Sunday, January 29, 2006

Setting Sail Again Soon [...or shall I say Taking Flight?]

It seems like a long time ago that we sat in our car in the driveway in Tyler, Texas, Mike with cell phone in hand - a weighty decision to be made. Mike had dreamed of flying fighter jets in the Marine Corps for some time. He had been through all of the entry process, filled out all the forms and endured the mental and the physical tests. He was told he was too old for a flight contract, but his recruiter said he could possibly get an age waiver. He held on to that hope for months. Finally the day came when he learned he was not granted the flight contract, but was invited to join the Marine Corps on a ground contract, with a 50/50 chance of gaining a flight contract during the second phase of training.

We were given an hour or so to decide what the next decade of our lives would hold. So there we sat in the car, debating whether he should join on the ground contract and pray for a flight deal, or decline the offer entirely. To that point, Mike had not found purpose and self worth in the jobs he had held. He was drawn to do something much bigger, and for a much greater cause. I knew he would regret not serving his country, not taking a chance at the flight contract for the rest of his life. So I encouraged him to join, knowing to an extent the sacrifice it would bring for both of us. He made the phone call.

Two months later, we sat in a hotel room near the Dallas Fort Worth Airport. Mike prepared to leave for Officer Candidate School for the next three months. He was not allowed to see me, to call me or to e-mail. His absence was very hard to bear. At the time I didn't realize it was just a small test for a much larger absence that will surely come.


It's now been almost 10 months since we chose this path. Mike is now an officer in the USMC and is attending The Basic School here in Virginia. I am happy to tell you he has been granted a flight contract. We will be moving to Pensacola, FL, in March to begin his flight training. The training will last about two years, possibly in different places, before his inevitable first deployment. My heart drops every time I think of it, but it's a reality we must face. I try not to let it enter my mind.

Mike has come a long way in the last year. I'm very, very proud of him. He has done well so far and is ranked very high in his company of 265 Marines. The military lifestyle is not easy, but I love Mike to the ends of earth and back and would not be anywhere else than by his side. We are happy together and ask for your prayers as we sail to the next chapter. I must say I'm thankful this chapter will be near the sand. :)

9 comments:

Sara said...

We never doubted it for a second! Congratulations to you both! Thank God for people like you!

Pensacola, eh? Lucky you.

You have all our prayers as you sail on....

Tommy & Sara

Lyndsay said...

Casey - I am so happy that he received the flight contract! It shows that prayers were granted already. Love you both! Lyndsay

Lori said...

Congratulations! We will pray for you as you begin an exciting new chapter! It is weird to think you will be in the same state, but you will be over 10 hours away! Florida is huge!!! I know you'll love it.

Brandon & Carolyn Schroder said...

I'm going to miss you so haaarrrd!! I seriously don't know how I'm going to function without you three! Mike is going to make a great pilot!

Debi said...

I'm so very proud of you both. I love you more than words can say. While it is not easy to be seperated by so many miles, I take comfort in knowing the happiness and love that you share with each other, and the knowledge that God is constantly by your side. I'll see you soon.

Chad and Sommer Tucker said...

Wow, that brought tears to my eyes (what can I say, I'm emotional these days). But for the first time in a long time, I remembered why I am here. It is a honor and a dream come true for both Mike and Chad. What would this country do without people like them. Congrats to Mike and a big thank you for this service to our country. Not to mention a big YIPPEE for us because we get to be together. Pensacola here we come!

Anonymous said...

Case
That is wonderful for Mike...and the beach is perfect for you and all of your friends:) I will be thinking of you and continue to keep you in my prayers.\

Carrie Taylor

Kim said...

Casey, that was wonderfully written. Like you let us all into your heart! You and Mike will be in our prayers as you get packed and moved down to FL. We'll have to stop by the next time we visit Jonathan and Lori. My grandparents also live in FL. Road trip!! Love you, Kim

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