To all the incredible men and women who have fought to make this country the land of the free and the home of the brave…..
….I salute you.
And for those, they left behind at home?
For those amazing individuals who watched them leave with tears and a heavy heart.
For all those who stood in silent support on the home front with worry and uncertainty and prayers for a safe return…
….this story is for you.
And a girl who loved a sailor…..
…..and her Lee Press-On Nails.
When my husband was my boyfriend he joined the Navy.
At the time, I really didn’t know much about the Navy except that there were ships involved and the uniforms were really cute.
And of course, there were those hats.
Actually when he told me that he joined the Navy all I could think about was how proud I was of him and how brave he was and how cute he was going to look in his uniform. I didn’t really understand about sacrifice and drills and boot camp and shaved heads and leaving for three months to go away.
Oh—and I didn’t understand how much I was going to miss him.
So when a plane ticket arrived in the mail with an invitation to go and see him graduate from boot camp I was ready. I planned for three weeks for the perfect “see your boyfriend graduate from boot camp” outfit.
It was royal blue.
With brass buttons and military-style detailing.
And matching blue pumps. And I had my hair highlighted and got a fresh spray tan and new lip liner and new giant medallion style gold earrings that resembled door knockers and a brand new set of bright red spiked Lee Press-On-Nails.
Remember Lee Press-On-Nails?
Weren’t they the best?
They came in a set of 10 nails with glue strips that worked really well at first and then after a while the glue strips stopped working and you had to go all old school with the nail glue.
True glamour at it’s finest.
And so there I stood on that hot afternoon day.
Waiting in my royal blue suit with the brass buttons and military-style detailing and my matching pumps and my highlighted hair and my lipstick and my Lee Press-On-Nails.
That kept falling off. Or rather in my nervous excitement, I think I kept peeling them off.
And gluing them back on.
Again. And again.
As I waited for what seemed like forever as first one company and then another and another and another marched through the chain link fence into the parade area. Craning my neck, I kept my eyes glued on the road to the parade grounds. And finally, there he was. His company was the very last company marched through. I actually heard their boots before I saw them—marching step by step in perfect time. And there in the very center of the sea of gleaming white uniforms was my sailor.
He was the captain of the troop.
My heart melted. He was so handsome I thought my heart would burst. His uniform was pressed and polished and his brown eyes twinkled across the parade ground and he was saying all sorts of amazing military things like…..“Left….left….left…..right….left.”
I couldn’t contain my excitement.
He marched them right into the center of that parade ground where they paused with their white Navy uniforms gleaming in the sun. As they marched across the grass, my handsome sailor turned, faced the crowd and saluted. And then? He said the words that made my heart beat faster…… “Company……halt.”
That was good enough for me.
I didn’t know there was any more to the ceremony.
I mean, what was left? The company had marched in. They were stopped. And besides, I had been waiting and waiting and waiting.
Without a second thought, I leapt up from my seat and ran down from the stands onto that parade field with my blonde curls and Lee-Press-On-Nails flying in the wind…
…jumped into his arms.
And as he tumbled over and his sailor hat fell to the ground, I heard his faint muffled voice croaking out “Umm…..company…..dismissed.”
And as the sounds of laughter and applause from the crowd surrounded us a sailor fell in love with his girl….
….and she and her Lee-Press-On-Nails fell in love right back.