It’s dark outside, but I can see Grant’s shadow in our bedroom as he buttons his Marine Corps camouflage uniform. It’s 3am. He kisses me good-bye and I watch him walk out the door. Before I drift back to sleep, I think about how much I don’t like his uniform.
Gross! I say to myself as I pull Grant’s camouflage out of the dirty hamper and transfer it as quickly as possible to the washer. I think about the fact that he has probably run more miles wearing this uniform in two days than I’ll probably run all week.
The dryer beeps. I haven’t seen Grant in three days. I pull one of his camouflage uniforms out of the dryer and hold it close. I feel the cool metal of his Lt bars on my cheek and remember the time when I watched him walk away from me in this uniform. We had only been married a few months when he left on a deployment. I will never forget the moment when we had to say good-bye. I waved through my blur of tears until I couldn’t see him any longer. I think about how happy I am that tonight he is coming home.
I hear the car door slam. I look out the kitchen window and see Grant’s huge smile under his camouflage cover as he walks up to the back door. I love camouflage.
I search high and low for Grant’s bald eagle and globe pin that goes on his dress blues. I cannot believe I lost it. I finally check at the cleaners and I find it in the parking lot. It’s smashed and cracked and now I’ll have to get a new one fast. I let out a frustrated sigh.
It won’t be long before my husband won’t be wearing his uniform anymore. I won’t have to watch him walk out the door in the middle of the night. I won’t be washing his forest green and desert storm camis anymore. I won’t have to say good-bye through tears and watch him leave for months at a time.
But that uniform that I have come to often disdain, I will miss.
I’ll miss it because my heart won’t be able to skip a beat when I see a mess of camouflage walk in the back door.
And when the Colors play, I won’t get to see him standing tall in his dress blues.
But one thing for sure, uniform or not, he will always be standing tall.