Sunday, 5 January 2020

Sending Hugs, Love and Hope


A lot of the time I say nothing, I keep quiet and carry on. Though I am sure I am not the only one, what a lot of people don't know is the fact that I have been through something like this before a few times. Being British with a US military father that I have only in recent years gained some form of relationship with, is difficult. 

I still remember the Iraq war back in 2003 onwards, when my father was still in active duty, although I wasn't as close to him at the time, that didn't mean I didn't care. Didn't worry or feel scared for him, that we wouldn't get the chance to have that father-daughter connection. 

At the time I was only a teenager and had little to no support around me, with the majority of those around me not wanting to discuss or acknowledge my father's existence. I was lucky in the fact that we still wrote letters to one another and I was able to contact some of my other US family, but I was still left having to deal with the emotions of not knowing where he was stationed and how he was in the long arse gaps between letters. 

Watching the news unfold, having people talk around you, speculate and judge. I must admit I always wondered whether I would have been able to talk to someone had I have lived in the US or even closer to the bases. Would I have had more support? Hearing the news of soldiers being killed and at the time I didn't have an understanding of how the ranks worked, or even what role my father played -  it was extremely hard for me to know what to react over. Even when I did have a gut-wrenching feeling I had no one to let that out too. Even my young friends at the time couldn't quite comprehend how I felt, I don't think you do unless you actually have some in the forces. 

Having a partner in the military is just as hard, you worry just as much and walk around with that hollow feeling anytime you hear something that could take them away. I'll be honest when we first spoke, I didn't know he was in the military much less American and I never expected to fall for a military guy! But here I am, like so many others who never anticipated this lifestyle. 

It doesn't get easier, but the more support you have around you the better off you will be. That I do know. Never feel alone, talk to those around you and if you don't feel like you have anyone around find support groups online. There are secure ones!

Finally - Sending Hugs, Love and Hope to all Service Men & Women! Come home safe to all. 

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


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