of days I started reading stories on military wife blogs, and articles from military spouse magazines, desperately trying to connect to something and as usual it just wasn’t happening. Who are these ladies? I recognize them of course, but more like a long lost cousin I met once at a wedding never to be seen again but certainly recognizable in family photo albums. Then it hit me, I know why I am not connecting…. because no one is talking about what for me…. the single thing that has defined me the most as a military spouse, the hardest… The loss. When was the last time I knew any one old that died? That was in a tragic accident? That had their life changed forever? I couldn’t think of one. But that can’t be true…. As I checked down the list….nope, nope, nope……not one in at least 15 years….. In the years since the wars started, and not just the wars, my husbands time in service we have lost and or witnessed tragedy to our friends countless times. This thought was trigged by yet another loss of a beautiful young woman, a military wife that served in my husbands unit and also as a spouse in the unit I was a FRO. She was killed in a car accident. So young, the mother of 3 small children …gone. And then I stared to think about all the other losses, Marines killed in these wars we knew, Marines wounded and dismembered, Marines killed in accidents, their wives that had tragic life ending accidents while their husbands were deployed that we knew. All of them, all their faces, hit me and I realized all this loss has taken a toll on me. This is what has been hard for me being a military spouse. The single hardest thing. We don’t really talk about that. Does anyone else think about it? Is it hard on other spouses? I don’t know if this is the same in the civilian community, it has been so long that I have been in the civilian community I just don’t know…but I know for the military community this is real, and relevant. And unspoken. I am weary from it. My heart is heavy from it. Maybe that is why everything else seems so petty, and unimportant. I guess what I will continue to do is let those families of those we lost know that their loved ones absence has left a mark on me. That I will do what I can to remember them, so others remember them. I will volunteer when I can to assist our wounded, those still fighting their battles and try to pay back a little with my time that they gave of their blood. I know loss is a part of life, but some experience more then others and our life, this military life seems to experience a lot of young lives lost. So next time we are complaining about something that really isn’t that big of a deal, maybe we should shift our focus and remember how lucky we are to not be counted among those that have gone too soon. To cherish those we have while we have them. To talk about and remember those gone, to celebrate their lives and stay in touch with their families. To offer a hand or reach out to someone that was wounded. To call that Marine that lost his wife and is now a single parent and see how they are doing. I love being a military wife, I have little to complain about. But the loss, that is the hardest. But also what I have learned my greatest lessons from.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I'm BACK.......Is Anyone Still Here?????? (crickets)

Well as the title suggest....I am back. So much has changed since I started my journey and shared on my blog. My son is now a college graduate....and a 2nd Lt in the United States Marine Corps.....see photos below. I stopped writing in my blog when things started getting hairy because of work, if any of you are still around I took the job as the Family Readiness Officer at my husband battalion. More on that to come later but long story short, the job took over almost my entire life. We have since PCS'd to Quantico Va and I am ready to start sharing my 4 year journey from Emptynest, to FRO to back to still empty nest but the mother of a Marine and wife of a Marine. I hope you are all interested in following my story as I share with you all the good, the bad and the ugly and my life moving forward. But for now to share some photos of my sons graduation and commissioning this past May.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blog Ninjary

Hi Readers,
I am sorry I have been absent for so long. I haven’t actually ignored you all but I have ignored my own blog. I have continued to read your post and have enjoyed doing so in the few minutes I have to do so. My new job (3 months) has been incredibly awarding but also incredibly time consuming. I can say for the first time in a long line of careers reinvented that no matter what the day holds for me I have never once dreaded or not wanted to go in to the office. I love my job, I love the families that I work with and I love 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines. It is my home. It is my workplace, and it is where I feel like I belong. So for all the crazy hours, lack of sleep and never ending checklist....I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
So since my last post not too much has changed except being consumed by my work. My husband has been in and out the door, mostly out. Since the beginning of January he had been home about 32 hours. He is home now for awhile. We are now about 4 months post-deployment. I think things are starting to settle and routines are being re-established. It was a little difficult with him TAD, then on a ship since then, but it’s starting to feel like our “normal” again.
As some of you know my husband was selected to SgtMaj in November. So now we are waiting to find out what our next Marine Unit will be for us. Hopefully in Division and hopefully here at 29. But we will have to wait and see what the needs of the Corps are.
as as usual and hope the needs of the Corps are inline with ours. But when you come in to the Corps (we started this journey together) you know that the needs of the Corps are paramount.
We feel fortunate that my husband was selected, with the draw down a lot of our friends were not so lucky and we will lose some awesome Marines because of it. If you are facing that situation yourself I am sorry. I think it’s unfair, I think it stinks. I think for the last 10 years our servicemen and woman have worked so incredibly hard and for a lot of their reward they are going to be shown the door. We will have to see what this means for our Military but I fear a Clinton era climate and that was not good for anyone.
My son is doing awesome, again feeling so lucky he has his ROTC Scholarship, again a lot of his friends are working super hard in hopes of attaining the same goal will be denied. Heartbreaking for the kids of this nation that want to serve and are willing to work so hard to be able to do it.
Anyhow, just wanted to write something and let you know I am still around, a little on the Ninja side, here but not visible..but saying HI!!!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Job...New Adventure...

Hello blog friends!!
Boy oh boy how things have changed in the last month. First off, it’s been an amazing time. The holidays were amazing, our son was home, my husband was home and we did absolutely nothing! Part of the reason was because I started a new job!!!! Yes, on Dec 15th I started my first day as our battalions Family Readiness Officer. My dream job, a job I never thought would happen since it is a pretty elusive job too most. Not because there aren’t a lot of super candidates, well yes, that is part of it, but it’s just really hard to get a foot in the door. About a year and a half ago I thought maybe one way to actually do that was to volunteer to be our battalions Family Readiness Advisor, and I think it helped a great deal. I was able to see the inner workings of the job I may have missed had I not. Long story short, when our FRO (who I loved and was an amazing mentor) was served with orders via her husband I finally got the chance I was hoping for.
I have now been in the job for about 3 weeks. Luckily over the holidays I was afforded a lot of time to try to figure things out, feel my way around the office and try organize. Needless to say I was left an immaculate office so it didn’t take long to get all my ducks in a row.
So now the work starts. Hubs is leaving for a month for some Senior PME at Quantico and even though I hate he is leaving it will give me time to set up a cot in my office and get to work! Lots of training and lots of communication and hopefully I will be the type of FRO our amazing families deserve. Wish my luck everyone.....I am super excited!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Not So Wordless Wednesday


During this holiday season please take a moment to remember our wounded warriors. I am posting a photo of two of the several Wounded Warriors who are recovering from our last deployment. The courage these young men exhibit makes me want to be a better person. Although these are certainly not the first nor will they be the last, they are our bravest and still fighting their own fight..for recovery. Please do not forget them, please do not turn away from them. Instead of staring please go up and thank them and ask them what happened. I have been told they prefer that to the stares. So to The Darkside Families of our wounded, know we are thinking of you all and we are still here. And of course to our Darkside fallen, we are forever grateful and we will never forget....to all our Wounded and Fallen from every service across this nation...THANK YOU.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Please Read

My friend Mary who lost her husband on our last deployment is getting ready any second to deliver her and Lukes son. This is their third son. Please take a minute to go to her blog and read about what it is like for her to grieve at this time and read how beautifully she expresses something we should all remember...no one knows how it feels to go through this unless you have yourself. She is amazing...I had to share

http://mynewkindofpregnancy.blogspot.com/