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The Silent Hero

The Silent Hero

Submitted by: Gwen Bulington, Director of Regulatory Operations

“… has earned grateful appreciation for your own unselfish, faithful and devoted service. Your unfailing support and understanding helped to make possible your spouse’s lasting contribution to the Nation.”

-General, United States Army
Chief of Staff

A quote from the Certificate of Appreciation that is proudly displayed in my home alongside my husband’s Certificate of Retirement memorializing twenty years of service in the United States Army. Words of which I could not have put together better myself. My husband served as a Cavalry Scout prior to and at the onset of the Iraq Invasion and then continuing through Operation Iraqi Freedom and finally Operation New Dawn.

My relationship with my husband (well before he was my husband) is somewhat unique. We grew up a street apart from each other. While I wouldn’t say we were high school sweethearts, there was always a fondness there. Years went by, life separated us only to find us meeting back up again. Given where I was in my life and career, you could definitely say being an Army wife wasn’t my plan. But, after all those years, I couldn’t shake history. So, I said what the heck, let’s give this a go. Boy was I in for a journey. No one hands you a road map that tells you how to navigate through the twists and turns that is military life. In some respects, navigating gets easier, in others not so much. You learn to adapt to moving around. You say “see you later” to the friends you make rather than “goodbye” because you may very well see them at another duty station down the road. Deployments come with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

I’ll never forget the first time someone thanked me personally for my service. I thought it was odd as I’m not the one on the front lines in harm’s way, sacrificing for my country. The reality is you do sacrifice. You become the backbone and hold the fort down so that your husband can focus on serving his country. A silent hero.

Today, I am the wife of a disabled veteran and the journey continues. Twenty years of military service, including several deployments, takes quite a toll on one’s body. While the road to continuing treatment and healthcare will be a long one, I couldn’t be more proud of my husband’s accomplishments. It is an honor to stand alongside my veteran and all of whom stand beside him.

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