I miss you.
An email reminded me that this past Friday was Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Like everything else, it didn't come until Monday but, this time, I don't mind so much. I'm feeling reflective...
You can click the link to read all of it or read the parts I've decided were awesome enough to make the cut&paste. ;)
"What Civilians Don't Get."
Here’s an opportunity to “celebrate” Military Spouses Appreciation Day. It was Friday, but a military spouse’s sacrifice is daily and lifelong. And, the day may have been overshadowed by ongoing coverage of the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden.
Military Spouses Handle Challenges At Home
At the best of times, a military marriage usually means relocation every couple of years or so, which can mean giving up a career of your own. And for almost 10 years now, military spouses face the flipside of long and repeated deployments, loneliness and constant dread.
My wife, of course, and myself - I'm in the military. And I really just want to make two quick points. One is that the - these folks, the military spouses, while their soldiers are deployed, are really struggling.
I mean, this is very, very difficult for them, emotionally and practically, because of the fact that they have got to, in my case, raise my two - our two children, really on their own. And so they do a superb job. And it's interesting, the dynamic in which when the soldiers do come home, often there's people coming out of the woodwork that want to participate in the homecomings when they haven't really helped the spouse over the course of the 15 months or 12 months or how long the deployment was. And that, I think, causes some tension with the spouses.
I mean, they needed help, they haven't gotten it, and now the soldier comes home, and then everyone wants to gather around to celebrate, although they haven't participated in that sacrifice.
And the other quick thing, and I'll stop, is: you know, you're really hitting on a very important point, and that is this: We hear about the soldiers that we lose in Afghanistan and Iraq or wherever else. I think that we often forget, though, the incredible, lifelong sacrifices that are often excruciatingly painful, not just for the actual injured soldier but also for the spouse -whether it's the husband or wife - and also the kids that are going to have to endure this for the rest of their life.
KEVIN: I've been in the active-duty Air Force for 10 years. My wife is not active duty, but I just want to make the point that the life of a military spouse is just as hard when the member is actually at home.
I mean, most people don't realize - and even San Antonio, I have a number of people look at my wife and say, well, you don't really have it that bad because your husband is here, and usually, those are people that have moved to San Antonio on purpose because their, you know, their mother is sick or their father is sick or they want to be close to family.
My wife's family is in Virginia, and her parents are not in good health. You know, so some of the everyday things, you know, she's living not where she wants to live. She's at, you know, really the beckon call of the Air Force because I can be called and have been called at really on a 24-hour notice, in the middle of the night, we're disrupting, you know, birthday parties or any kind of emergency.
You know, and a lot of people think, oh, well, your husband is here, it's really not that bad, but they don't realize that they're really just along for the ride. So when they - when members do get deployed, it's that much more difficult, but even when they're home, you know, we work very long hours. We can get called in any weekend or in the middle night.
And when important family things do happen, you know, she can generally gets pressure from her family. Why aren't you in Virginia more? Well, you know, packing up our six-year-old, four-year-old and six-months-old, you know, for a thousand dollars of a plane ticket, you know, and trying to get through a, you know, an airport with two car seats and three strollers and backpacks and food, you know. And a lot of people don't appreciate how difficult it is, and I appreciate my wife's sacrifice.
She's - I mean, we've lived in four places in 10 years, and she's repeatedly have to quit jobs and put her career on hold. And it's all because of, you know, all because of me. So I think a lot of times that gets lost. And obviously, when they're deployed, that compounds it tremendously, but even when they're home, it's extraordinarily difficult.
There's a lot going on at my house(s) right now... part of me wants to share because I think it would make me feel better, the other part of me is done sharing because it never seems to get me anywhere.
Ben would make it better. I need Ben.
You are so awesome Paula.
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