A NAVY HUSBAND

The Navy husband is no ordinary man. For months at a time he must navigate the world without the companionship or assistance of his wife, routinely overcoming challenges that would bring many of us to our knees.

Hes part Doctor, part Teacher, and part Handyman extraordinaire. He can lavish loving care on a sick toddler, help a teenager with their Algebra homework, or track down a faulty circuit breaker -- all while holding down a full time job of his own.

Hes the master at creating a feast from next to nothing, and on short notice he can whip up a scrumptious breakfast, lunch, or dinner for his wifes hungry shipmates who seem to be forever following her home, or for that pop up pot luck in the office, all while somehow maintaining his family's meager grocery budget.

He can press a set of Khakis to inspection standards, tie a perfect square knot in a military neckerchief, and pack a seabag in the cold pre-dawn as his wife prepares to set out on yet another deployment.

For months at a time, he must settle for Facetime instead of kisses, emails in place of hugs, and long-distance phone calls in lieu of his wife's touch. He always manages a smile when his Sailor is at sea for the second Anniversary in a row, and stoically accepts the fact that there's a one-in-three chance that she will have to stand Duty on his Birthday. He has learned to stand on a pier and wave goodbye without tears, even as his own heart is breaking.

To his children hes the Chauffeur, the Umpire, the Psychologist and Spiritual Advisor, the Financial Consultant. Hes the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause and Easter Bunny all rolled into one, but most importantly, hes their full-time father. To his wife, he is forever a Friend, Lover, Partner, Confidant, and Soul-Mate.

He too is a patriot, the sort of citizen that all of us should be, but so few of us are. He lives with sacrifice, because he believes in the rights and ideals that his wife defends. And although he wears no uniform, hes an integral part of the shield that protects this country and all she stands for, a vital but mostly unseen link in the long chain of Freedom. He wears no medals, and hell never reap any glory from the field of battle, but he is a hero nonetheless in the truest sense of the word. He is a Navy Husband.