69 F
Naperville
Monday, March 4, 2024

Choose to be happy, here

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During the Christmas holidays, Shannon Bream, the host for Fox News Sunday, was interviewing people who maintained a positive attitude even as they faced adversity in their lives. One of the people she interviewed said that every day he decided to “choose to be happy here.”

That comment made me think of the people who volunteer to serve in our military.

If you choose to be in the military, then you do not choose where you are going to live. The government will tell you where they need you to be. And in most cases, the government also will tell you the job you will need to do. You will be given all the training you need to be successful in your position, but it will be up to you “to choose to be happy here” every day.

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If you have family members on active duty in the military, you know how important it is to support them. For parents, you are proud of the sacrifices your son or daughter is making to preserve and protect our freedoms. For spouses and children, the job of supporting a member of the armed forces is much harder. You usually move frequently, sometimes to a foreign a country. You will spend many lonely days and nights when your loved ones are deployed for long periods of time. But to survive, the spouse and children will “choose to be happy here” every day.

Last May, the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford, the cruiser USS Normandy, and three destroyers; the USS McFaul, the USS Ramage and the USS Thomas Hudner left their homeports in Florida and Virginia for a six-month deployment. They were supposed to be back home in time to celebrate Thanksgiving. All the ships had their deployments extended after the Hamas attacks on southern Israel.

The USS Ramage made it back to port in time for Christmas. The other four ships did not return to their homeports until January. They needed to stay on patrol longer to protect ships and installations on land from missile and drone attacks.

I am sure it was a challenge for the crew and their families to “choose to be happy here” during these deployment extensions. Thankfully, they are back in port. Valentine’s Day should be a much happier time for all of them.

February can be a challenging time. Sometimes it seems that spring and warmer temperatures will never come.

As you struggle through these last days of the winter season, I hope you “choose to be happy, here.”

Then again you could always be like me and move to Texas.

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Sue Jelinek
Sue Jelinek
Sue Jelinek welcomes story ideas from ship to shore. Contact her at jelinst@sbcglobal.net.

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