It would be an understatement to say that being in the military runs in my family. I’m the fourth generation soldier on both sides of my family, with veterans who served in WWII, Korea, the Golan, and right here at home. I was in the military for 10 years and my husband, Joe, still serves and is currently deployed overseas for a year, which is why Pot Roast is sporting a Yellow Ribbon, the international symbol of supporting our troops and welcoming them home.
Our family is often separated and spends many months apart, so Pot Roast has learned that when one of us leaves, the other stays and eventually, we all return and make a trio once again. I had one year of service where I was home for 6 weeks and Joe hasn’t been home since July. I can assure you that the sacrifice of our soldiers and their families is constant and ever present. It’s also profoundly exhausting, emotional, and a simultaneous honour to serve.
We’ve all seen those videos on Facebook where pets and their humans are reunited after long deployments. I’ve witnessed my fair share of in-life reunions with loved ones and children, boyfriends and wives. But it’s always the animals that tug on my heart strings because we can’t explain to our pets why their mom or dad is deployed, why they don’t come home each night and why the partner left behind is often worried and fraught with tears. You can’t explain the upheaval to a pet, and in the scheme of a short dog life, Joe is all too aware that he’s missing important time with his favourite furry fella.
That said, Joe and I live a military life because we firmly believe that our Canadian troops help people each and every day. We are apart because we like to hope the service makes a difference in the lives of others and that the sacrifice of our time together is small compared to those torn apart by war and devastation. And I only need to look at my dad, and Joe’s dad, our grandparents, our great-grandparents, and we know that they saved lives and protected freedoms. This is why Remembrance Day is so important and cherished in our house and across the country.
In the meantime and the modern days of war, we have Skype. Joe waves and chats with Roast on the one day a week we have a decent Internet connection, tells him to sit and shake a paw from halfway around the world, and I wait on the other end of the line and try to keep it all together. Because I know that in just a few months I will post my own Facebook video of Joe and Pot Roast reuniting. And it will be one I will replay over and over again, whenever I wonder what all the separation is for.