MAJOR changes…

Buried in a storage bin somewhere in one of our closets is a box filled with letters.  Letters full of encouraging words and Bible verses.  Letters full of mundane day-to-day details about the life of a college student engrossed in her studies, her jobs, & her sport.  Letters full of “i miss yous” and “i love yous.”  Seventeen years ago i penned every single one of those letters.  They were all addressed to the same young man: Airman Basic James Carrabbia.

Seventeen years ago, I charged a plane ticket on a Discover card and flew with his parents to San Antonio, Texas to see him graduate from basic training.  Seventeen years ago,  he didn’t have a single stripe on his arm.  Not long after that graduation ceremony, “Airman Basic” Carrabbia began his tech school & as the months and years went by he sewed on enlisted rank after enlisted rank.  By the time we were married he was a Senior Airman.  By the time we welcomed our first child he had sewn on Staff Sergeant & was faced with the decision of whether to leave the military behind and pursue his personal dream of becoming a doctor; or to stay in, complete a Bachelor’s Degree, and try to become a Commissioned Officer in the United States Air Force.

Over the years I’ve stood back & watched him work tirelessly for our family. He ended up earning that Bachelor’s Degree late at night; typing papers into the early morning hours after having worked a full day and coming home to take care of an 18 month old while I waited tables in the evenings so we could make ends meet. He traded a career field he loved for the commission because it offered a substantial pay raise & retirement benefits.  In doing so, he gave up his dream to become a doctor, to ensure my dream of being a full-time mom & provide a “constant” for the kids during these years of service when he is frequently absent from our home. This path he chose for his family has demanded endless sacrifice. Birthdays missed.  Christmases spent in desert dorm rooms.  First days of school he’s seen only in pictures.  I’ve watched our kids take their first steps, bandaged boo-boos that needed “Daddy’s kiss,” & played “Easter Bunny” alone on many occasions.  I’ve never missed a moment, and he’s missed more than I can count.  Even when he’s home, if “duty” calls, he has to answer.  

Today is a big day in the Crabb Shack.  Today, the man who was once “Airman Basic James Carrabbia” without a stripe on his arm, received a letter informing him that he will soon be “Major James Carrabbia” with a golden Oak leaf on his shoulder.

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Like all military promotions, this will bring changes for his career: greater responsibilities, new positions, more training and schools.  He’ll miss more moments with our family as he meets the demands of his next assignment and all the while his eye will be fixed on the “prize” of providing the best he can for his family.  

I know he’d rather i didn’t make such a fuss on days like today.  I know he doesn’t like all the attention that this post will probably bring.  But I am so damn proud of the man that I share my life with.  He’s a man of integrity, sacrifice, and service to others.  Sure, he’s got his quirks and his flaws too.  But even his imperfections make him perfect for me.  Other than my words, I have nothing to offer him that will ever demonstrate the gratitude & pride that I feel every day that I stand beside him as his wife.  I am so excited to welcome the day that we are officially Major & Mrs. James Carrabbia.  

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One thought on “MAJOR changes…

  1. This is awesome news. I am so proud to to have him as my brother in law. And you do have more than just words. You have the amazing children that you stayed home to raise to make all his hard work, sacrafises, and dedication worth it. And of course the amazing wife to come home to. 🙂

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