Hubs has worn many different uniforms. He’s been a bagger at a grocery store, the UPS man, and Chinese food delivery driver. His last uniform he puts on every day, lacing his boots, putting on patches and straightening his collar. It is the last uniform he will ever wear. His uniform taught him respect is earned. It taught him hard work does pay off. It taught both of us that family isn’t just those blood related. It has also taught us that life and our freedoms should never be taken for granted.

Hubs is a United States soldier. He was also a Marine. We learned in the USMC that once a Marine always a Marine and have never forgotten that code. We learned that having freedom can be a scary thing. Especially when freedom allows you the rights to fight and the right to die. But in the Army is where we became a family. In the Army is where we will teach and encourage our children to fight for their freedoms (at home) and learn about the emotions you can experience.

Being a military family we experience a gamut of emotions in our lives. Excitement about moving to a new base; fear about moving to a new base. Sadness leaving old friends behind; joy in meeting new friends. Loss when family members back home pass away or experience a joy in their lives you wish you could be present for. Loss for when a “family” member here doesn’t come home after a deployment. The butterflies in your stomach when you see your husband for the first time in a year and the feeling of him seeing his new daughter for the first time.

We, as a family, have experienced it all. But as a mother of two ASD children; how do you teach those emotions? I want them to experience all the positive feelings Hubs and I have (not always the negative) but I want them to also understand the reason behind why people cry at a 21 gun salute or put their hand over their heart when they see a American flag at half staff.

I am proud of my husband. I am proud of our Army family. We are truly a strong and unique group. In the coming blog posts I hope to open up about my experiences a bit more. I want everyone to understand that you can do it. It? Anything. I made it through what should have been a year that broke me. But solely knowing that someone has walked my path before and someone will walk it behind me; pushed me to move forward and walk by faith.

Tomorrow, I will post ways to help your ASD child understand the meaning behind Memorial Day. I will do it not just so my own will understand, but in hopes you share it with yours. Knowledge is power and being empowered means a life worth living.

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