Is this not the sweetest thing you've ever seen?! Ben and his Marines each received care packages and thank you letters today from the students at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School in Virginia Beach, VA. The letter reads:
Dear Valued Marines and Sailors.
Below are the goodies Ben received in his package - very thankful for whoever slipped a bag of Golden Grahams into this one!
Whether he'd like to admit it or not, this sweet letter and care package brought a serious smile to Ben's face. For me though, I must admit that it was kind of an eye opener...
The idea of "putting your own wants and needs to the side so you could keep us free" aka sacrifice gets thrown around a lot when you're talking about the military. I admittedly find it hard to believe that my husband could possibly be sacrificing anything when he loves his job and has yet to do a long deployment. However, what I always fail to realize though is that sacrifice isn't cut and dry. To have "sacrificed" for the military doesn't necessarily mean that you've been on a 12 month deployment to a combat zone. Sacrifice also comes from working 12+ hour days, reporting to work at 0430 for a six mile hike, spending a month in a different country for training, etc. Sacrifice is when not of Ben's Marines - with the exception of Ben's Gunny - requested to be stationed in a different country 7,000+ miles away from anyone and anything they've ever known. Sacrifice is not one of them being able to celebrate the holidays with their families again. Being forward deployed (aka stationed in another country) is a huge sacrifice in and of itself.
I am so thankful that I have been able to tag along with Ben while he serves overseas. When Ben and I think of the alternative - him moving out here without me - we both cringe and our hearts race with fear (I kid you not.) Luckily for us, we are fortunate enough to spend our 1,095 days on this little island together which has made Ben's tour an exciting adventure as opposed to a three year jail sentence.
Unfortunately though, most Marines do not have spouses or families here to give them love and support while they are stationed on Okinawa. Many young 18, 19, 20 year olds spend their entire tours on this island alone without seeing their families even once (let me tell you, plane tickets from here are NOT CHEAP.) Although Okinawa is a beautiful island, it is anything but easy being stationed out here especially as a single service member.
I'm thankful that this care package made it's way to Ben and his Marines because it's a reminder that people do care about them and that their sacrifices do not go unnoticed. Ben said that this letter reminded him that the rest of the world hasn't forgotten about him, even as time as trucks along without him, and it's a message I'm glad his Marines were also able to receive.
Although they'll most likely never see this, THANK YOU to the students at Bishop Sullivan Catholic School! Your package definitely helped brighten some Oki Marines' spirits. Also, Ben's a huge ramen fan so this was a very welcomed treat!
We're Kara and Ben, a Marine Corps family currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Enjoy our adventures, travels, photos, thoughts, and life together halfway around the world!
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