I've said it before and I'll say it again: Growing up, I never dreamed of becoming a military wife. It's not that I was adamantly against the idea or anything, but I really never gave it a second thought. Nobody in my family or close extended family had served in the military, so that world was about as foreign to me as it gets.
We are 4.5 years into our military adventure, and in some ways it feels as though I've only scratched the surface. Before, military life simply meant adventure. It meant moving and experiencing and trying new things. Don't get me wrong, it still means all of those things, but I am starting to see that it is so much more.
It's Christmases spent on opposite sides of the country. It's missed birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and births. It's an empty chair at the dinner table. It's a vacant spot in the bed. It's answering the call, no matter the time or day. These men and women who serve in the military are the definition of Around The Clock Heroes, sacrificing their todays with family so that we may have our tomorrows.
Parker and I haven't spent Easter together in 2 years. He missed his sister's wedding. He was away for his birthday and our anniversary. I could go on and on, but there is no need for that. I am not the only wife who has ever had to say "see you later" to her husband, and Parker is not the only person to leave his family to serve his country. More than 2 million Americans serve on active duty or in the reserves today. More than 2 million Americans are Around The Clock Heroes, and more than 23 million veterans have earned this title as well.
Kroger has stepped up to say thank you to America's heroes. For every Kleenex® Facial Tissue 4-pack bundle purchased from your local Kroger and other Kroger stores, Kleenex® Brand will donate one pocket pack to the USO. Our service members sacrifice so much, and we can never say thank you enough, but knowing Kroger has set up this initiative to help our military makes me proud to shop there. I picked up 2 KLEENEX® BUNDLE PACK® Tissues during my weekly shopping trip and loved thinking of the 2 packs that would be donated to the USO!
We are the home of the free because of the brave. Today and every day, I am thankful for those brave Around The Clock Heroes. To anyone who has served, currently serves, or will serve, thank you.