“Thank you for your service.” I still feel awkward whenever someone says those words to me. After all, I served in the Navy for only four years. I didn’t get to serve on a ship. I didn’t see combat. And I didn’t have a designated specialty.
What I did do is security watch, serve food in the Coffee Mess, wash planes, clean the offices and issue the tools and equipment needed to maintain Navy aircraft. Nothing significant.
I also got to see Spain and Italy. I made some amazing friends with whom I went out every week to clubs or bars. During Mandatory Fun, I met the man who would become my husband. Work was a blast. After work was a blast. My life in the Navy felt like a four-year party. So now, years later when someone thanks me for serving, I can’t help thinking, “But all I did was have fun,” as I sheepishly reply with a shrug, “You’re welcome.”
Recently however, a fellow veteran reminded me that every job in the military is important. We work together as a team. Some fly planes, some repair planes and some – like myself, make sure the tools needed to work on those planes are available when needed and accounted for when each job is done. Imagine if a mechanic forgot to pack up one of his tools after working on an aircraft engine. If there were no one accounting for every single tool during each shift, an item could be forgotten in, on or near a plane and potentially cause serious injury to the plane or to personnel.
So even though distributing and receiving tools seemed insignificant to me, it was actually a vital function in ensuring the safety of my team.
I look back on my time in the Navy with fondness and I wish I’d served longer. Those feelings of nostalgia are what led to me writing about military service members. In my first book, Forbidden Kisses, Navy Lieutenant Ethan Parker falls head-over-heels for a woman he meets while he’s on leave to attend his best friend’s funeral. The stunning beauty offers him emotional support, even while dealing with a stressful situation of her own. By the time he discovers she’s also in the Navy and that her enlisted status means she’s off-limits according to military law, he’s already in too deep to simply give her up. He must decide whether to break both their hearts by ending their heated romance, or keep their relationship a secret and risk his career. Get it here!
Happy Veteran’s Day to all who have served, those currently serving and the military spouses and family members who love us.