A Patriotic Heart

(Editor’s note: Meet our new contributor, Jenna! As with all our new writers, we asked Jenna to make her first post a “get to know me” one. Enjoy learning about Jenna!)

I have always been very patriotic. My dad enlisted in the United States Navy shortly after high school and then went on to retire from the Michigan Army National Guard with over twenty years of service.

Growing up, I LOVED showing my dad off to anyone and everyone, and I felt such pride that he served our country. I can remember countless weekends where he had to be away (for drill weekend), three deployments (The Gulf War, Egypt, and another stint in Europe), Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day parades, Yellow ribbons around the trees, the United States flag always flying high at our house. Summer family days and Christmas parties at the armory, and the guys from my dad’s unit and their families coming to our house for cook outs and softball games.

Those are my fondest memories as a child!

I was so filled with pride and I can still feel my heart swelling as a little girl anytime I saw my dad in uniform or caught a glimpse of our country’s beautiful Old Glory swaying red, white, and blue in the breeze.

Fast-forward years later and I am in that role again, with my fiancé, CJ. He is an Active Guard Reservist for the Michigan Army National Guard, and here we are living this crazy Army life! He has been through three deployments in his sixteen years of service, and many other shorter TDY missions peppered in here and there throughout the years.

I am very humbled by the experience and I think the one thing I would say is that it definitely is very challenging; there are ups and downs just like every relationship, but different and unique ups and downs that a lot of others will never understand.

That is why I am so happy and thankful for communities like Army Wife Network. There is nothing like going through an experience and having someone there to say, “I’ve been there too.”

That is what I think is most important that I want others to know about me. I will always be that person for someone; I always WANT to be that person for someone.

Because in the face of any adversity, in good times and in bad, there is nothing more comforting, nothing more PATRIOTIC, then having someone standing beside you who UNDERSTANDS what you are going through, and who can hold your hand and walk beside you the entire way through.

That’s who I am.


About Jenna Kirkton

I’m Jenna! 34, career lady, addicted to coffee, amateur photographer, supporting my post 9-11 Combat Veteran who is an Active Guard Reservist for the Michigan Army National Guard! Trying to get through the crazy schedules, the “can’t have a plan” lifestyle with a little bit of humor, grace, and spreading encouragement to others who are living this same life as we are that we wouldn’t trade for the world! I have a passion for uplifting others and helping them see their potential and follow their dreams.

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