As the years have come and gone since the beginning of this war do you think America feels the weight of this war? More than on the federal budget level though; I mean by remembering or even acknowledgement of the heroes who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice. Or whether they realize how the reality of war has impacted military families’ day to day lives? Just let your mind wander on that for a quick second. I’m not counting the current military families, those who are an extension through a loved one or who have prior military service realize the heaviness of this war I’m referring of the others we call civilians.
Most Americans are so wrapped up into their own lives, schedules and blackberries to even look up and beyond themselves to see more than their bank accounts, personal problems and insecurities to remember the military more than just what they see on the picture box. Wake up, breakfast, drive to work then meetings, play on the internet and of course Facebook, eat again, drive home, pet the dog, dinner, sleep and repeat. Sadly jaded and tunnel vision programmed for the most part with the exception of the weekend.
It is pretty disheartening to those whose lives aren’t as normal. I don’t know if the frustration is because we feel as if others don’t understand and grasp how we feel, our intense patriotism, recognize our sacrifices or if it’s just that since we’re such a small percentage of the nation we just are the runt of the litter and overlooked since some believe there are more pressing issues than our military and their families; maybe it’s all of those.
Military wives never have the luxury of a routine as stringent and constantly have to worry about private life altering phone calls and unexpected, uninvited uniformed visitors every day. Thankfully we get a daily reminder of why our guys are doing what they’re doing unlike civilians. We get an instant refill of patriotism every time we wake up hearing those trumpets playing colors. (By the way am I the only one who tries to experience that when visitors come to town? The overcast, misty morning dew, standing by the flag as the uniformed service members perform the ceremony to raise Old Glory just gives you goose bumps every time.) Then walk our kids to school to hear them say the Pledge of Allegiance and then to the Flag (if you’re in Texas hehe) then reality sits in and we silently think, ‘what kind of day will this be for my family with my loved one in harms’ way?’ Then whispers a prayer to keep her spouse safe so as he can come home soon.
Veteran’s Day & Memorial Day ceremonies at the National Cemeteries, reenlistment ceremonies, seeing the bands play patriotic songs, graduation ceremonies, send-off deployment events, homecomings, Purple Heart ceremonies and KIA memorial ceremonies is what is normal to us. As well as the kids crying for their fathers to hold them, tuck them in but can’t and always looking in the stands at baseball games they miss every game throughout the season. These kids miss their dads on Christmas mornings, birthday parties, take your kids to work day and Father’s Day when everyone else in America has theirs readily available.
Walmart, the grocery store, a football field, and even safe in your bed at any moment can be the place where our lives can change in an instant and our worlds completely fall apart. This is our norm though and we do it without hesitation not because we have to but because we more than want to. We gave our hearts away to our service members and they’ll take that once piece of us with them where ever the service takes them.
Good news is that regardless of the nation’s attention to our plight through it all we have our other military wives and those few who do understand to fall back on and help walk side by side through this incredibly demanding and surreal lifestyle. If you haven’t ever thanked your mentor or someone who’s helped you accomplish deployments, work ups or any other military related activity do so. Volunteer and make a difference in another wives’ life maybe even just helping another spouse who may need a little pick me up like we all do from time to time. This life is not easy or for the faint of heart but we do have strength in numbers ladies. Make it a great day today!
- Basically, I married a Marine and am a relocated Texan living in sunny southern California on a Marine Corps base. We have two pre-teen girls, a spunky Whippet-Chihuahua mix puppy named Wyatt Earp and our newest edition is Cody the black hound-lab mix. I have been very active in my husbands job for a while now and love it. I have met so many amazingly inspirational other wives and want to now begin to really give back.