Living on a military base has its challenges. It takes some getting used to living in such a tight knit community; made even closer by the shared bond that we are all Americans in a foreign country. I don't love that my water or power gets sporadically shut off for full days (once the water was shut off for 3 full days. That was fun, especially with Japanese enclosed tank toilets) because the plumbing, like everything on this base, is somewhat archaic. I don't love the foul mouthed young soldiers that don't see why their language is unsuitable for the neighborhood park. The list can go on and on. But there is so much that I do love. That tight knit community? They know my name and my kid's names and say hello when we pass. The neighbor I share a driveway with will help me bring in my groceries if she sees me pull up. While my house may be a concrete box, that sporadic water and power are free; something I need to remember when it is so expensive off base. And those foul mouthed young soldiers, oh how the mother in me wants to scold them! But then I remember that these are the same young soldiers that volunteer their time to help out at my children's school functions because so many of the parents are deployed and unable to volunteer, and I find it easier to forgive.
What I love most however, is being surrounded by so many military members. I truly believe that those that serve in the military and their families are some of the kindest, open hearted, tough as nails people you will ever meet. While Jake has only deployed once thus far, I have had a great many friends deploy and I know and understand the sacrifices that are being made for this country. Living on a base has made holidays like Veteran's Day much more meaningful. Brynn's teachers had each child color camo on a figure that represented the corps that Mom or Dad serves in. See if you can spot Jake. I'll give you a hint, he's the only Navy member in her class!
Overseas bases take a lot of pride in military holidays and it is truly a humbling experience. I'm thankful for the heroes that served and continue to serve our country; whether it be the ultimate sacrifice of a life, or the smallest services like directing traffic at my children's school. I'm thankful for Jake (he's in the blue camo, if you haven't guessed!), who has served his time in the hospital, treating anyone from returning soldiers to retired Vets and family members. Thankful for our heroes doesn't seem adequate enough; but that is how I feel...so thankful.