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YouKnewWhatYouSignedUpFor...

Randi S. Cairns
Randi S. Cairns Nonprofit Expert, Organizational / Personal Growth Consultant, & Author
almost 2 years Story
You Knew What You Signed Up For...

Many years ago, my soldier was in Afghanistan. There was an IED and then a phone call. And then there was me scrambling to obtain a passport in case I needed to be in Germany. There was worry and sobbing and pretending everything was okay to the kids. And then there was the neighbor across the street from me. A woman I had considered a friend. A friend who looked me in the eye and said to me, “Well, he knew what he signed up for.” Like we were talking about a transaction instead of a person who had offered to put his life on the line for something bigger than himself. Like he was buying a piece of crap car and then had the nerve to be shocked because it was in the shop yet again.

I’ve heard that sentence more times than I can count in over 20 years as a military spouse. I shouldn’t think it was hard to often parent alone or be sad when he deployed or struggle with trying to be all the things to all the people because I too knew what I had signed up for.

NOBODY knows what they’ve signed up for. Ever. They just know what matters to them. And what’s worth fighting for. And they realize that sometimes those values and ideals come at tremendous expense. And they decide that they’re willing to write that check. And if that check is cashed, it makes their lives no less valuable and the loss of those lives no less tragic.

We live in a country where men and women write blank checks for ALL of us. So we can choose not to. So we can benefit from the blanket of their protection.

The very least we could do is honor the sacrifices they make without diminishing their service.


2 replies

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  • Alana Higa
    Alana Higa Head of Mogul @ Work // President of Fordham University
    almost 2 years ago New York, NY, United States

    Thank you so much for sharing this piece--I couldn't agree more, and I feel that it's important that we speak up about these things. As a proud military child I've also experienced this first-hand, and thank you so much for raising awareness for these issues. I'm hoping to get the Military hub on here more active and would love you input of any ideas you may have! 

    Mahalo Nui Loa,
    Alana Higa

    Thank you so much for sharing this piece--I couldn't agree more, and I feel that it's important that we speak up about these things. As a proud military child I've also experienced this first-hand, and thank you so much for raising awareness for these issues. I'm hoping to get the Military hub on here more active and would love you input of any ideas you may have! 

    Mahalo Nui Loa,
    Alana Higa

  • Maddy Bernstein
    almost 2 years ago

    "NOBODY knows what they’ve signed up for. Ever. They just know what matters to them. And what’s worth fighting for. " I way agree

    "NOBODY knows what they’ve signed up for. Ever. They just know what matters to them. And what’s worth fighting for. " I way agree


Randi S. Cairns
Nonprofit Expert, Organizational / Personal Growth Consultant, & Author

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