Days like this come once in a life time!
I received an invitation to the White House for a celebration event honoring Military Spouses. My first instinct was that it had to be a hoax. I mentioned it to my husband that night he seemed intrigued. He was the voice of reason as I sat and pondered, "nothing ventured, nothing gained", right? The next morning I called the number as instructed to RSVP and to my surprise a pleasant young lady answered the phone “This is Courtney Public Relations at the White House.” Maybe, just maybe this might be the real deal. Courtney assured me that I would receive an e-mail in a couple of days with all of the pertinent details about my visit to the White House, it was confirmed.
Several days later, I received further instructions via e-mail and still could not believe that this was really going to happen. My excitment was beginning to grow but I still had some reservations (just seemed to good to be true). I would remain slightly skeptical until I was standing on the Southlawn of the WhiteHouse.
I drove to the White House Tuesday morning May 6th and met with several hundred other military spouses as we anxiously waited to enter the South Lawn Visitors Entrance. While in line, I had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people. I became fast friends with two incredible individuals. First Melissa, a military spouse of 19 1/2 years. Her husband proudly serves in the USMC and is stationed at the Pentagon. Second was Jennifer a military spouse of 22 years. Her husband proudly serves in Army and is stationed at Fort Lee. It was the beginning of what I believe will be two life long friendships.
At 0800 I started the process through security and by 0810 I was on the Southlawn of the White House for breakfast, it was totally surreal. As you can see from the picture above, it was a beautiful day. The Marine Corp Band from Quantico played to entertain, they were amazing. Secretary of Defense Bob Gates gave a speech followed by President George Bush. My seat was amazing; I could literally reach out and touch the President. Phil Vasser sang the National Anthem and performed a mini concert after the President’s speech. We were then invited to tour the White House with our cameras. It just could not get any better, could it?
The Pomp and Circumstance of the day was heartfelt and as usual my eyes swelled with tears of pride for the amazing accomplishments of our military. I was honored to be standing in the presence of such amazing individuals that support there spouse and this great nation. The camaraderie of the military family is always strong,but there seemed to be something magical among us this particular day. Words can not describe it but I will always remember it. It takes an incredibly strong person to be a military spouse and I think that President Bush said it perfectly in his speech:
“It's not an easy life being in the military, particularly when we're at war, and I understand that. For many of you it means packing up your belongings and moving on short notice. I suspect a lot of you have been on the move much more than you thought you'd be on the move. (Laughter.) For others it means living in a foreign land, which can be exciting, but it also means you're far away from your extended family, and that's hard. And for many of you, it means missing a spouse as he or she serves on the front lines in this battle to secure our country and to spread freedom for the sake of peace.
Being left behind when a loved one goes to war has got to be one of the hardest jobs in the United States military. Talked to a lot of folks who have been in the theater, as well as spouses, and it is clear to me the harder job in many ways is to be the person at home taking care of the kids and having sleepless nights as you pray for safe return.
You're carrying out the burdens -- you're serving our country. And it's noble service. And it's necessary service. And the United States [of] America owes you a huge debt of gratitude. And so, on behalf of our people, thank you for what you're doing. (Applause.)
I do not believe that there was a dry eye among the crowd. I have personally had the privilege to serve this great nation in the United States Air Force. I continue to support my husband who currently has been on Active Duty in the Navy for 18 1/2 years. We have moved 10 times, my middle son who is 10 and in the 4th grade has been in 5 different elementary schools. We have learned first hand the meaning of the saying "what does not kill you makes you stronger." The camaraderie of the entire Military Family is something that words can truly not describe. I salute all servicemembers active, retired, reservists and last but not least the power behind power, their families.
It truly was a day that comes once in a lifetime. To learn about ways to support our troops and their spouses and families please visit www.americasupoortsyou.mil.
Relocating to the Greater Fredericksburg Area (Quantico, FT. Belvoir, Dalghren or Fort AP Hill) please contact me to assist with all of your Real Estate Needs. It would be my honor!
Dana Forster, REALTOR
A Home 4Sale, Inc.
Fredericksburg, Va 22407
(o) 540-548-0800 (c) 540-645-1354
Pictures by myself, copyrighted. 2008