Monday, November 17, 2008

I AM a military wife.

I know some of you out there have read this but I thought it was worth sharing with everyone. It hits home and sums up so much. I AM a military wife!

What is a MILITARY Wife?

A Military wife can be tough to describe. She is a southern belle, a northeastern Mets fan, a California 3rd generation recycler, a Pacific Islander. She is short or tall, a tomboy, a fashion diva, a physician's assistant, a Republican, a Democrat. A Military Wife is a career gal, a home-schooler, a scrap-booker, an accomplished cellist, an auto mechanic.

What IS a Military Wife? WHAT is a Military Wife? What is a MILITARY Wife?

They may look different and each is wonderfully unique. But, this they have in common. They have THIS IN COMMON! Lots of moving---moving, moving, moving! Moving far from home, moving two cars, three kids and one dog----all riding with HER, of course. Moving sofas to basements because they won't go in THIS house. Moving curtains that won't fit. Moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours. Moving away from friends moving toward new friends. Moving her most important luggage; her trunk full of memories. Often waiting---waiting, waiting,waiting! Waiting for housing; waiting for orders;waiting for deployment; waiting for reunion; waiting for phones calls; waiting for the new curtains to arrive; waiting for him to come home for dinner----AGAIN!

They call her "military dependent", but she knows better. She can balance a checkbook, handle the yard work, fix a noisy toilet. She is intimately familiar with drywall, anchors, and toggle bolts. She can file the taxes, sell a house, buy a car, or set up a move, ---all with ONE Power of Attorney. She welcomes neighbors that don't welcome her. Reinvents her career with every PCS; locates a house in the desert, the arctic, or the deep south and learns to call them all "home". She MAKES them all home. She is fiercely IN-dependent!

Military Wives are somewhat hasty. They leap into decorating, leadership, volunteering, career alternatives, churches and friendships. They don't have 15 years to get to know people. Their roots are short but flexible. They plant annuals for themselves and perennials for those who come after them. Military Wives quickly learn to value each other. They connect over coffee, rely on the spouse-network and accept offers of friendship and favors and record addresses in pencil.

Military Wives have a common bond. The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands - his commitment is unique. He doesn't have a job, he has "mission" - he can't just decide to quit. He's on-call for his country 24/7, but for you, he's the most unreliable guy in town! His language is foreign ---TDY, PCS, OPR, ACC, BDU. And so, a Military Wife is a translator for her family and his. She is the long-distance link to keep them informed - the glue that holds them together.

The Military Wife has her moments. She wants to wring his neck, dye his uniform pink, and refuse to move to Siberia . But she pulls herself together. Give her a few days, a travel brochure, a long hot bath, a pledge to the flag, and a wedding picture. And she goes. She packs. She moves. She follows. Why? What for? How come? You may think it is because she has lost her mind. But actually it is because she has lost her heart. It was stolen from her by a man, who puts duty first, who longs to deploy, who salutes the flag and whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her military husband, she will remain his military wife.
I am proud to call myself a military wife! This is what I do for my country. I love you, Mike!


Jenny said...

I hadn't read that one before! Thanks for sharing. I might need to copy and paste and put it somewhere to read when I hate the military again which will probably be around the summer of 2011 when we have to leave Dayton - I know, who likes living in Dayton? But with my inlaws here and my parents in Pittsburgh this is the best place for us! Hope you are having a good week Carrie!

Shelley said...

Am I still a military wife, now that my husband is only in uniform one weekend a month? Hmm...

Beautiful pictures of the kids! I'm pretty sure that is NOT Elizabeth. The Elizabeth I knew was only about 2 foot tall, was just starting to sprout a few ringlets, and had only been walking for a few months...You certainly must have switched her!

Mom/Gamma said...

Ok, let me dry my cheeks off... as I was reading this I thought for sure that you had written this Carrie. It's unbelievable what you do and I hope you and all the other military wives and husbands know how much we ALL appreciate it.
Love & miss you all!