Since today is the federal observance of Veterans Day, I am dedicating today’s post to all the servicemen and women that have fought so bravely to protect us and our freedom in this country. Growing up close to Annapolis near the Naval Academy, spotting a man in whites was pretty much the norm, but back in those days we were more focused on how hot they looked in their uniforms and not really the work they were doing to serve our country. Both of my grandfathers were vets, but they served well before I was born, and although I had heard a few stories, I still didn’t understand the full capacity of what it was like for them and their families. As I got older, I started to see friends my age going into the service. Classmates of mine, both men and women, graduated high school and went on to the Naval Academy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, the Air Force, and the Army. They were shipped across the world on many different missions across the globe, and some came back with stories you wouldn’t believe. Most of them came home safe and sound after deployment, but I do know a couple who were not as lucky. Hearing of these losses was extremely difficult, and I cannot even imagine what their families must have gone through. It takes an unbelievable amount of bravery and courage to join the service, and I have the utmost respect for these individuals. I want to thank all of you, especially my family and friends who I know personally. You are all truly heroes.
My cousin, Alexandra Chioini, is a graphic designer and military (almost) spouse who has recently started a new company called Welcome Home. She creates original, one-of-a-kind, handcrafted signs for military homecomings. Having been through a deployment period where her boyfriend was gone for 9 months, she has first hand knowledge of what it feels like to be left at home while your loved one is out in (who knows where) fighting for our freedom. It’s such a joyous day when the companies return to home base and reunite with their friends and families. A sign from Welcome Home is a wonderful way to tell your loved one that you missed them while they were away, their service is appreciated, and you are happy they made it home safely.
Check out these photos by Marisa Crider of Misa Me Photography from a military homecoming. God bless the Vets. And God bless America.