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For Love & Country

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Dear Ashlyn,

I am SO freaking nervous!!! I am trying to look cool about things but I am pretty sure flocks of pterodactyls are flying in my stomach. Or is it a herd? Or maybe a murder...you know like crows. Oh, hell, whatever they are they are in flight and I feel like this is my first game EVER not just my first game back. Oh, how I wish you could just text me or call me with a word of love or advice.

Geez I’m an asshole. I’m worried about a damn game and you are in Sumatra saving lives and probably running yourself ragged. I’m sorry, honey, I’ll end the pity party now.

I love you so much. I have been watching the news coverage over there and I can see how much better things are getting. I hope that means you’ll be home soon. The gals all search out news stories online to see if they see your name or, even better, a picture. It was kind of funny. Last night there was a 20 minute debate between Buehler and Abby about this one pic. They started talking to everyone, seeing who sided with the “It’s Ashlyn” or “It’s not Ashlyn” camps. They had shown it to nearly everyone (but me) and finally get to Becky. She looked at it and started giggling and said she knew for sure it wasn’t you. When Abby, who was sure it was you, demanded how she knew, Becky just pointed out the name on the uniform wasn’t yours and the soldier had 3 stripes on HIS sleeve not a bar on his collar. Abby pouted for an hour!

I have to say, laughing and teasing Abby helped me forget about my worries about you for a few minutes. Sometimes I wonder if some of the crazy things the gals come up with are just their way of making sure I don’t stay too stuck in my own head.

Well, I need to email this one to you now. Time to get my things together to head to the field. Did I mention I AM STARTING!!!! I am so happy and, baby, I wouldn’t be here without your love and support. I so wish we could share this night together.

So, you stay safe and I can’t wait to talk to you. I’ll let you know how the game goes. I love you I love you I love you. Just can’t say that enough.

I miss you,
Alex


 

STARTING! GO, ALEX, GO! I knew you could do it, baby. I love you so much and can’t wait to see the highlights when I get home.

Wish this could be longer but just popped online to print off a form and saw this. I so needed to see something from you and this news is just the shot in the arm I need. Good luck tonight! I miss you, too.

Love,
Ash


 

Hi baby!

I played all 90 minutes! Had a few slip ups but for the most part it was awesome! And Tom told me tonight I’ll start in Nashville, too! I am so happy. You got me here, honey. Your love, your support, your ability to make me laugh when I was cussing at you and the Fates and the surgeons and the player that took me out.

I hope you get to see this email soon. Just in case, I’ve also written you a long letter by hand. I guess I’ll have to deliver it in person to you since you said you won’t be getting mail drops over there this time. The gals were bummed because they wanted to send a care package. Something tells me that could be a scary, scary box to open! :o)

Well, I’ll sign off now. I know you only get a minute or so to check email. Hope it’s long enough for you to know I miss you, I am thinking of you, and I can’t wait to see you. I love you so much!

Alex


 

Hey Alex,

By the time I read about the first game you were probably suiting up for the second game. I am so happy everything is going so great. Major Nettles has ordered me to stand down for 24 hours. He hadn’t realized I hadn’t had more than an hour or two break since we got here. He gave me a hell of a talking to about running myself into the ground. I seem to remember you saying the same thing. Have you two been chatting? ;o)

So I know you’ve been watching the news with the gals. I have to say, as tough as it’s been there has also been the most amazing outpouring of love and support from the people most affected by this disaster. A few of us were talking just the other night that we haven’t even had minor squabbles like we normally do. People who lived are just thankful for anything we can give them. People with nothing offer us gifts (that we refuse of course) just for giving them a gallon of water or something. It’s great.

Yesterday I took a bag of balls and teddy bears down to this place where a lot of the families were living. Everyone was laughing and having fun. It was so uplifting! And a couple of my guys and I ended up in an impromptu soccer game. There wasn’t space for a full goal so I couldn’t play keeper. I had to settle for just being a right back. ;o) But it was still so much fun. I think my guys needed that break as much as the people did.

Well, baby, my eyes are starting to cross. I guess I do need some sleep after all. Good luck in Nashville. You are an amazing, wonderful, incredible person, Alex, and a phenomenal athlete. You’ve earned everything you’ve gotten from your days as a Sparkler until now. I will send you another email as soon as I can. Right now I’m heading to my bunk to get some sleep.

I miss you, sweetheart. I love you so much,
Ash


 

Hey Ash,

Didn’t play the full 90 this time but still made it 70 or so. I am so pumped! Tom has nothing but praise for me and admitted he was worried about bringing me into camp after the serious surgery I had. He says as far as he’s concerned, I am the USWNT Right Back for the foreseeable future. It was so hard not to squeal like a little girl when he told me. Luckily Pinoe saw I needed to celebrate something and helped me sneak off to where I could cheer and holler without hurting the feelings of those that were cut or who I had replaced. She said you owe her a beer for that. :o)

I am flying home tomorrow for a couple weeks. I’ll be doing some press and appearances for The Spirit to help draw support for this inaugural season. Anything I can do to keep soccer alive in America I will do. The last thing we need is both of us bopping all over the world for work. In two weeks I head out to Portugal for the Algarve Cup. I was told to ask you if you could get leave for the tourney. Turns out the gals want to see you almost as much as I do. So, just know we’d love to have our favorite soldier in the stands if you can swing it.

Well, I need to go pack up my stuff. We also have one more team meeting to make sure everyone who’s going to the Algarve has all their ducks in a row. So I will sign off for now. Next time we chat I’ll be at home. I hope to see you there soon, baby. Be safe, my soldier.

I love you,
Alex