It’s the last Flashback Friday before Martin leaves.
So I’m doing one more post about him as my German soldier.
You have to understand: though I met Martin the Student who was finishing up his last year for the Abitur, I fell in love with Martin the German soldier. His ability to relate to my career ambitions, his focus and professionalism, the way he could command authority and lead others … all of those were qualities I didn’t fully realize about him until he joined the Bundeswehr.
And I know I’m stating the obvious, but he looked really good in that uniform. I felt so international whenever we attended military functions together in our respective uniforms.
A little NATO power couple.
For this Flashback Friday, I’m sharing the blog post I wrote in August 2001, just weeks before 9/11, about a day I spent at his Kaserne. They were having a family day, and I got to actually go out and ride in the tank with Martin.
That was awesome.
Since last August, when Martin made the decision to join the Air Force Reserve, he’s been preparing for basic military training.
Obviously, after years as a banker and a stay-at-home dad, he’s not the same guy who once filled out the Flecktarn.
So he’s been getting in shape and all.
I ain’t mad about it.
In fact, I’ve been catching glimpses of the handsome young leutnant who used to do push-ups on the floor of my studio apartment in Kaiserslautern.
Who used to shine my black boots along with his as we watched television at his mother’s place in Erlangen.
Who sometimes forgot his folded black beret after sticking it in my car’s glove compartment. (No worries – he always had an extra one.)
Who arranged for his unit to form a salute and flag arch as we left the church at our wedding.
Who made the extremely difficult choice to forgo his own military aspirations so that I could achieve mine, and who has paid for that sacrifice — without complaint — in more ways I could ever number.
It’s why I’m so glad this is all happening for him.
Now, I watch him do push-ups in our kitchen with our children clinging on his back.
I see him studying up on Air Force history and rank structure.
I’ve helped him put aside the things he’ll be taking with him when he leaves.
And I can’t help falling in love all over again.
My German soldier. My American airman.
I’m so proud of my man.