Friday, October 20, 2006

One tough job

Recently a friend of mine out here in Colorado went through one of the hardest things a military wife has to go through, saying goodbye to the hubby before he heads off to war. She is a mommy of a three year old boy and has another baby on the way. It is the holiday season and sadly she'll celebrate them as well as her son's birthday without her husband by her side. She is breaking down inside but has to stay strong for her boy. She'll have to listen to her son tell her how much he misses his daddy and maybe even answer him for the 50th time when he asks her where daddy is. She'll face many sleepless nights as she struggles to fall asleep in her house by herself in a bed that should be holding another warm body in it. She'll spend quiet nights alone at home longing to be able to hear her husband's voice. Things in her house will break, her car will decide not to start one morning, and on days where she is just about to wear herself thin, there won't be another helping hand in her home. She'll smile with pride when she sees a flag waving high, hears the National Anthem or listens to Proud To be an American. She'll be filled with excitement if and when she does get to speak to him on the phone, only to end the conversation bawling for hours once she realizes that it may be a long while before she gets to hear his voice again. She will pray every day and night for his safe return home. And that is all part of being a military wife.

I read a blog post that she wrote last week and it brought me to tears. She gave me permission to share some of it with you.

On Tuesday my husband walked in the door and said......"they are sending us on a year-long tour (possibly longer) to Iraq, this Saturday". Again, I have no idea how to feel. But as time goes on I realize how naive I've been over the past year. These past days I've cried more times then most wives have in a years period. Spending many moments trying to find a way to explain to our 3 year old son why daddy is going. Yet its so beyond his understanding. Trying to stay strong and prepare our son for something yet I can't even cope with it myself. Looking at my husband sleep every night knowing that next week I will be looking at a bare pillow. How does a person deal with this??? I sat at a deployment meeting for families, listening to a man tell us wives how the military goes about telling us, if something bad were to happen to our husbands. The man goes on to tell us about getting the military life-insurance "squared away". I look around knowing that every woman in the room is just as scared, worried, and upset as I was. Something I never imagined feeling as a "civilian". something I never even knew went on. He talked about how important it is for us wives to always be, or at least sound encouraging and positive for our husbands. Reality starts to sink in.......................

We sat in a parking lot watching all the soldiers and there families hug and cry. Just watching them would have made a non-involved person break down. No words shared, we both just wept knowing "this was it". I spent every possible minute in that horrible parking lot, till I was one of the last family members to leave. I could barely watch as my husband hugged our son saying goodbye. I don't think I will ever forget the look on his face and the smell of his uniform. That was it, he gave me his keys to the truck and turned and walked away. I watched his back till I couldn't see him any more................I couldn't stop thinking: "how am I supposed to just start up the truck and drive away???" It physically hurt, when I drove to my "husbandless" home. Here I am, not even a week past, and I don't know how to "just be". Has it even hit me yet? I just keep thinking "He'll be back and it will be soooo wonderful". But then the reality of a year sinks in. This was the hardest, emotional, terrifying, heart-breaking day of my life.

I too am a military wife and have been for 4 years. Thankfully I have only had to move once and have only had to go through one tdy. My hubby was sent to Korea for a year when our now almost three year old was 9 months old. It's a hard job,I must admit. I have so much admiration for all the soldiers and their families. Being in the military is such a sacrifice and all of our troops deserve the utmost respect for all that they do for our country. I am proud of my hubby, of our troops and of all the military spouses out there.

I really don't think other spouses can truly fully understand the life of a military spouse. And I am so thankful that military spouses understand that and take each other under their wings. We all support each other, help each other, cry with each other and it's a great community.

Here are two poems about military wives that I would like to share with you.


The average age of the military wife/girlfriend is 20 years old.

She isn't old enough to buy a beer, but is old enough to manage the entire household.

She probably never saw herself loving a man who was in the military, but she loves him regardless.

Her penmanship has improved over the last few months, due to excessive letter writing.

She cries alot, because she misses the man she swore to love. Her life isn't complete without him.

She looks very tired, because of her many sleepless nights either waiting for a call that never came or one that did and just because she heard his voice, she is too overjoyed to sleep.

As a wife, she is classified as a dependent, but she is completely independent.

She tends to her household, her kids, her school work, and her job, all without her husband.

She manages a smile, even though inside she's crying.

She understands that the man she loves has to go far away.

She understand that he can be taken from her in a moments notice.

She feels a great sense of pride and probably cries whenever she hears the National Anthem, sees a flag blowing in the breeze, or watches the news and hears about another death in Iraq, worrying that it might be him.

She goes weeks without a call or a letter, but she writes him whenever she gets a free moment.

She knows how to convert civilian time into military time.

She knows how to iron his clothes and how to get the creases just right.

Before he left she used to complain if she didn't see him for a day or two, but now she gets annoyed when she hears someone complaining about not seeing their boyfriends.

She may not have seen him for months but she remembers everything about him, every scar he has, the way he smells, the sound of him sleeping.

She has every picture of him and them out and in frames, she stares at them for hours on end and has read every letter he's written at least 40 times.

Even though her man is a half a world away, she manages to go on with her life, as he would want her to.

You may not know what she looks like, but as soon as you see her you'll know that her husband is a world away without even having to speak to her.

She's the one who's half frowning half smiling, she has at least one Support out Troops pin that she wears and one displayed on her car.

Half her wardrobe is based on his military branch. She never knew that could love the color camouflage, green, tan, navy blue, red or black so much.

Next time you see her, thank her for what her and the man she loves is doing. She will greatly appreciate it and she will smile the rest of the day!

The Model of The Military Wife

The Good Lord was creating a model for military wives and was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared. She said, "Lord, you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this one. What's wrong with the standard model?"

The Lord replied, "Have you seen the specs on this order? She has to be completely independent, possess the qualities of both father and mother, be a perfect hostess to 4 or 40 with an hour's notice, run on black coffee, handle every emergency imaginable without a manual, be able to carry on cheerfully, even if she is pregnant and has the flu, and she must be willing to move to a new location 10 times in 17 years. And oh yes, she must have six pairs of hands." The angel shook her head, "Six pair of hands? No way!"

The Lord continued, "Don't worry, we will make other military wives to help her. And we will give her an unusually strong heart so it can swell with pride in her husband's achievements, sustain the pain of separations, beat soundly when it is overworked and tired, and be large enough to say "I understand" when she doesn't and say, 'I love you' regardless".

"Lord," said the angel, touching his arm gently "Go to bed and get some rest. You can finish this tomorrow". "I can't stop now", said the Lord "I am so close to creating something unique. Already this model heals herself when she is sick, can put up six unexpected guests for the weekend, wave goodbye to her husband from a depot, pier or runway and understand why it's important that he leave."

The angel circled the model of the military wife, looked at it closely and sighed, "It looks fine, but it's too soft." "She might look soft", replied the Lord, "but she has the strength of a lion. You would not believe what she can endure."
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Lord's creation. "There's a leak", she announced. "Something is wrong with the construction. You are trying to put too much into this model."
The Lord appeared offended at the angel's lack of confidence. "What you see is not a leak", he said, "It's a tear." "A tear? What is it there for?", asked the angel. The Lord replied, "It's for joy, sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness, pride and a dedication to all the values that she and her husband hold dear." "You are a genius!" exclaimed the angel.
The Lord looked puzzled and replied, "I didn't put it there".