Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Breath of Fresh Air

I haven't consistently been writing down my "beautiful things" but I haven't forgotten about it. It has helped me a lot to focus on the small things so that I can look back and realize how full my life really is.

Saturday I took Elijah to the Galleria with me and he was admired by so many ladies (and men, but not quite as extravagantly). I could not help but smile as each of them cooed at him and were absolutely overjoyed when they were rewarded with a smile or a giggle. Their reactions to Elijah clarified a comment one of Bobby's co-workers made when they met Elijah as a newborn. She said to the other ladies in the office "He is like a breath of fresh air, isn't he?" And he is. I think that a baby is like a breath of fresh air. Healthy and refreshing for the heart, mind, body, and spirit. Like a beautiful, needed surprise. Babies are so pure and perfect in their newness and we don't yet know what God created them to be so they are a clean slate and a wonder.

This has caused me to surmise that once the masses fall out of love with babies, it will show a more callous heart toward God and purity and caring. I wonder? Maybe I am wrong.

At the Galleria there were plenty who pushed past me in their rush to find what they needed. Their lack of concern for others, even a woman with a baby, a stroller, a diaper bag, and purse struggling in a huge, crowded mall. It was disheartening. Then there were those who stopped to coo at Elijah or ask me how I was doing and it was encouraging. There were those who knocked into my stroller and never looked back and then there were those who helped me bring the stroller up and down stairs. There were people who stopped to open the door for me and my load and those who let it shut on me as I had two wheels out, one stuck in the door and a baby in my arms.

I am thankful for all the beautiful people who made my trip a little easier and although it was a struggle it was worth seeing the joy those 12 pounds and giggles could bring to others. Ladies stuck at work whose faces lit up when they saw him. Those in line, not so disgruntled because they can talk to my baby and get a smile. People who assisted me having a lightness in their step after they knew they had really helped someone else out.

The small things make life beautiful. Like my small, little brown-eyed boy. The ladies at the YMCA call him "Bright Eyes."

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Beautiful thing:
November 19- The delicious dinner I made for Tony's birthday! I think he really enjoyed it. I made Salmon, rice, watermelon, corn on the cob, and crab and then placed a lobster on his plate. Those are all of his favorite foods.

November 20-22- We went to Camp Peniel for the weekend taking the boys to camp and the weather was beautiful but not only that I got to be outside in it- a lot! In particular this morning I washed my hair and stepped out with it still wet. The air was cool and the sunshine bright and the wind was a mere breeze blowing my hair back every so often, brushing my face. I loved it!

Camp Peniel has a High School camp in November and we took the boys to it because if they want to get an American experience this is definetly one of the best! We aren't sure what their verdict is, but ours is that camp will always be in our blood and we loved it!

The weather was beautiful. We played Warball (which is intense indoor dodgeball)and "Rocks" which is a game other camp people will know but would be confusing if I tried to type it out here.

I only got to do canoeing for activities because Elijah was inevitable hungry right around activity time each day, but he did so well I was absolutely proud of him. He was hungry during worship time as well, but at least I can feed him and enjoy that at the same time. It is lovely listening to a sermon outside. I imagine it is what Jesus' disciples did often. I love doing anything outside though when the weather is clear and crisp and beautiful. I think it makes my mind more clear and everything else crisp and beautiful!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Raindrops on Roses

I am the kind of person who cannot work in a mess. I will clean up the mess so that I can do the other thing I needed to do in that same room. I pick up after myself. I leave things cleaner than they were when I came. That's just how I am. I feel like I never get to enjoy the fruits of my labor and it always seems like one big circle because I end up cleaning up after everyone. I don't expect spotlessness just a little consideration. However, this isn't supposed to be an epistle on cleanliness, it is just to say that it makes life discouraging when it feels like all you do is run around in a circle. That statement brings me to my main focus. I realize that life is made up of small, beautiful moments. Sometimes we get to travel or do something really exciting, but each day there is usually a beautiful thing that makes your heart swell or at least makes you smile. I want to try to write down each day that beautiful thing. Seeing it written helps and I can go back and look at all the beautiful moments my life is made up of...

This what I wrote the night I started it, Bobby and I were fighting and it was something small but important that happens over and over. Even though it is something we need to work on, it was ruining the night because I couldn't get over it and that is something I need to work on. Here it is:

November 14, 2009

I need to remember to live life

I need to take a moment each day to think about the beautiful things like Elijah laughing and smiling at me and so on.

I need to not focus so hard on my faults or on Bobby’s he has so many good traits and I love him, his faults are habits and not statements that he does not care about me or think of me or consider me.

Remember when we fight I can’t take care of every problem in one night, I can’t discuss everything I am worried about or unhappy with or that we need to improve all in one night.

The beginning of journaling my beautiful things:

November 14, 2009- beautiful thing
Bobby and I had an argument and when we do I cannot sleep because I mull over all he said and do not know what was said out of anger and what is true and how he views me and I think and think and get upset and stay upset. He was very tired and I had kept him up even to the point of us getting out of bed. I apologized for keeping him up and he said “it is worth it if it makes you feel better.” It made my heart swell with love for him.

November 15, 2009
Playing Streetfighter 2 with Bobby and kicking his butt!

November 16, 2009
Listening to "Kindred Spirits" which is the CD that Bobby made me and played the night he asked me to marry him. As I listened I could see the night perfectly. His exceitement, his careful planning, dancing, so happy that he was home for a couple of days, and the proposal.

November 17, 2009
Bobby came home dressed up in his work clothes, dress shirt, slacks, and a tie, looking so professional (and handsome) but when he saw me with Elijah, he dropped his work satchel, took him from me and smiled the biggest smile as he talked to his son. That makes me so happy and watching that love for our baby increases my love for Bobby.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What I Have Learned About God's Love

After being a mother for a mere 5 weeks I feel like I have come to understand God's love in a new way. In a way that is completely astounding and which is the sort of revelation that is always right before you. Sometimes you repeat the facts mindlessly from knowing the bible. Sometimes you truly do have little glimpses of His awesome love, sometimes you long to know it better. It seems so much clearer now although it is still like looking through a glass dimly as it says in 1 Corinthians.
It may seem clearer to me now and it may seem that if I write about it it will be clearer to others but I think many have tried and it is something you find out on your own. But maybe it will bless someone who reads it.

I did not create Elijah, but, in a sense, Bobby and I brought him about and he was born with a mix of mine and Bobby's genes so he is 'made in our image.' Immediately after seeing him I loved him completely. My strong desire was, first, love. Out of that love was born a desire to protect him, out of the love and desire to protect there is a willingness to sacrifice for him, even to the point of death (of myself).

This is what I believe. God loves us so much. He created us. His heart is bursting with love and He desires for us to love Him back. Even if we do not, He will go on loving us. No matter what we decide to do He will love us. We can make Him sad and it will hurt His heart beyond words.

He loves us so much that He doesn't want us to make that decision. Maybe because it will hurt us and He doesn't want us to hurt or because that decision is ignoring Him and He wants to be a part of our lives. We can make Him angry because He wants to protect us but He knows you also need your independence and in this independence you might make harmful decisions. All of these emotions stem from His love for us and His desire to protect us and be loved in return. I understand this more.

He has sacrificed so much, He has created us and given us good and perfect things. His heart is bursting with love equally for each of His children and that is why He feels each of these emotions.

Being ignored after love and sacrifice is like someone kicking you when you are down. Love and sacrifice may never be completely understood by the child and, therefore, we are capable of hurting Him so much. All of this understanding comes from how I feel about my son. I love him so much and desire to protect him. I sacrifice for him and know I will continue to and I would even unto death. I feel all of this and I think that God does too. He created us because He loves us, He also loves us because He created us and then He loves everything about us.
In reading this, consider your attitude about God and even about your own parents...

Saturday, September 5, 2009


So, we have realized that Tony, Evan, and Yun like to sleep until about noon on Saturdays. I realize what my dad thought when he would say that the whole day was wasted by then.

Bobby and I went to Cracker Barrel for a breakfast date, bought a wrench for a pipe we needed to unscrew, and bought curtains for the nursery. When we came home from all that it was only 10AM and, yes, the boys were still asleep. When they woke up, we let them lollygag around, then we decided to see what they might like to do today. It turned out that Tony really wanted to buy some Lobster-that is what he really wanted to do. We decided that they would definitely have it at Viet Hoa which is in the part of Houston that is kind of our version of China Town (Beltway 8 and Bellaire exit) and that they also might like to buy some snacks there. We had them tidy up their study room and then left for our day trip. Oh, I forgot to say that Tony was going to buy the Lobster, but he asked me to cook the Lobster. I haven't ever cooked Lobster.

Anyway, it was really interesting going to Viet Hoa. I couldn't read half of the labels but the boys came back with a cart full of groceries and told us what was gross and good (in their opinion) as we walked through the store. There were two aisles that were labeled "American Food" which was less room than they gave the fresh seafood. Not just fresh meat, fresh seafood. The store was huge. I also bought some stuff. I was able to read the sauce labels and that was what I was most interested in besides the noodles (for which I couldn't read the labels). I bought some ginger sauce, stir fry sauce, rice cooking wine, and sesame oil.

After our shopping trip, we took them to Bobby's favorite Sushi place called Oishii which is off of Richmond close to 59. I think they really enjoyed it. I think it is funny that I went out to eat and, yet, I was still going to be faced with cooking dinner tonight for Tony. Namely, Lobster which I had never done before. And I would be cleaning up afterwards. I generally feel like going out is worth it when I don't have to cook or clean. Hmmm.

I must note here that Tony could probably eat a horse each day. When people find out that we have three teenage boys to look after they comment on how much I must be feeding them. I say that my mom always said that Camille and I ate more than our brothers-which is true. I still hold to the fact that it isn't about gender. Our other two guys, Yun and Evan, eat pretty moderately, but Tony has an incredible appetite! In fact, this is a look at what Tony ate for dinner. We took them out to eat and Tony ate a regular size dinner at Oishii (6PM), we got home and while Tony was waiting for the Lobster to cook he ate a bowl of Raisan Bran Crunch (8PM), Tony then ate the Lobster with a side of white rice (9PM), after he ate his Lobster and rice he finished the night off with a banana.

Anyway, I thought you might like a visual of the Lobster than I got to cook. We bought them live and even though they were suffocating in a bag for a couple of hours, they managed to still wiggle a little showing us they were alive.

Here's a close-up
Here is Tony working hard to get to the meat
He enjoyed his Lobster and so I count the night as a success and hope that he sees God's love in my willingness to cook Lobster for him that night.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

God Changes Dreams

I am so glad that I have a God that can change dreams. If I did not, I would be subject to a depressed life. I dream with such a passion that when a dream dies I don't see how to go on. However, God provides new dreams. If I did not have God and want to be a part in his plan then I would find it hard to recover when a dream was gone.

Bobby and I met at a camp called Camp Good News and worked there as counselors and program directors for years. This was always for the summer (although we helped out with some retreats during the year) but we always imagined what it would be like to be the Camp Directors. We loved camp, we loved the outdoors, and we loved children- all perfectly fitting to be the Camp Directors one day. In the summer of 2007, that dream became a reality. We were asked to be the camp directors not just of any camp but of Camp Good News- a camp dear to our hearts.

We worked there from the summer of 2007 to this most recent summer 2009. We lived on camp, ran retreats during the time that there was no summer camp, and went through a lot of changes with camp. Because of some of those changes, we found that our place at camp wasn't where we should be any longer.

We held on for dear life at first and cried when we realized we finally had to let it go. But, like I said, God can give new dreams. I haven't yet cried all my tears for camp, but I am enjoying my new life so far. We have only been in it a few days, but I hope it will turn into something wonderful, and right now my heart is more peaceful than I expected it to be.

Bobby is teaching 4th grade at Baytown Christian Academy ( I am running the house and doing hair from home) and we are both House Parents for 3 foreign exchange students. Tony and Evan are from China and Yun is from Korea. They do not come from Christian homes but are attending a Christian school and are living with us. We hope through our actions and words that we can minister to them. We also hope that now that we have nights and weekends (almost unheard of at camp) that we can, possibly, begin a bible study with people we whose lives we have had a part in over the years. Most of them have ended up working at camp at one time or another so we can say a bible study with "camp people." But this doesn't mean it was the extent of our involvement with them. Some we met before camp and got them involved and some we met at camp, but communicated with them outside of camp, and some we met at camp and never got an opportunity outside of camp but hope to now. This is our new life and our new dream.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Elijah James

I haven't written a blog in a bit because I worked very hard on a particular blog in July and it somehow didn't save all the way and I got very discouraged. I will try at some point to write the blog over again, but I have to go through a mourning period for it first. Writing another blog is a good exercise in getting over the other one I lost.

Anyway, this past Monday (the 17th) I went to get my third ultrasound. I am not sure why but I guess the doctor just wanted to see what his weight was and how he is devloping (I am 36 weeks, by the way).

The technician spread the jelly over my belly and began moving the instrument around to get different shots of my baby boy. Sometimes I could almost make out what part she was looking at and sometimes I just trusted that she knew what she was talking about. She did get a shot between his legs and said "Yup, it's still a boy." I could actually make that one out when she told me what it was.

The most wondrous thing, though, was when she came to his face. You could see his face so clearly. At first, he had his hand balled into a fist and stuck into his mouth. The technician wanted him to take his hand out so she could have a better shot of his face. He did take it out and visibly yawned and stuck it back in his mouth. It was so clear that he yawned that I reacted with a yawn. You know how when you see a person yawn and then you have to as well? That was how it was and he is not yet outside my womb. I thought that this was so cool.

He yawns and kicks and sleeps. He is, apparently, at about 5 pounds 10 ounces or so, still a boy, and doing great by all measurements. His name is Elijah James and I will be meeting him soon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Yo mama

Yo mama so fat she goes to a restaurant, looks at the menu and says "okay!"

I think people have put "yo daddy" jokes out there, but I have never heard a single one used. I'd like to say that they use "yo mama" because it gets people riled up because they honor their momma but I don't think so.  Usually, "yo mama" jokes are for fun and all parties laugh-it's a joke.

I don't like to blow innocent things out of proportion, yet I think that 'yo mama' jokes are a part of and stem from disrespect in general of women. I have a big problem with the fact that most 'yo mama' jokes begin with "yo mama is so fat..." because women have been socialized to think that if they cannot have attributes that make them 'like a man' and able to survive in that world then the only option they have left or their only asset is their body. Therefore, their body is where they put all of their effort and the assessment others make of their body is where they receive their worth.

This week at camp, we had quite a few twelve and thirteen year old girls and at least a handful were overly concerned with their body and appearance. I began to cringe at every 'yo mama' joke and heard a lot of stuff that I hope I would have noticed whether they were there or not. These girls made comments about their weight and getting too fat. Most did not want to be seen without foundation on. A girl made comments like "when my mom was my age she was skinny like me and then she got fat." It sounds like this girl was a parrot of her mom and the phrase had been said more than once. The same mom reprimanded her daughter when she saw her eat two sno cones and cotton candy at camp. She asked her "do you KNOW how many CALORIES you just ate?" One girl had purposely not brought her swimsuit and only one pair of shorts. I was so happy and proud of her when she started wearing her shorts and even when she wore her jeans she rolled them up. I told her that God thought she was absolutely beautiful and that the staff at camp did too. I hope one day she notices the absolutely stunning smile she has. The one I started to see more of as camp progressed.

In Timothy there is a passage that tells women not to be overly concerned with braiding their hair or what they wear and I don't think it is necessarily because women are overly vain but rather because doing so will take your focus off of God and also because God knows that we need to know that there is more to us than just our appearance no matter what the world throws at us or what men say without thought (and with plenty of thought as well).

I hate when a woman is broken down by her looks-piece by piece. I hate that when a women gets up to speak she is looked at first and then, perhaps, listened to. Most likely, the crowd that heard her will talk as much about the way she looks as the way she speaks. Not so with a male speaker. The same with a female athlete, her physical ability is not so interesting as her physical appearance. If she is slim then you would think that is enough, however, she could be "too muscular." If she isn't slim, and didn't perform well, it's probably because she's "a cow." I've heard it, I've heard it from guys I know really well too. It is so prevalent and so accepted. If you have a problem with it then you are too sensitive and you are laughed off. If you are a guy and don't participate, you are looked at sideways-that is, if you are already cool. If you aren't cool and don't participate, you are a nerd or effeminate. At the least you are just left out which nobody in their right mind wants.

I even remember some girls in my youth group asking some of the guys what their favorite part of a girls body was. I had never ever thought that way and I felt like a whole chicken prepared, cut up, and ready to be barbecued. This one liked legs the best, breast was the best meat, thighs were his taste. I had never noticed each part of my body so acutely before then.

I'm sorry but I don't believe that 'men are just made that way.' I think that excuse is meted out too often, from mens mouths, from the pulpit and, often, with a sigh or laugh, from women's mouths. I believe that we were all born with a sin nature and that people may tend toward certain sins than others (because of genetics, gender, nuture, or decisions). But I believe there is not excuse for men to act this way, for women to act this way, or for daughters and sons to be raised where this is acceptable.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Female Chauvinist Pig

“We decided long ago that the Male Chauvinist Pig was an unenlightened rube, but the Female Chauvinist Pig (FCP) has risen to a kind of exalted status. She is post-feminist. She is funny. She gets it. She doesn’t mind cartoonish stereotypes of female sexuality, and she doesn’t mind a cartoonishly macho response to them. The FCP asks: Why throw your boyfriend’s Playboy in a freedom trash can when you could be partying at the Mansion? Why worry about disgusting or degrading when you could be giving-or getting- a lap dance yourself? Why try to beat them when you can join them? There’s a way in which a certain lewdness, a certain crass, casual manner that has at its core a me-Tarzan-you-Jane mentality can make people feel equal. It makes us feel that way because we are all Tarzan now, or at least we are all pretending to be.”-excerpt from Female Chauvinist Pigs (pg. 93)

"In her memoir, Wells Lawrence returned fire at Steinem. 'What a silly woman,' she wrote. 'I wanted a big life. I worked as a man worked. I didn't preach it, I did it.' How scalding. How convincing. Who wouldn't pick action over nagging, suceeding over hand-wringing? Who doesn't want a big life?

There's just one thing: Even if you are a woman who achieves the ulitmate and becomes like a man, you will still always be like a woman. And as long as womanhood is thought of as something less than manhood, you will be thought less of, too." -excerpt from Female Chauvinist Pigs (pg. 112)

"Adolescents are not inventing this cuture of exhibitionism and conformity with their own fledgling creative powers. Teens are reflecting back our slobbering culture in miniature." -excerpt from Female Chauvinist Pigs (pg. 146)

Female Chauvinist Pigs It was my plan to write my thoughts on this book as soon as I read it while everything was fresh in my mind. Alas, camp started and I never did it. The main reason I read this book (and it caught my attention) was because it was uplifting to see that someone had written about a trend that I felt like only I had noticed. I knew this couldn't be so, which is why I say "felt" instead of "thought." I also felt confirmed by the fact that when I made mention of my notions to other women they didn't have anything to say in response. They did not seem to care and yet, to me, it is such a devastating and harmful trend. It could potentially be (and I think is) full of consequences to women and men and it hurts me as a women to the very core of being created and born a female.

If ever there were a time that females were actually united in the belief that we were created equal to men, even that is now being degraded. Through indirect word and action many females have advocated the idea that to be female is less and that it is something to rise above. To be 'like a man' is the best goal we can achieve.

The idea that one can make a list that encompasses what it is to be 'a man' is ridiculous in the first place. To then make it your goal to reach the requirements on that list is disheartening. What is special about being a woman? The thing that is the saddest in all of this is that one of the requirements, apparently, of being 'like a man' is to practice the degradation of females -and females who look to achieve this goal have no problem with doing so. If they do have a problem with it or if you have a problem with it then they like to label what they do "empowerment."

Just as I believe that the word 'disobedient'' is more accurate to describe some children than labeling them as "ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder)" I believe that condoning porn, engaging in breaking down a female by her looks, saying a phrase that begins with 'women are always...', or proclaiming that you 'don't even like hanging out with women' is still degradation and not empowerment. Calling other women 'bitches' or 'sluts,' where did that come from? We already fight a double standard imposed on us-when men are confident they are 'manly' and inspiring when women are confident they are 'bitches' when men are promiscious they are 'manly' or studs when women even enjoy sex (forget having a lot of it) they are 'sluts.' Am I advocating sex before marriage? Hardly. I am advocating a single standard.

I am advocating the equality of women. I can hear the Christian Males lamenting already..."where are the women from the 1800s?" I don't think 'equality' means being like a man. I think I have already expressed a problem with that. I find it funny and revealing that so many 'strong' Christian men and so many Pigs (whether male or female) have the same ideals. I think equality means that women are regarded and honored for their unique abilities and that it is recognized that you cannot always put those in a neat package. I think equality means that men aren't threatened by women who are as good at something as they are and women aren't called to act like or think that they aren't as good at it. I think that on a basic level equality means that I am not designed to please men. I am designed to please God and to fulfill the plan God created for me. Which might mean I am in a role that is aggressive. It might mean a woman never gets married or has a baby or keeps a house (GASP). It might mean something other than nurse, teacher, secretary...it means that I am not like all other women, it means that I am also not like a man and that it isn't my goal and it has never crossed my mind for it to be my goal.

So, here I am. I didn't write so much about the book as where the desire to read the book came from. However, it is startling that the woman who wrote the book is not a Christian (and mentions the fact) but has a lot of the same general ideas we should have regarding the raising of our daughters and sons and the liability and grotesqueness of pornography and anything resembling it. She compares the satisfaction of looking at pornography to claiming you had a feast after looking at the Food Pyramid Chart. Where are the gentlemen and why is it 'natural' for a man to lust and unnatural for a woman? Why is rape supposed a 'woman's fault' in some cases? Why do young (and old) women have such a skewed view on how to please men and why is that their concern when all is said and done?

This is not quite as neatly put as I would like. But, of course, I have more to say and hope that I can post blogs that are more specific. They will cover this general topic, but focus in on certain parts of the problem. Maybe they won't and they will be written when I just feel like something really needs to be said. Until then...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Well, it is June and because I am not a consistent blogger I don't expect that too many people will be reading this. I have a few minutes that are my own right now which is rare at camp. Usually the only time that is my own is when I am asleep and I could possibly be called on then. In fact, I am supposed to be asleep right now and so I suppose that is why I have some time.

The more I think about what I just said, the more I should just laugh. While I am writing this I am also laminating something in the office pertaining to camp. I guess that I think when I am not laminating and answering a phone call or laminating and typing a lesson at the same time that I am having "free time." I have time of my own because I am laminating and BLOGGING.

I am not writing to say anything in particular right now. I am simply writing because it has been a few months and because I need to write. Things are pretty crazy during the summer when you work at a camp and they are crazy in the months prior to camp as well which is why I guess I haven't written in awhile. I get pretty stressed and it nice to punch the keys on this keyboard.

It is funny when you have a leadership role at a camp. A lot less campers know you. They also wonder what you actually do. Every week I have campers tell me that I am lucky because I get to ride in a golf cart (this is actually the first year I have, but they also said I was lucky when I 'got to ride a bike'). What they don't know is that in the time that I saw them at their activity, left, and came back to their activity I may have done two things in the office, talked with their counselor about pertinent information, had a meeting, and spent time with them all in their 40 minute activity. Last week at camp there was camper who said "Your lucky you get to ride in a golf cart...it's like doing go-karts all day long." Bobby said I should have replied "yeah, and I get paid for it, too!" Anyway, if I get any more free time I will write about some funny camp stories. Most of them are inside jokes and aren't nearly as funny written, but I will see what I can do.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I am reading a book about women in World War II and have found it very interesting even though I am only in the second chapter. One of the books major premises is that standards for women are changed during war.
War created circumstances that allowed women to do things that were against social norms-even encouraged them to do things against the social norm.

Even though it was often taken away after the war was over, women's role had been stretched and would never completely fit back into the shape it had been. War was an oxymoron for the women of those days-sad, but liberating- they longed for their sweethearts return but they had a chance to show the world that they are beyond capable.
That books like these have to come out for many to know what women did during the fight is sad. Some people in the forties did not even realize what fronts women were on because they were never reported in the newspaper as being there. It is recorded that the Army nurses were there right along with the men. The nurses suffered the same kind of malnutrition and gunfire as the soldiers. In fact, when the government realized that nurses who were in the same zones as soldiers might need to know something about war, they created a program to train them for it. In training, they had to learn to crawl on their stomachs through mud while a live machine gun was being fired, make stretchers out of coveralls and bedpans out of newspaper. They took 30 mile hikes with a thirty-pound backpack and a four pound helmet to prepare them physically. While on the battlefield all of these things came in handy. It didn't always prepare them for digging foxholes, caring for men with their faces blown off, sleeping in mud, or giving their own blood to the soldiers who needed it. But they did it.
They kept going in spite of their own injuries, one nurse hurt her back and kept serving, eventually severing her spinal cord because she had to make a jump out of a plane with a fifty pound pack.
After sleeping in the mud, carrying heavy backpacks, jumping out of planes, struggling with lifeboats while enemy submarines roamed the waters, and eating rats and frogs when rations ran out they got to go home to ads like this one:

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