dad left for his second tour of duty on my third birthday
mom kept a jar full of jelly beans on the living room coffee table
every night she gave me one to eat, saying "when these jelly beans are all eaten up, dad will come back home"
sometimes i would sneak another, to help dad come home sooner
one night the phone rang and i watched mom wipe away a tear as she filled the jar back up
On this Remembrance Day, I think of all those who have served, with a special thought for Dad. And though she has no medals, I also think of Mom; every tour of duty Dad went through, she went through too, taking care of us on her own.
*** Edit: Thank you for all your kind words! Due to a recent outpouring of sympathy, I feel it necessary to clear up the fact that my dad did in fact make it home from this mission; his tour had simply been extended for an additional 3 months. Still, it isn't easy being part of a military family - and that's what I meant to show. ***