Sunday, May 27, 2007

Our Little Patriots

Chuck made the mistake of actually going to bed EARLY, which gave me access to the laptop without him staring over me waiting for "his turn." Plus, I haven't posted in a while... and since I usually post about non-political, family-oriented stuff, I felt this was worth putting on the blog (I also posted it on SpouseBuzz).

I have a quick story to share, which I feel is appropriate this weekend as we remember the men and women who gave their lives in the name of freedom! Happy Memorial Day to all... may we Never Forget!!!

This is about our 7-year-old son (Creighton) and 4-year-old daughter (Adelle). We have a flag hanging on the front of our house next to the garage. We come and go and see it every day... it is a "normal" part of our lives. Until one day Creighton did something that made me so proud I was near tears...

After a busy day I was in "hurry up and get in the house" mode (which is basically every day) when we got home. Creighton was taking forever to get to the porch and when I yelled his name he didn't answer. I was a bit annoyed. Then I turned to look at him and realized why I was being ignored. He had his back to me and was facing the flag. In a very quiet voice I heard him say "...with liberty and justice for all." Then he turned around with a huge smile on his face.

I felt horrible for being annoyed that he was "ignoring" me. Then I quickly felt a burst of pride for our young son and his patriotism and honor to our flag. It was one of those moments when I realized just how much being a "military kid" has affected him. Now when he takes his time getting in the house, I let him. Usually, he is pledging his allegiance to the flag... but sometimes, he is just being 7.

Adelle also recognizes and honors the flag in her own way. Chuck was wounded when she was 2 years old. Our kids stayed with my sister while we were at Walter Reed. My sister told our kids that the flag was a symbol for what their daddy was fighting for in Iraq. Very true... and Adelle has never forgotten that! More often than not (and two years later), when Adelle sees a flag she'll say, "Look, Mommy! A flag! That's what Daddy was fighting for!!!" It's so amazing to me that what my sister told her at the age of two has stayed with her and she makes sure that everyone knows what the flag means to her. It's a beautiful thing! :)

And I want to honor the memory of Chuck's father, SFC William Van Ziegenfuss; our good friend CPT Daniel Eggers (died in Afghanistan); our good friend CPT Joshua Byers (died in Iraq); a man I wish I could've met, and have had the honor to meet his father - SGT Michael Stokely; and another man I never met, but had the honor to befriend his wife - 2LT Kelly Hall. You all continue to live in our hearts! God's Speed!

Carren (The Mrs. or Chuck's BETTER half)

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