Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

I have not lost a soldier to war. I am lucky like that.... But I do have a wonderful spouse who is a soldier and knows that at anytime he could be informed that his unit is deploying and he will have to go with them. So on this Memorial Day, I choose to memorialize my husband, my soldier, my Hero.

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This is Owen squeezed into one of those little quarter car rides.... Owen is tall. Almost 6'5 worth of tall.

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This is Owen and one of his best friends. Her name is Annie. She just got out of the Army. The funny thing about this is that at the time of this picture.... if you had asked Owen if he would ever have enlisted... he would have laughed hysterically and said a hearty "HELL NO!!!"

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This is a picture of Me, Owen and a person who shall remain nameless..... We were all on our way to The Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Southern California. We were not a couple yet, in fact he was casually dating both of us. What a pimp. About three weeks after this he tried to tell Nameless and me and the other chick he was casually dating that he was going to take a break from dating and get his head straight. I helped him with that and told him that since he had waited to dump me until last.... that he and I were not going to be stopping seeing each other, in fact we should become an exclusive couple. He attempted to protest, and within a week... we were a couple.

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A couple of months after we got together.... We were engaged by this point.... when you know, you know.

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This is us just outside of the little chapel that we were married at in Las Vegas. It was sunny, and hot, and yes I wore red.... I was about 4 months pregnant with Alexander. It seemed inappropriate to wear white.

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This is my parents and his parents and his grandmother. These are the only people we invited. We were supposed to have a big "real" wedding on our 5th anniversary. That was this year.... and I still don't even have a ring. In his defense... He has tried several times to buy me a ring... and I always tell him that it can wait cause we have bills to pay...

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This is us.... with towels on our heads.... His aunt gave them to us for a wedding gift. We are silly... it is part of what attracted us to each other.

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This is Owen playing Daniel Boone for out friend Annie Winston. She wrote a book called Heroical Storicals I dont remember if Owen got paid for this... but even if he didn't... She is our friend, and he would have done it no matter what. See little Alexander in his lap. He managed to play with Alexander and stay in character the whole time!

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This is Owen and Alexander at Alexanders first trip to the beach. I like to imagine that he was telling him a story about his first time at the beach.... but I have no idea.

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This is Owen with his very first set of piggy tails. I was feeling silly and he was feeling indulgent. He really is good to me. I even have a picture somewhere of him with a green clay masque on cause I was feeling oogie and he asked what would make me feel better and I said giving him a facial.

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Owen loves his children so much. I have tons of pictures of him sleeping curled up with one or more of his kids.

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Owen was working. He worked at Walmart, and it was right around the corner from our house. It was not uncommon for us to go visit him at work. Here he is playing "head butt" with Alexander.... He had Alexander trained that when he would say AAAAAAHHHHHH a certain way Alexander would headbutt him.

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Owen took many a trip around the livingroom of our apartment when he was helping Alexander learn to walk. He would walk around and around for hours. I thought it was wonderful.

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This is the boys dressed up as pirates for Halloween. I didnt dress up that year. I was ENORMOUSLY pregnant with Aeddon.

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Then Aeddon came and we were really happy.

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Or at least we were for about 2 weeks.... Then we were informed by Owen's boss that he was probably going to get laid off in the next month or two. They were making his position at New Horizons obsolete. Lucky for us that he was friends with his boss or we would have had no warning! So Owen started to look for jobs. One day he got a call from the Army recruiter. At the time the Army was using alot of civilian accounting people, and since that was what Owen was doing we thought that that was what they were calling for. We were wrong.

The Army had called to recuit Owen. He sat throught the whole meeting and asked alot of questions. He told the recuiter that he needed to go home and discuss things with me. We talked it over. He called and asked for the answers to questions that I had. Then one day I went in to meet with the recruiter too... But not for me to enlist. I wanted him to meet Owens family. I wanted him to see the kind of man he was trying to convince to enlist. By the end of the meeting I was ready for Owen to become a member of the US Army.

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So we rushed to get Aeddon baptisted.... and I shaved Owens head. I wanted to keep his hair. (I still have it in a ziploc bag in a memory box) Then we dropped him off at the recruiting office. It was the last time we would see him until we went to his Basic Training graduation.

Time went by and stuff happened, including a trip to the ER for Alexander after a babysitter did a cruddy job of watching him.... Then it was time to drive to Texas to move to El Paso so that we could be near by for Owen's AIT. Aeddon was only 6 weeks old when Owen left and I didnt want him to miss Aeddons entire first year of life.... So I moved without the Armies permission. (I made the right choice, cause due to some paperwork issues Owen didnt graduate from AIT unil 4 months after the time that he was supposed to originally graduate.)

This was the first time we saw him after he left:
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Can you find him? It took me a while too. It wasnt until Alexander loudly said "Daddy" into the silence of them standing there that Owen did something that made him visible to me. He smiled.

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Doesnt he look dashing in his Class A uniform?

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His family (minus Kester) came out for his graduation.

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I was very happy to see him. I missed him so!

And that is how we ended up a military family. My husband wanted to make sure that he could provide for us, so he did something he knew he would not like because he knew that the Army would never let us be homeless and would never let us starve to death. Even now he is still doing it. He missed being home with us this year for Memorial Day because he is at school becoming an LVN so that he will be less likely to deploy to a warzone. It could still happen, but it will be less likely. And if that is not being a hero for our family I dont know what is.

So Owen, I love you and wanted you to know that YOU ARE MY HERO for all the things that you do to provide a good life for us, the family who loves you, whom you love too!

(by the way, I apologize for the cruddy quality of these pictures. They are pictures of pictures. These are all pictures taken with a film camera.... so they are all prints.... and since I dont have a scanner I had to take a picture of the pictures to use them.... sorry.)
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