The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

July 12, 2013

Military families also make sacrifices when soldiers are gone

--
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — Hello again. This month I want to talk about military families. They are the unsung heroes of the military, and go through a lot of pain and suffering. A wife keeping a household together to a child growing up with only one parent, they are strong and the biggest supporters of what we do.

I’ve been married to my wife Amanda for almost six years now. Of those six anniversaries, I’ve managed to celebrate three of them with her. You never know where you might be year to year and it’s a challenge in any relationship. My wife is very strong, and independent. She has to be, as you basically lose your partner in everything. All the chores I was doing, which weren’t many, she has to now also do on top of everything else she was already doing. From taking care of two very high maintenance dogs to mowing the lawn to paying bills she now has to carry that load. Now, she has to raise our son by herself while I’m gone.

There are also good times to be had in the military. Being stationed in San Diego is what led me to my wife in the first place. Getting a free trip to a tropical island in the South Pacific was awesome! 

Our son Brayden will be three years old this September. I missed the first 8 months of Amanda’s pregnancy due to being stationed aboard a Navy ship. Luckily I was able to be there for his birth, during a typhoon I might add. Within two months of his birth we moved back stateside, to North Carolina. Within four months of arriving, I was already deployed to Afghanistan. Now, my six month old son is basically being brought up without a father in some of the most precious times of his life. I missed him rolling over, crawling, his first word, and him taking his first steps! I missed his first birthday and will miss his third also. Luckily technology today has improved dramatically. We get some face to face time on the computer, and I get to hear all about his mischievous adventures. 

Parents go through a lot while their child is serving in the military. I was 17 when I left for boot camp, and 19 when I first deployed. At those ages most parents have to deal with their child burning through their bank accounts away at college.

While serving stateside, my parents were able to visit occasionally. I’m sure my father will always remember playing Torrey Pines golf course in San Diego. I’m sure my mother will always remember talking to me on the phone while deployed and being disconnected because a rocket just landed 100 feet away, cutting the line. I can never stop worrying about my son getting hurt, I can’t imagine what my parents go through while I am deployed. 

You learn to cherish the time you do have with your family, make the most of it. Being away from them is hard, but once you are back it’s just that much more important to be together. I miss my family terribly while I’m gone, and you just can’t describe that feeling once you’re reunited.

When you tell a Vet thank you, thank their family also. Without our families, we couldn’t do what we do.

Sgt. Joshua Bujalski is a 2002 Roy-Hart graduate currently serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan. He will periodically write for the Journal-Register until his return home sometime in November.

Sgt. Joshua Bujalski is a 2002 Roy-Hart graduate currently serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan. He will periodically write for the Journal-Register until his return home sometime in November.