My daughter is a strong young woman. She’s only 20 years old but her life experiences would tell you she is older than that. She ran her first marathon at age 16 and many many races in between. She always had straight A’s in school and had friends from all walks of life. She is highly intelligent and wise beyond her years. She is tiny. You know they say good things come in small packages.
She left home when she was just 17 to join the US Marines. It started off that she was interested in the US Air Force (my son was serving at the time) but somehow, through a good friend of hers was encouraged to go see a USMC recruiter and that was that. It was set in stone. She was going big or going home. So, she set off to become a US Marine. She graduated H.S. early so she could leave for boot camp sooner. Our hearts broke just a little bit.
We know she was following her calling but at the same time, didn’t want our little girl to leave the nest so soon. She’s been on her own now for nearly 4 years now and we miss her every day.
Since she was just 6 months old she was a spit-fire. She knew what she wanted, what she didn’t and knew how to get what she wanted no matter who she had to roll over to get it. She has a twin brother and they are polar opposites. Physically they are definitely opposites; she has long straight blonde hair and he has curly brown hair. She is only 5’2″ and he is 5’7″. They look nothing alike and yet are connected in a magical way that only twins can be.
I guess she has been on my mind more than ever because she’s been overseas for 7 months now and will be coming stateside on 1/16 and I couldn’t be happier for her. She hasn’t “hated” where she has been but there is a big language barrier and she is home sick. Often times people think that when a military person is deployed that it is somehow a “vacation” of sorts where she can inhale the culture, learn the language, see the sights but the truth is she is working 12 hour days and volunteering in her spare time. She is worn out and ready to get back home. It will take her 2-3 weeks to check back in and then we are looking forward to a much needed visit from her home for a few weeks. I cannot wait to get my arms around my sweet, loving, strong, smart, beautiful daughter.
From the time she was young I knew she would blaze her own trail. She was always the first, fiercest person to stick up for her twin or family member if something went down. She joined badminton and tennis (with no previous experience) in H.S. and excelled in both sports; making many many friends with the same passion along the way. She even made friends from neighboring teams that have remained her friends to this day.
Her Cousin encouraged her at a young age to run in 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, and even a Maratha when she was only 16 years old. She succeeded in all the prep work for all of those runs and even ran when she had a headache. She is one of the strongest people I’ve ever known.
My daughter is smiley, welcoming, giggly, and yet so very highly intelligent at the same time. She gives great advice to me at times when I’m in need and always comes through for me. She encourages me to be the best that I can be. Especially when it comes to my work ethic. If I’m not feeling well she is there to encourage me to get up and get to work regardless and always there to lift me up. It doesn’t have to matter to her but it does, she cares about me and my accomplishments and cares so deeply for her family.
One person in-particular that misses her a lot is her little niece “A”. I cannot tell you how many times I’m with “A” and out of the blue she’ll say, “I miss Lexi” – unprompted. She is only 5 years old but feels the void as well.
I guess I’m writing this to let my daughter know that she is never far from my thoughts and I love and miss her daily. We all do and wish she were home for good. I know that day will come and cannot wait. Until then, I’ll still be that beaming, proud mother of a U.S. Marine, a STRONG woman with a moral compass on track and a work ethic that matches her fathers. I love you Lexi and I cannot wait for you to to return home. Thank you for your service, for the job you do and the training you require to do it – thank you for the sacrifices that you make daily for this country. We couldn’t be more proud of you for all that you have gone through, all that you continue to go through and all that you have become. An independent, intelligent, beautiful young woman with a heart of gold. Love you sweet baby girl.