And the winner is.....!
Thank you to all the wonderful military bloggers who entered our contest for a conference pass to BlogHer 2010.
Jacqueline will be joining Blue Star Families at BlogHer 2010 in New York City next month!
Here's an excerpt from Jacqueline's winning entry:
The Red, White, and Blue Elephant
I didn’t invite the military to my wedding, but it came anyway. The decision to get married before Iraq had been a sudden one. I had less than two months to pull together my “dream” wedding. I used the word “dream” loosely because is it ever a bride’s dream to watch her groom walk away from her with an M249 strapped across his shoulder after one week of marriage? One good thing and bad thing about having so little time to plan was that once a decision was made, that was it. No last minute changes. Everything was last minute. I told my soldier that it was up to him whether or not we had an official military wedding. He declined because “The military is going to run our lives for the next twenty years. I want our wedding to be just for us.”
So that was that. The military wasn’t invited. But on Christmas Eve 2005 two 19 year-olds exchanged vows with a big red, white and blue elephant in the room. It was there on the solemn faces of our friends and family—some of which had begged me to post-pone the wedding so I “wouldn’t risk being a young widow.” It was in the quickening of my teenage pulse as the Pastor said the words “as long as you both shall live.” And it reared its ugly head as we made special pinky-swears to each other. We said things like “I promise I’ll come home in a year.” And “I’ll be waiting for you to return.”
Last month we went to a friend’s wedding and on the way home I confessed some things to my husband. I told him that I hate weddings now because it reminds me of my regrets from our own nuptials. Of course I’ll never regret the who or the when of our marriage, but I have regretted the how.
Congratulations to Jacqueline and thank you to all of the bloggers who entered.