Do Military Spouses Serve the US?

 

Through Facebook, a Yahoo question came to my attention. The original question was “Do you consider a military spouse some one who has served this country?” The poster was married to USAF member for 20 years who was wondering if she needed to change her answer to this question. A US Army Recruit, very rudely stated “NO!” and went on to explain that all military wives do is send packages and letters to the soldiers and have no idea what it means to serve America. “Spouses that are so full of themselves and think just cause they send letters to their husbands and wives serving that they are also serving are worthless, and an embarrassment to us all.” I thought for sure there would be plenty of negative feed back toward this answer, but to my surprise, almost everyone agreed with the answer just saying it could be put a little nicer.


I can see the points that the post has going for it. The responder is making a point to say that military spouses are not fighting a war, and they is right.


They are saying that we are not in eminent danger, and they are right.


They say the spouse has not signed a contract, been to basic, or been to a country where they are shot at, and yet again, they are right.


They also say that military spouses are taking “credit for something you play NO part in, that just makes us look bad.” They are wrong.


This person has clearly never been on the other end of a military marriage and there is a good chance they are not married. We, as military spouses, are not in eminent danger of being shot, but our husbands are. We are in danger of losing our other half, the father of our children, the one person in this world that we want to spend the rest of our lives with, and we live with that every day. When he is worried he might get shot, we are just as worried he might not come home.

This person is right when they say we have not been to basic training or in a country where we are shot at, but we have signed a contract. Our contract was our marriage certificate. The person that said we have signed no contract and can get out any time must not know what marriage is, a life long contract to be with your spouse, to love, cherish, have, and hold, from one day forward as long as you both shall live.

Our basic training was that first few weeks our husbands were gone and we were home alone right after getting married. For some of us, we do not know what it is like to be away from home until we are married. For me, it was my first time living truly without my parents. My parents were mad at me for leaving school and getting married. My dad and I were not really speaking. On top of all that, I moved from my home town which I had lived in for 21 years to a town six hours away. I had no friends, no family, and my husband was gone for the entire first week of our marriage. We did not even have cable or internet. I sat in a tiny, one bedroom apartment watching the seasons of Gilmore Girls and Buffy waiting for a phone call back from the daycare I had applied for a job at.

Being shot at was the long days leading up to my husband's first deployment. We would be told a certain day at a certain time and we would say our goodbyes and come to peace with leaving only to get a phone call an hour before he was supposed to leave telling us that it was postponed by an hour, four hours, six hours, one day, and then finally the call that said “be ready to go in half an hour.” The postponing might sound good, like the easy part, more time together, a few more hugs, and couple more kisses, maybe a movie holding onto each other. It isn't that. Instead, its losing your composure just when you got it, not knowing when he is really leaving, wanting him to go just so you know that in a specified amount of time he can come home and you don't have to worry about him deploying in the next few hours or days or weeks. Postponing is an emotional roller-coaster. The army is always taking shots at families. Dangling weeks, months, and years together with no deployment in sight only to rip that promise away and send our husbands away on three month trainings, two week missions, or a sudden one year deployment.

This person that says military spouses play no role in serving their country is very mistaken. We might not fight the war, but we keep the minds of the soldiers who do sound. Our care packages are a way of sending our love, our never silenced phones a way of being there for them if they need us. We keep our children remembering their fathers or mothers that are serving this country with videos that we watch every night and pictures we look at every day. When our soldier calls, we often fudge the truth and say we are doing fine, we have a great support system, time is flying, but always make sure they hear us say, “I miss you so much and I wish you were here instead of there because I love you.”

I want to ask this person that thinks military spouses have no claim to serving this country what they think any spouses role is in a marriage. To me, it is supporting your spouse, being there for them, and always being faithful. When you are forced to be apart, this is even more important, and when being apart means one of you is in danger, it is of the utmost importance.

I might not be the one wearing a uniform, being shot at, spending years away from my family in a foreign country, but I am the one back on the US Army base, juggling two children, attending school full time, and missing my spouse in a place where I have no family, few friends, and little help.


What is your take? Do military spouses serve this country or are we an embarrassment to the US?

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Comments 6 comments

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

My son's mother, now my ex-wife, was an indispensable part of my military career. Her basic training was having to put up with me, the US Army and the obligations that are attached to being the wife of a senior military leader.

When my units deployed to wherever, she was the POC for the other wives and their sounding board for the frustrations and needs of those we left behind. It takes a strong woman to be a military wife, or husband that matter.

She was where the rubber met the road as we performed our mission and understood that role as the soldiers performed their missions. The people commenting there had no clue about the true role of a military spouse. They are part of the backbone that makes sure we always took care of our own, whether they wore a uniform or not.

Excellent article and spot on. If you haven't walked a mile in someone's moccasins then stuff a sock in that pie hole. Always good advice.


Kantrybe profile image

Kantrybe 5 years ago from New Hampshire Author

thank you.


csofia928 profile image

csofia928 5 years ago

THanks Frog Prince for that comment. I am a Navy EOD wife and we luckily have a very strong community that appreciates family.


D.G. Smith profile image

D.G. Smith 5 years ago

I was a soldier and before that my father was a soldier , a career soldier, and he nor I would ever be so disrespectful as to suggest that the spouses do not 'serve'. They should never be taken for granted and no soldier worth their uniform should allow them to be.


guest 5 years ago

The military spouses supportive role would be better characterized as an eclectic one at best and a NON

supportive one at worse. Active duty members are mandated and commanded by oath contract and moral election

to do their duty to the best of their ability including loss of life. Spouses are NOT "required" to do

anything therefore they do what they want whenever they want. Spouses can be very helpful in their role and

yet I have personally found spouses to be very UNhelpful and downright nasty in their unofficial role which

varies from military spouse to retirement money receipients (i.e. USFSPA,Alimony etcetera etcetera). However

since USFSPA is based on the PREMISE that SPOUSES served and since this is such a wonderful thing to give up

retirement to an ex spouse for her FAKE service vital for these former spouses to keep trying to persuade the

rest of the world that they served! Wouldn't want to lose a handout for an illegitimate marriage would

you?!?!. Spouses DONT SERVE. they werent there on the battlefield they weren't there period!

MSG RETIRED MEMBER


sean kinn profile image

sean kinn 4 years ago from Key West and Budapest

Can't believe I haven't commented here yet. Absolutely! Serving in the military is easy stuff once you've done it for a while. The hard part is sitting around waiting for word from a loved one serving down range, or anywhere for that matter. Spouses have a hard lot with the waiting part, holding down the household, being both parents to the kids, working and maybe even trying to go to school. They should be awarded medals, and I'm not kidding. :-) SK

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