Summer is here. School is out for some and almost wrapped for others. Vacation plans are being made. Moving trucks begin lining the streets. If the weather is any indication of the season, I have been feeling the summer heat. I am sure many of you have, too.

With that said, the season brings a variety of events in the journey of military families. Some of those events we relish and others we wish we could postpone. With the summer comes PCS season and that means change of command season. There will be farewells and welcomes. There will be ceremonies and receptions. There will be laughter as fond memories are shared and tears shed as we say “see you soon” to our friends and Army family. There will be excitement as we welcome new folks to the Great Place.

Ceremonies that echo the traditions of the past and incorporate elements of the now. Although some more traditional than others, there is always something unique shining through for each event celebrating the contributions of Army families to this great community.

For each of us that means a variety of events to attend. The events will draw a myriad of emotions. They will remind us to enjoy the time we have together. For me, this summer means a farewell for our current brigade command team. This means a change of command ceremony. This means a farewell for my husband’s brigade commander. It also means a farewell for a military spouse that I am so lucky to call my friend.

Our brigade command team has been exceptional. Our brigade commander’s spouse is kind. She is thoughtful. She is funny. She made sure we stayed connected even though we are a heavily civilian unit.

What touched me the most was her kindness for our military families — both Army and Department of Army civilians.

This military spouse gives back by serving the children of Fort Hood by working tirelessly to ensure they had toys at Christmas.

She serves as a guiding force to make sure military spouses were supported if they chose to volunteer within this community. She spent so much time in her children’s school as a volunteer to make sure she was connected not only for her own children, but for all of those families in our community.

What this amazing lady taught me is to embrace your journey wherever it make take you.

She taught me to do it with kindness and grace. She showed me how Army families take care of one another.

I know we all have our own connections with the spouses of our Army leaders. This lady is nothing short of fabulous. As they continue on, I know we will remain connected, but I will tuck all that she taught me away in my heart and do my best to live the values she showed. I don’t think she even recognizes the impact she has had on me because she just lives this life faithfully, serving as a military spouse.

As we celebrated this military spouse, it was touching to see the folks that came out to say farewell and thank you. Standing with such amazing ladies makes me so proud and so lucky.

So we say farewell to one team, we welcome another. We look forward to learning and growing as military families and getting to make new friends.

This is the Army cycle of life. It’s not always easy, but it sure is special.

Reena O’Brien is a military spouse and Herald Correspondent. She lives on Fort Hood.

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