Tribute to A Few Good Men (and one in particular)

This week our family is celebrating my husband’s 40th birthday and I wanted to give him a shout out (and embarrass him a little). Once in a while it’s a good idea to acknowledge some of the very best things about the man I share my life with, and remind him that he is much more than a sailor to me.

A good way to introduce him is by sharing one of his favorite stories he loves to tell:

“Back in Hawaii when I was a submariner, I had just finished dive school and, in keeping with tradition, wanted to get a tattoo like all the other graduates. I designed a tattoo of my diver pin superimposed with my submarine warfare pin and planned to get the ink on my calf. My friends and I went down to the tattoo parlor and I showed the artist my design and with a deep breath, told him I was ready. He looked at me, shook his head, and apologetically stated that he just couldn’t do it. Frustrated, I pressed him, asking why he wouldn’t give me the tattoo I had carefully chosen. The man looked at me and replied, ‘I can’t mess with perfection.’”


Rivaling the “Men of the Year” magazine cover in his barracks room.

I fell for this story the first time I heard it when we were dating 18 years ago and have heard it told countless times since to gullible friends who ask why he doesn’t have a tattoo. He’s a Navy Sailor, after all. Don’t they all have tattoos?

But here’s the thing: It kind of makes him unique at work. And isn’t there something about being in the military that makes it hard to stand out? Everyone wears the same uniform, has the same haircut, etc. And it’s easy to be lumped as a whole when the truth is that each person is unique and offers so much to their family and community.

I wanted to take this week to pause and celebrate my husband and encourage you to do the same for your military man. What makes your guy special? Unique? Call it out this week and make him feel appreciated.

Here’s a few things I love about Clint that he would never boast about:

  1. Generous: Almost to a fault. He will drive any distance to help a friend at any hour of the day or night. He flew across the country to donate bone marrow to a stranger when he found out he was a match two weeks before we PCS’d and didn’t think twice about it. Volunteering over 500 hours at the USO during a deployment is another testament to his giving nature.
  2. Live-in Nurse: Even before he was an actual RN, first-aid came naturally to him. The kids know that Mom is helpless when it comes to owies and injuries and go straight to Dad. His arsenal of Steri-Strips, medical grade super glue, iodine and Bacitracin have saved us numerous trips to the Emergency Room.
  3. Puts MacGyver to Shame: I think many military men could fit in this category, but his troubleshooting and problem-solving skills are top-notch. Honestly, I cannot count the number of things he’s fixed around here and explains why we were so lost without him during deployment.
  4. Mr. Spontaneous: He balances my planning nature and is always up for a spur-of-the-moment ice cream run or a drive to explore a neighboring town.
  5. Never Too Busy for the Kids: He’s given our sons haircuts their entire lives, which has saved us thousands of dollars at Super Cuts, I’m sure. He also loves to help our daughter with crafty projects that include a glue gun, fabric scraps, buttons and who knows what else. These are projects I regularly hide from.

Tediously crafting a Thomas the Tank Engine birthday cake for our then 3-year-old.

The kids know Dad will catch them every time.

Off to the Daddy-Daughter dance!

Besides these traits, he loves our kids and me so well, and I know I’m a lucky gal.

Movies and television don’t always portray military personnel in the best light. Those of us married to such men know they are so much more than sailors or soldiers. Reminding our guys of what we love about them is incredibly important.

Just as we fight to become #MoreThanAMilspouse, they have to remember they are #MoreThanTheMilitary.

It’s an identity issue and sometimes can be truly difficult to separate the man from the job when so much of their lives are wrapped up in the military.

So, Happy Birthday, Clint! You’ll always be much more than a sailor to me.

Do you count your guy to be one of “a few good men”? If so, let him know today!