Sunday, April 7, 2013

A flag to honor

On March 30 I was asked, as Shana, to attend a memorial flag raising to honor a soldier from Corona, SSG Michael Cardenaz. I met SSG Cardenaz' wife in December at the Snowball Express send off at LAX along with her sweet daughter (1 of 3). Each time I see this family the little girl looks for my purse and my crown, after all a queen ALWAYS has her crown. This time though...I did not.

Upon arrival I spent some time with the Chaplain that was deployed with Michael. He had some great stories about a man bigger than life, personality for miles and a deep love for his family. Then came the Patriot Guard Riders along with the Soldiers family... quite a sight!  Michael's widow, Active Duty Army in her full military uniform, spoke quietly with thank yous and memories while their daughters cuddled up on the laps of their grandparents. Krystina and I joined other surviving spouses and Michael's family and friends, while the Honor Guard placed the flag on the hooks and started to raise it. To my humbled amusement the perfectly still day became breezy although just enough to fly the flag perfectly up the pole. It was a sight and reminder that this family is never alone.

After the ceremony, the children went off to play while the adults chatted for a few more moments.  Sharing in each others happiness, sadness and in between is what military spouses do. We are each others support no matter what.  

One of my favorite things about this family is that the wife is active duty Army as well - as my daughter says, "She's an AWESOME girl soldier!"

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