Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Uniform and the Memories

I finally decided to give away my military dress uniform. Though I gave away almost all of my military uniform items right after I left the service, I couldn’t help but to hang onto my dress uniform a little longer. Besides being (hands down!) the best-looking uniform, it also held a lot of great memories. I wore it to my unit’s various military ceremonies. I wore it when I went as Husband’s date to his military functions. And I wore it to my uncle’s wedding ceremony. My dad, my uncle, my cousin, and I all wore our military dress uniforms. (It made for a very nice picture – just ask my grandma.) I remember on my uncle’s wedding day, a couple ladies saying “ooh, so that’s what the ladies’ dress uniform looks like,” when I passed by. I felt a lot of pride for being able to represent my branch of the military in uniform, as well as representing women veterans. The uniform also made for a somewhat embarrassing (and amusing) story later that day. My aunt remarked to me in front of a number of family members, “You looked really hot in your uniform today.” I smiled and said an enthusiastic, “Thanks!” “No, I mean, it looked like you were really warm in that uniform; your face was flushed,” she elaborated. Oh. Yes, it was rather warm in the church. I’m so glad she clarified that she intended the “so hot you’re sweating” meaning of “hot” and not the “you’re very attractive” meaning, in the presence of so many family members. Regardless, I decided recently it was time to give it away. It’s a very expensive uniform, and I know it would help out someone new to the military. The additional closet space for me would be a bonus.
I hung up a sign in the women’s bathroom in Husband’s unit, offering the uniform with “FREE!” written in large letters. Who could pass that up? I got a call a few days later from a girl that lives on the opposite side of the country. She was about to go off to military training, and she heard about the sign from a friend. She asked if I wouldn’t mind mailing it to her, and she’d mail me a check. I told her not to worry about the check, and I mailed it to her. I included a note wishing her all the best in her military career. I knew I made the right choice in giving the uniform away, when I got an e-mail in my inbox with “THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!” as the subject.

And yesterday I got a card in the mail with her check that covered much more than the shipping. I almost got a little choked up, when I read her humble words: “Here’s a little something to at least cover the shipping, sorry I can’t send more. I really appreciate you sending everything to me!” I’m so glad that I gave away the uniform, but I’m glad I kept the memories. I hope that the uniform also brings her many happy memories and only the best meaning of the word “hot.”

8 comments:

Reynie said...

That's awesome! Great that she can use it and it is passed to yet another serving our country! Many thanks to all who do so!

Annie said...

Very "cool"

Sorry, couldn't help it. I'm glad you found a new home for your dress uniform. I'm sure it will be well taken care of.

Thank you for serving!

Ann M. said...

That was so nice of you. We just went through our closet and found a bunch of my old uniforms. Gave everything away to the thrift shop on base...except one set of the dress uniform...glad to know I'm not the only one who held on to something like that, and you've inspired me to find a good way to pass it on (when I'm ready, that is)!

Patti said...

very nice thing to do...and i see your marathon training is moving along. wheeee.....

****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

That was nice! Did you say it was an Army dress uniform? Will the same uniform be replacing the greens? I recently glanced at an article but didn't read it...then she could get twice the wear out of it.

Sigh....I must've kept my BDUs and my greens for five years after I got out. I finally passed them on to Goodwill...

A. said...

What a kind thing to do!

My husband got out of the military a year ago (after 10 years), and he still hasn't gotten rid of his uniforms yet. So, I understand the attachment!

Abbey said...

Obviously I don't have anything like that, but I have kept my letter jacket from HS and a few favorite formal dresses. I think they'll be great for Love Bug's dress up box one day... or who knows... if vintage stays popular, she could wear a dress to her prom!

Susan said...

That is cool you did that. I am bummed you didn't take a picture of it since I cannot imagine how it looked!