Over the last 3 or 4-years Erin has had to say 'good-bye' to Kyle as he left Furman for ROTC duties, departed for multiple active duty assignments and after holiday gatherings. The number of times she has had to say 'good-bye' are far more numerous than I can recount and as an observer to many of those moments it appears to me that each time it gets easier for them. I don't mean to say they seem to be less connected or have less interest in being together than they did in the past but rather, because of the practice they've received over the years these moments appear to be easier now than they were in the past. I can only assume that their need to repeat it so often has strengthened them somewhat and that strength is evidence of their taking one more step in their preparation for the BIG ONE that will come too soon.
For Kyle and Erin the moment for which the Army has been preparing both for will come next Spring when his (for now) permanent assignment as a platoon leader for a group of combat engineers at Ft Stewart will (it is rumored) result in his unit being deployed to Iraq. That will be the BIG ONE for them and no one is looking forward to the occasion. That will be the time for them to collect all the courage developed from all the 'Good-bye's' practiced in the past. They will, at that time, draw on every one of them!
But for now the future is mostly bright with wedding plans being made and thoughts of their own family unit occupying both of their heads. So by the time Spring returns next year and the BIG ONE finally comes they will have had even more 'Good-bye' practice sessions to combine with the years of practice they have right now. And then, when most needed, all that practice and experience will converge to serve them well when it is most needed.