3. Love is Loyal
We hear the word “loyal,” thrown around like a new age term that all the “kid’s are saying (BAE anyone?). “ What does being “loyal,” actually mean? I often hear scenarios dripping with showers of supposedly loyal acts that convey a message that it doesn’t matter if the person is right or wrong LOYALITY is agreeing with them no matter their action. Wrong, WRONG. WRONG! Loyalty is loving a person DESPITE their faults, inconsistencies, and often times, lack of judgment. Loyalty is displaying acts of kindness even when the other party is undeserving, and stating the truth when it may hurt.
Loyalty is a fundamental part of our every day life. We are loyal to those that serve just as they are loyal to the oath they took to serve. We remain loyal in these circumstances despite how undervalued, insignificant, and even underappreciated we may seem on the hills of Washington, the floors of the Senate, and the aisles of Wal-Mart. Being loyal is not easy; if it were easy everyone would do it, but it something that makes our lifestyle, relationships, and even our individual worth more capable and infused with love.
4. Love Is Emulated
Everyday I try to photograph something unique. On a particular day not too long ago I had an image in my mind that I knew would be moving and expressive of how I was feeling. I hung my husband’s uniform in my window and ventured off to find his cap. I returned to my room cap-less to take a few test shots to see if I actually needed the long lost hat. As I sat on the floor, my little boy entered dressed in his pajamas, his own personal ACU blouse, and the missing hat. He looked up at his father’s uniform almost with a sense of reverence; I snapped the picture and put my camera down. In that moment I realized that we teach our children love simply by loving them first.
They mimic and emulate the very actions they see on an every day basis. My little boy displayed a powerful sense of this theory in action as he imitated his father- a man who does puzzles with him, shows him how to put together his train tracks, talks about jumping out of airplanes, and lets him tear all the Velcro parts off his uniform on a daily basis. To me, there is no better accurate piece of evidence than seeing someone I love freely love someone else. After all if love is emulated love is being delivered in the first place.
5. Love is Sacrifice
We know the meaning of sacrifice. Sacrifice is holding your newborn baby and receiving a phone call of a short notice deployment. Sacrifice is receiving a text message from a good friend, due with a baby any day, stating that she hopes her husband gets deployed too because “it’s always better when friends deploy together.”
Sacrifice is missed memories, birthdays, and anniversaries.
Sacrifice is facing hard times alone, celebrating milestones alone, and crying in closets when it all becomes a little too hard to bear. Sacrifice is putting oneself in harms way to protect loved ones, friends, strangers and even enemies.
Sacrifice is something we are familiar with, in such a way that most of the civilian realm cannot relate to. For this cause our family, our military family, is evidently one of the most loving tribes known to humanity. We befriend strangers, welcome individuals who are nothing like us, and most apparent of all; we send the people we love the most to the world’s most inhumane, unloving, and evil places with the hopes that peace will remain on our own shores. We know the true meaning of love; we practice it daily and witness love’s purest essence just by being part our military family.
This list of traits is obviously lacking. How do you view and describe love?
Read Next: Falling in Love with His Military Side
PC: Morgan Slade Photography