For those of you planning a move to Okinawa soon, we hope Marie’s descriptions of the process of their travel and first months of settling in can help you with a few of the “unknowns.”  To read more of their story see links at the bottom of the post.


Newlywed Georgia Family
Newlywed Georgia Family

“Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home.” – Bill Cosby

It’s amazing, when you really think about it. Moms and Dads willingly subjecting themselves to inevitable heartbreak each time their child leaves home again. Our families teach us courage by their example, by the hugs they give so freely, by the tears they hold back to shield us from their own pain.

This could not be more true of Kenny’s family and mine. It’s why we spent our last four weeks in the States driving from San Diego to Indiana to New York to Georgia, to attempt to show the most important people in our lives how much we appreciate them. I have no doubt I fell short. You can never say thank you enough to the people who put your happiness before their own. It’s all too easy to take them for granted every time a disagreement arises. We’re family– it happens. There is an art to putting aside our differences and choosing our battles wisely. I’m far from mastering it, but I’ll never stop trying. Family is worth it. They’re the ones who show up when everyone else is long gone.

Newlywed New York
Newlywed New York

Dierks Bentley sings a song about home, and there’s one lyric that kept playing in my mind during our trip:

Newlywed Indiana
Newlywed Indiana

Free, nothing feels like free
Though it sometimes means we don’t get along
‘Cause same, no we’re not the same
But that’s what makes us strong

We are who we are largely because of our families. Kenny’s ability to serve and protect our country, and my desire to support him in that endeavor, both start at home. We learned these virtues as sure as we learned to walk and talk, from the people who raised us. If there’s one thing I wish I could have said more clearly to each of our parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, it’s this: We could not do what we do without you. For those of you getting ready to PCS, my advice to you is not to leave your family without telling them this.

Home is where we love. How blessed are Kenny and I that our families know the distance between us does not diminish our love for them. And because I love writers whose quotes frame my thoughts so much more eloquently than I can, here’s one from Mark Twain:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Brilliant, for sure. But I’d like to add one thing. To our huge, complicated family: YOU make the adventure possible. Thank you.

Read all the posts in this series: Parts 1, 24, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14