Saying “see you soon” to someone you love is a very hard thing to do. When you must watch a loved one walk away to the line of duty, a piece of your heart goes away with them. I have been there and know how it feels. I was always very close to my oldest brother. I have only two other brothers by the way. We were all close, but I had a much better relationship with the oldest one.
He would play with me when I was very little and would even tell me bedtime stories from time to time. It wasn’t like our parents weren’t around. In fact, they were. They were just sleeping in the next room. Growing up, we slept in the same room. We had bunk-beds and a single bed, so there was enough room for the three of us. We had a pretty normal childhood. We went out camping, went to the 4th-of-July parade and celebrated birthdays. As we got older, we all went through a phase where we kind of did our own thing.
When I was about 17 years old, my brother came home from work to make an announcement. He had just enrolled in the Army and would be leaving is a few months. At the time, it didn’t sink in and for some reason, I thought he would be back in no time. Then, he told us details about his departure. We were all a little surprised but happy for him nonetheless. The thing is, after he left, we didn’t get the chance to see a lot of him. The day when he said goodbye, we were all pretty sad. We didn’t want him to notice because we didn’t want him to think he had made a wrong choice. We told ourselves it was the best choice he could make, and he would be back soon.
He retired after 23 years of service and came home. We were all pretty excited the day he was coming back. My mom threw a small welcoming party at home and we invited a few close friends and relatives to welcome him. The feeling I had when he left was a little like the one when he came back. We talked a lot on that first day and caught up on a lot of missed years.
So, I know how hard it can be for families that have to be separated for extended periods of time. You in a way learn to live that way and go on with your life, but a very important part of you stays with your loved one. For Joshua Buetow and his family, including 4-year-old Rileigh and 2-year-old Austin, it would be just as hard. They know he’ll be away until the Summer for a tour with the Navy.
On the day he was leaving, his entire family came to the pier to see him off at the harbor in San Diego. They all said goodbye and saw him leaving as they waved, too. It was there that an incredible police officer who goes by the name of James Weaver, decided to help them. He let the kids use his patrol car’s P.A. system to get their voices heard by their father. The way they do it will melt your heart!