Tuesday, April 3, 2012

American Soldier and Our Friend-Dave VanCamp

We visited a friend today.
It’s truly amazing here in Virginia. It’s early enough in the day that the tour buses haven’t made their way through the streets and the shadows are still cool and dark. We walked streets lined with the most beautiful Weeping Willows and tulips; the reds, pink, greens, yellows and purples are so vibrant and true it’s almost surreal. Warm breezes brush our face and arms and the robins sing as we are reminded spring is making way for summer. I am thankful for the time I’m spending with my family and reflect on life, freedom, and tradition.
The poignant sight of the final honorable ride of the fallen with the Caisson Section is a perfect depiction of sacrifice. Military life is filled with many opportunities to be part of all types of ceremonial acts, traditions and events. American military traditions are handed down to carry on the honor and respect of those that served before us in the name of freedom and democracy. Just as the passing down of family traditions emphasize the historical and genetic map of those who gave us life, the Salute, Spurs, Stetson and Anthems sung in the name of American freedom reinforce the respect and reverence symbolized by the American flag.
As far as I can see there are tombstones outstretched across these beautiful rolling hills, history floods our senses. Reveille and Taps so appropriately run through my mind as this was etched in my memory daily the last 7 years at Fort Carson. Conflict arises inside; I have a sense of pride and grief all at the same time. I search deep for the appropriate words to explain to my children what these Soldiers and American Patriots mean to us as a military family and a Nation as a whole. As a wife of an American Soldier who has served three tours overseas, the reality of such an event is present but thankfully not a reality. I’m proud to be part of such a great country and I feel grief for all those who have lost due to the untimely, but profound, death of a service member.
We came to visit a friend laid to rest here in Arlington. My girls and I were honored to know him and his bride. Dave and Chelsea were our first neighbors at Fort Carson and we served together in the 2nd Squadron 9th Calvary; we later followed them to Fort Knox for Captains Career Course. Kaley and Mari Katherine can remember the night Dave took them trick-or-treating the afternoon Evan was born. We have a picture of the girls and Dave, with “his scary mask”, we occasionally look at when we rifling through the box of family memories. As a couple, Dave and Chelsea were a refreshing reminder to Michael and I of a newly married couple. I have many memories of Chelsea talking about their trip to Disney on their honeymoon, and I watched their relationship grow with excitement. I was always in awe of Chelsea’s strength of a newly married Army spouse; she always walked around with an undeniable honor to serve along with Dave.
Thank you Dave for your giving spirit to our girls. Thank you for the wonderful memories of our new life in the Army and for sharing your wife with us.Thank you for reminding us that life is precious and fragile and that we need to cherish every moment. Most of all thank you for the ultimate sacrifice to our Country and our freedom. Chelsea, thank you for your continued picture of grace and strength, thank you for sharing your life with us and for showing us that we can face our biggest fear as a military spouse.~ hugs and love from the Poche’s


  1. Stephanie, you have a special gift. Your true feeling flow so eloquently through your chosen words. Beautifully said. We are all honored to know any and all of those that choose to fight for our freedom
    Thank you, too, to all the families for their own personal sacrifices!