A friend recently got me hooked on Army Wives. It's a show on Lifetime about the lives of 5 women who are spouses in the military (4 women are spouses of men of various ranks and 1 is a mid-ranked woman who is in the Army herself).
For obvious reasons this show stirs up many emotions for me. Though I know it's not real, the images of men at war, on base and even back home with their families remind me of the years that my best friend Aaron was a Marine stationed in Iraq. I can't help but think I didn't write him enough, support him enough and tell him how proud I was of him. Since his (safe) return home and subsequent leaving of the Marines, we've lost touch. We are still friends, but have grown apart and are no longer a daily or even monthly part of each others lives. It happens with friendships, and I accept that it's a part of growing up and changing and I know in my heart that if I ever needed him, he would, of course be there. I know he knows the reverse is true and I find comfort in that.
Through my own experience with Aaron at war, and even through the scenes in the show I am reminded of how important letters and pieces of home are to the men and women at war. I can't take back the years Aaron was away and my own laziness of writing to him and supporting him while he was away and I will forever hold regret for that. Recently, I joined a soldier pen pal program and have been writing letters to those stationed overseas. I know it doesn't change the past, and it probably won't even make my regrets go away, but I feel better knowing that I am doing what I should have done for Aaron for someone else.