“If You Can’t Fly, Then Run,
If You Can’t Run, Then Walk,
If You Can’t Walk, Then Crawl,
But Whatever You Do, Keep Moving Forward.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Written by: Christina Etchberger
Almost every morning, my sons and several others, walk around a 3 mile loop on post. This has become a morning ritual for us as a family, and started once my husband deployed. During the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us have safely stayed home for weeks, and now with the world reopening slowly, we are having to learn how to keep moving forward.
On my walk today, with my sons and our friends, I took some time to reflect on the military community we are immersed in each and every day. There are riots, peaceful protests, many social media posts, and many other ways people are trying to invoke change in our society. I have family members that have always honored their duty as a police officer and continue to protect. In the classroom, it was my duty as a teacher to discuss with a new generation about how to be a global citizen. At home, I teach my boys about how to follow the Golden Rule at home and in the world.
How are you moving forward?
Today, we walk.
We paused for a moment, towards the end of the walk, to really think about who makes up this very strong community. We, as military families, all come from different places. The beauty of the military community is we embrace that. The differences are in race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, rank, creed, and so much more. An individual’s uniqueness impacts their relationship with his or her spouse, which then influences their family values. Thus, impacting the community.
We continue to walk.
After walking for many weeks now, there are so many familiar faces. You see veterans, military spouses, and children all on the same path. One mom is running quickly with her jogging stroller, another soldier seems to be flying in his PT uniform in preparation for a physical fitness test, and a specific group of gentlemen seem to be moving at a much slower pace, but their time spent with one another is more important than the pace.
We are all moving forward.
We, as military spouses, are not new to the idea of moving. As a community, no matter your branch or rank, each and every military family experiences the uncertainties and the stresses. What is so great about being a part of a military community, we aren’t alone, and anyone in the military, or who has experienced it, understands what you are going through.
Whether it’s a long deployment, a sudden PCS to a whole new state or country, or any other challenge that comes with being a part of the military, we as spouses know one thing: keep moving. The beauty of these life changes that really shake up our everyday, is you are in charge of what you do with it. After you work with yourself, and how to keep moving, you have a whole military community to support you with that movement.
Whether it is flying, running, walking, or even crawling; we need to move forward, but together.
Our military community needs to move forward, not only in our careers, but move forward to make our world a better place. Lets lead by example, to treat others the way we would like to be treated. Our lifestyle gives us a bit of a head start, because we need each other. Our neighbors, our fellow military spouses, are everything to us. Whether our roof is leaking, our baby is sick, or we just need someone to walk with on our military journey, we must love our neighbor as yourself.
We move forward together.