5 hearts, 10 hands

“My husband and I met while he was in flight school. It’s such an interesting progression, looking back at the last fifteen years. It was a new war; he was a brand new pilot. Now, we are on our 7th deployment and looking at our 8th next year. During my husband’s first tour, I was really in the baby stages of Navy life, when I met four other spouses that were in the same situation. The five of us became fast friends, and soon, we were inseparable. We have traveled many roads within our military journey but our friendship has always remained the one true constant in our voyage. 

“The five of us have shared such a remarkable bond through Navy life. We have had trials, tragedies, tribulations, and we have conquered it all, together, as only the best girlfriends can do. Through 28 moves between us, 24 deployments (for a total of over 144 months away from our spouses), and countless detachments for other military operations, we have come through it all. Between the five of us we have 13 children (10 boys and 3 girls), and we have dealt with critical illness, children with special needs, and much heartache as we have endured many struggles without the help of our spouses, due to the country needing their service more than we could need them at the time. Although much of this has been done on our own, we have not been alone. We have had one another. We are strong, we are brave, and we are one. Five hearts, ten hands, and one incredibly strong bond: friendship. These women are true, middle of the night emergency, call you in tears kind of friends. It is a friendship that has allowed us the privilege of true vulnerability, understanding, and sisterly love. Friendship that has encouraged us to live life to the fullest potential, making every moment count and every moment cherished. 

“As chance would have it, we all ended up in Jacksonville, together again, over a decade after we first met. Those months together were so special. We cherished our time together, and even entered a contest for a ‘Girls’ Night Out’ with Kelly Ripa, and won! We flew to Hollywood and had an unbelievable night out with Kelly. We got to go to the Oscars and make a special guest appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show. It was an absolutely incredible experience, and another irreplaceable memory with these women before once again, the Navy took us in different directions – this time to San Diego, Monterey, Hawaii, Tennessee and DC. 

“Military life provides us with so many opportunities yet at the same time causes us to experience many of life’s precious moments on our own. Babies are born, milestones are met, heartaches, and joys are shared. These precious moments are woven into the rich tapestries of our lives and it has entwined us all forever. Without one another, we truly would not be able to survive this kind of lifestyle and without one another, we would not want to. We do this because we love our husbands, we are proud of them and proud of our country. We teach our children the same beliefs – to be strong, to be brave, to help others in need – and we do it all together. The military life is a special bond; it’s an unspoken understanding that can only be felt with the heart. It is truly the hardest thing about military life, having to say our farewells. It’s never goodbye; always, ‘see you later.’ The only comfort is knowing that wherever we go, wherever we are, we will all keep a little piece of one another with us always in our hearts.”

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