That Empty Chair at the Table (Army Wife Network)

I’ve been an army wife for what my husband commonly refers to as “a hot minute.” You would think that after all this time, I would stop being surprised at #AllTheThings that come with army wife life.

But nope. Experiences like random TDYs, changes to our no-plan-plan, promotions, future duty stations… It almost always catches me a little bit off guard. (I have grown significantly in my ability to be flexible…)

There is one aspect of the military wife life that I’ve experienced over and over again, but yet it still surprises me every.single. time. It typically occurs at the military ball.

Most formal military ball events are relatively predictable: The ladies are groomed and spiffed up, sporting new dresses, high-heeled shoes that if I wore them would likely result in a broken ankle and enough hairspray to need a “No open flame” sign.

The service members are in their dress uniforms, immaculately assembled after hours of making sure their awards/insignia are accurately updated and adhered in the correct location.

There’s the cocktail/social hour, followed by the receiving line, then usually the “Grog” ceremony (which usually does involve some humorous surprises.) After that come the toasts.

The atmosphere is upbeat and jovial as designated individuals lead the toasts:

“I propose a toast to our Commander in Chief, the President of the United States!” (To the President!)

“I propose a toast to the United States Army!” (To the Army!) 

Thus proceeds the enthusiastic cheers throughout the remaining toasts.

Until the emcee gets to the final toast. The one that always surprises me. The one that still rattles me to the core.

The toast to our fallen comrades.

Thank you Vaughn Barry Photography for sharing this image with us.

Click here to read more about the toast to our fallen comrades and that empty chair at the table.

Dear, dear readers… May our hearts never become “accustomed” to the sacrifice of our service members. Let our very souls be touched as we reflect on the family members who have to face “that empty chair” every single day.

As we look toward Memorial Day this year, let us remember with reverence that empty chair at the table. Every person who has given their all for our country is someone’s father, mother, sister, brother, daughter, son, friend, or comrade in arms. May the silence speak volumes as we toast that empty chair at the table.

In Remembrance,



“I thank my God for all the memories I have of you…” ~Philippians 1:3 

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