Memorial Day — A Look Back

Memorial Day

Memorial Day — A Look Back

As an active duty military wife for 7 1/2 years the patriotic holidays — Veterans Day, The Fourth of July, and especially Memorial Day, have taken on an entirely different meaning.

Sure I love spending time with family and having fun celebrations; but the day usually brings thoughts with it that draw tears to my eyes and prayers from my heart. I’ve shared many of these thoughts with you all over the years I’ve been blogging–so today I want to share these posts from my heart and hope that you’ll go back through to read (or re-read) and remember with me!

Thankfullness A tribute to the many, many different members of my family who have served throughout the years.

Oh Say Can You See – A reminder that service comes with great sacrifice

Arlington National Cemetery – Why it’s such a big deal?

Remembering Robert Romero – A memorial to my great-uncle who died saving others in Vietnam at the age of 21

Becoming a Real Military Spouse A glimpse into what those behind the scenes go through

Have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

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Memorial Day ~ Remembering Robert Romero

 

 

This is my Grandpa–Merced Ralph Romero, though he went by Ralph. He served in the Army.

 

Actually, there were five boys in the Romero family, and every single one of them served in the Army.
Including Robert.

 

This is my great uncle Robert Romero. He was just a kid from Wyoming, until the Vietnam War that is. Then he was flown far away, far overseas, far from the mountains of home and plunged into the jungles of a strange land. He served as an E-4–about as low on the totem pole as you can get.
He was a combat medic, and on December 3, 1969, he was killed in action.
Just a 21 year old kid from Wyoming–who died because he was helping other soldiers. It was the very act of helping them that caused him to give his life–and for this he was awarded the Silver Star Medal–our nation’s highest awards for valor in combat given in Vietnam.
Just a Wyoming kid, just my uncle I never met, just a guy who gave his life so that you could live yours.
My Uncle Don died when I was just a tiny girl, then Grandpa passed away last year, so did his brother Roy, now only my Uncle Ren is left. If we don’t remember, if we don’t pass along these stories, if we don’t remember the people behind the names these boys become statistics.
Just numbers of casualties of war.
Just names carved into a big black wall that some people don’t even bother to go see in Washington DC when they visit because “it’s not a big deal” to them.

 

 

But if we remember, if we realize, if the tears come for the sacrifice of those who loved us with the greatest love though never met us…..
Then we honor them, and we honor the day.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

The Honor And Importance of Being the Face of the United States of America Military

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser Gillette fusion proglide. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #SmoothSummer

The next time you see a special event taking place in or around DC on the TV I want you to stop a moment. I want you to look past the President, Commander, or foreign dignitary and take a few moments to look at the rows of men and women in the background. See them there? The ones standing straight at attention, with meticulously pressed uniforms, clean shaven faces, and dignified looks on their faces? Those, my friends, are the men and women of this country’s Honor Guards.

Continue reading “The Honor And Importance of Being the Face of the United States of America Military”

Sharing a Coffee-mate Moment with my All-American Hero

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser Nestle Coffee-Mate #CollectiveBias #CMSalutingHeroes

It’s no secret by now that the military has played a HUGE role in my life and the life of my family. From having a plethora of family members who served in the military, to being an active duty spouse for over 7 years, to now living the life of a Veteran wife whose hubby is a full time college student using the GI Bill, the military still touches our lives on a daily basis.

Why yes that IS President George W. Bush standing right behind hubby (no photoshopping–promise!)! it was a common occurrence during his tour in the Coast Guard Honor Guard

I try to be extra thankful and appreciative of our military, their spouses, and their families. After getting a taste of what they go through my heart just goes out to them. Sometimes, however, it’s easy to forget to show your appreciation to those who are closest and mean the most to you–in this case I realized it had been too long since I had thanked Bob for all he sacrificed and did in service to our country, and reminded him that he is my Hero!

Continue reading “Sharing a Coffee-mate Moment with my All-American Hero”

Freedom

Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal

As a female I’m allowed to vote, allowed to go to college.

Across the ocean a woman my same age dares not even voice her opinion on politics, for fear of retribution–she’s not supposed to have an opinion. She has no education beyond the minimum, because she has no “need” for it.

Continue reading “Freedom”

Every Day Heroes

Hero Quote
Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: In celebration of Every Day Heroes in June P&G teamed up with Dollar General to send me the same prize pack as the one I was giving away. All patriotic feelings, pictures, and coupon loving is my own!

I feel so blessed to have gotten to know so many men and women who serve our country during the time my husband was in the Coast Guard. Getting to hang out with a bunch of Coasties is definitely a unique experience! While they are just normal people, like anyone else, there is something incredibly special about them at the same time. That anyone would be willing to accept the risks and the sacrifices to serve our country is something that puts me a little in awe-even as someone who was a military spouse for so long! All of our service members really are every day heroes–and I love it when businesses recognize and honor them for this!

Continue reading “Every Day Heroes”

How Do They Do It? My insights on military service

Coast Guard
Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: My favorite *ever* restaurant contacted me to see if I’d like to do a compensated post for them honoring our military members– Dream. Come. True.

 How Do They Do It? My insights on military service

“Oh, I admire you so much because I just couldn’t do it”

Words that I heard many, many times through my many moves, deployment, and separations from hubby as a military spouse.

But you want to know a little secret? I never thought I could do it either. That’s the funny thing about serving our country–many of the toughest parts of it you just really don’t  think you can do, but then, somehow, you go ahead and do them anyways.

That’s because when you love something or someone–really love them–it’s worth the sacrifice.

It’s worth the late nights and early mornings. The tearful goodbyes and the constant moves. The danger, the drama, the mundane.

Serving our country whether it’s active duty or in the role of a military family is definitely not for the faint of heart. However, the people in it and their spouses aren’t really any different than you. They don’t serve because somehow any of it is easier on them, and they’re not somehow stronger than you are. They do it because they love each other, and because they  love their country. 

But perhaps, after all, that does make it just a little bit better.

Continue reading “How Do They Do It? My insights on military service”

Dinner with the Smileys

Military Reunion
Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: I was sent an advance copy of Dinner With the Smileys so I could read, laugh, smile, and cry over it and then turn around to tell you to do the same! All nostalgia and tears are my own!

Deployments Suck.

They really just do. 2011 was the hardest year in my life so far and a large part of that had to do with my husband’s deployment to Cuba when Amber was a toddler and Tyler was a baby. Thankfully he came back home safely (above you see us on the night of his return home) and I have experienced every deployment emotion from the sinking crying of saying goodbye, the bleak depression of trudging along through, and the joyful butterflies in the stomach from reuniting after so long apart and being so excited and nervous you wonder if you’ve been married for years because it feels like a first date!

So anytime I get offered the chance to read another military spouses story–especially if it has a unique twist on it–I’m the first to jump in line!

Dinner with the Smileys

Dinner with the Smileys: One Military Family, One Year of Heroes, and Lessons for a Lifetime is the story of Sarah Smiley and her family–her Navy husband and her three boys–and how they turned his year long deployment into an experience to remember. For 52 “Dinner with the Smileys” they had community members–from gold medal athletes to the boy’s preschool teachers–come and fill in her husband’s seat during his deployment.

Continue reading “Dinner with the Smileys”

Commissary Coupons

You might remember from How to Survive Shopping with Two Kids that we did all of our shopping at the Commissary when we lived near D.C. and Boston. I was always amazed at just how much I saved by shopping there, even if it was a little bit of a drive! Even compared to other discounted stores like Super Wal*Mart we always came away with big savings! I also loved the experience of shopping at the commissary. There was just something fun about shopping alongside other military wives and guys in uniform! (Amber was always the biggest flirt with all the cute young soliders, Marines, saliors, and Coasties!)

One of the things that I really loved about shopping at the Commissary was that in addition to all the already reduced prices there were often coupon tear pads near items so that I didn’t have to do any clipping-I’d just grab them at the store! These were super popular, however, especially for the big name brands like General Mills. Because of this I thought that the new General Mills Military Region savings program is a super cool idea!

The program is really simple to sign up for just Text* the keyword GMSAVE to 82857 to opt-in and receive a bunch of cool things like  exclusive military only General Mills coupons sent monthly right to your email, current product sales, upcoming commissary events, and new General Mills products!

*Message and data rates may apply. 4 alerts per month. Reply STOP to end or HELP for help.
www.generalmills.com/en/Privacy_Policy

You’ll be asked to give your email address but don’t worry–the people at General Mills realize that you’re busy so they just send highlights of the best things that they know will benefit you and save you time and money-something as military members and spouses we can definitely use!

Be sure to check out their Facebook Page to learn more about this great program!

Happy Saving!

Nicole Elliott

Thankfullness

I am thankful….
for my Great Uncle Robert who went to Vietnam as a medic and died trying to help a wounded solider. For each of his brothers that also served in the military.
For both my Grandpas who served in the Navy and the Army.
For my Uncle who was a translator for the Army during Operation Desert Storm.
For my step cousins who are in the Marines, one of whom served 3 tours in Iraq.
For our close Marine friend Nate who served overseas in Afghanistan and is separated from his family for training today.
For my friends in the National Guard and Marines who were also deployed to Iraq.
For my Dad-in-law who was a Marine and lost part of his hearing while serving and working on Marine Corp aircraft.
For my brother-in-law who is excelling in his career in the Army and also served in Afghanistan.
For my husband who served for over 8 years honoring fallen Coasties and keeping America safe.

For the hundreds of men and women I’ve met through my husbands military career that I’ve been honored and blessed to spend time with.

For every person who has ever joined the military to serve and protect our country.

They served because they wanted to keep us free. They sacrificed time with their family, their physical health, even their lives.
For this I’m am sincerely and eternally grateful.
Today is Veteran’s Day.
Please find someone who’s served our country and thank them. It’s the least you can do!