A daughter and dad's shared sacrifice
Hello Military Community,
As families look forward to celebrating Father’s Day, many are unaware of the thousands of military children that have at least one parent who serves in the armed forces. Many of those are fathers.
All parents want to protect their children from harm and keep them safe. Military parents have a dual commitment, to protect their children, our great nation and at times other countries as well. So Father’s Day is an opportunity to call attention to the special challenge of balancing military and family life. It’s also an opportunity to honor those who both strive to be good fathers across a great distance during deployments, and those who remain as primary caregivers when their spouse/partners deploy.
Father’s Day is also a chance to remember the hard work of fathering after deployment, when eagerly anticipated reunion brings joy and challenges. This includes reintegrating the service member or veteran back into the family unit, reestablishing roles and routines, and the potentially necessary adjustment to combat-related injuries (both visible and invisible).
I asked my daughter, Cheyenne to write her feelings and thoughts regarding this father’s day so that I could share them with you. This is what she wrote:
“My father has been in the military since 1988, I am 17. He has been absent for much of my life and during many important times of my life. But as I remember back to the softball games, orchestra concerts, teacher conference, birthdays he missed and the events he did come to, I remember one constant: He has always been in uniform.
“I have always been aware that the military came first. My mom has always stressed that to me so that I grew up not taking it personal when he could not be present. To me it is the norm, it still saddens me but I understand that some things are bigger than others.
“I understand that my father not only protects me but also strives to protect others and our country at great cost to his own life, health and happiness. I understand his service ensures freedom for people all over the world and for us at home.
“But I also remember and regretting the missed events, dad being too tired, and that feeling that dad was different when he came home from deployment and worried that he will be again after this latest deployment. But I also grew up knowing the meaning of the word ‘team.’ When my dad could not be present or was deployed military members only had to hear my mom or I needed something and they would rush over to make it happen. Military families take care of each other.
I understand that when things get tough, my family is struggling for something greater than ourselves. I just pray I do not have to give the ultimate sacrifice which is my father’s life. I am very proud of my father….I love you dad….come home safe.”
With deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan dwindling and stories about the military and our heroes fading from the front pages and the news stations, the effects of deployments will endure far into the future and we need to honor these sacrifices and these proud families.
Blessings from our family to yours,
Kim and Cheyenne Suchek
If you have any questions or concerns or would like to share a story or situation, contact me at Kim@MilitaryResourceBooks.com and visit my website at MilitaryResourceBooks.com for updated information and other resources not listed in my book.