I read this during a retirement ceremony today. It specifies Air Force wives, but the same kind of sentiment applies to all military family members. The Air Force wife is a special individual. When she was a girl, her dreams were bold, as bold as her fine, free gaze; and every gift of grace and mind was hers in her younger days. When she was a girl, a golden girl, with a soul as fine as fire, she could outshine the brightest jewel that a rich man's love might buy her. Yes, hers could have been the glittering path through a careless, carefree life. But she fell in love with an Airman, so she became a military wife. Away from the home of her childhood she marched at her husband's side. For she chose a wide and winding road when she became a bride. And sometimes the road was a hard one, so different from what she had planned. And sometimes she wept for the home she had left as she lay in a foreign land. And sometimes her steps would grow weary as she followed the drum and the fife. But she set about making the world her home because she was a military wife. She learned to build a hearth for them wherever her man was sent. And she knelt to plant a garden every time he pitched their tent. Yes, she always planted a garden though she never saw it grow. For she knew before the flowers came that she would have to go. But she left each garden gladly though it cut her like a knife. For she hoped it might bring some comfort to another military wife. To the hardships in her married life she brought one simple truth. A promise that once was spoken in the ancient words of Ruth: "Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. where you die I will die, and there I will be buried." She shared his joys and sorrows as they make their way through life, for she was proud to love an Airman and to be a military wife. She bore the weight of worrying what fate might hold in store; and the wordless fear of waiting when her soldier went to war; and the nights that she spent fearing that her waiting was in vain; and the pain of wanting someone she might never hold again. But she bore his children gladly through uncertainty and strife. And they never heard her crying for she was a military wife. She raised a military family with the with the faith her love had taught her; and she gave the pride she had inside to her son and to her daughter; and she taught them to love freedom and to know what it was worth, as they helped her plant gardens in the corners of the earth. And she never wished for better than the road they marched through life, because she was as much an Airman as she was a military wife. To all the military family members, especially the wives: Thank you for your support of our fighting men.