I bet when you think of the holiday season, you think of days off from work spent between friends, family, parties and presents. Well, that is what immediately came to my mind when I used to think about the holidays. Today, I have a much different perspective of what the holiday season is really all about.
My name is Sara Rebeiro. I am 27 years old and an Architectural Designer at Margulies Perruzzi Architects in Boston, Massachusetts. Over the past 8 months, my life has changed drastically – and for the better. I met my absolute best friend, who I will be marrying on May 26th, 2012. His name is Zachary Plante – a Staff Sergeant in the US Army and Army Ranger currently deployed in Afghanistan.
Before Zack, what I knew about war was that holidays couldn’t be the same for deployed soldiers. I figured they didn’t get the day off. But I eventually learned that soldiers, not only do not get holidays off, they don’t get sick days either. They endure things most people can’t imagine, including fighting, not just for their own lives, but for ours, too – sometimes losing their brothers and sisters in the process. Those are the days when I don’t get to talk to Zack. All I can do is hope and pray that he will call tomorrow. I never lose faith that he will come home to me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t worry.
This holiday season, I wanted to make sure Zack and his men at least enjoyed a little bit of Christmas. Together with my co-workers at Margulies Perruzzi Architects, we put together 28 Christmas stockings for some of the soldiers in Afghanistan.
After patrolling on Christmas morning, Zack got all his men together and played Santa, passing out all the stockings we had put together. Once they were passed out, Zack and his men had an hour of entertainment before they had to go back to work – hitting each other with sticky hands, enjoying the candy that was in their stockings and playing with flarp (if you don’t know what it is, definitely look it up it will give you a good laugh).
Zack said his men had a great time even if it was for a just an hour. They got to take a break from saving the world and enjoy the small things that reminded them of home. Just to know that Zack and his men enjoyed that one hour made my entire holiday.