Thursday, August 12, 2010

A place where branch is the last thing you'll think of.

 When I was selecting guest bloggers I really hoped that my Army sisters wouldn't be crushed or offended that they weren't asked. The point to all of this is that I'm an Army wife, so you hear a lot about Army life here already. I want others to see that each branch has something to offer and that this particular G.I. Joe lovin' gal doesn't think that the Army is any better than the rest. But I knew going into this I had to have one special blogger post who's husband was once active duty Army. I had faith that Wife of a Wounded Soldier would have a perspective that the rest of us can gain something from. 
And I was right...

Bryan, my husband, was in the Army for almost 12 years before he was medically retired from injuries sustained by an IED. He always felt very proud to be in the Army and loved the branch of service that he chose. I was involved with other Army Wives but until Bryan was injured I had never been around other branches of the military.

Some branches think they are superior to others, or they think certain branches have better qualities. When we arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center all the branches were put on the same Ward. There was no division of branch we were all there for the same reasons, to rehabilitate. Later we started to notice when going to a Gala or Ball and the service members were in their dress uniforms that many branches of the Military were represented. As these warriors were receiving treatment they were not lucky enough to be able to wear their uniform every day. No one was immune to being injured.  In passing we would hear someone call a wounded warrior “Gunny” and then we started to realize they were a Marine. Some warriors would put their branches patch on the back of their wheelchair because they were proud of the branch they served for.  Once the warriors were able bodied enough to head to attend formation some would put on their uniform. They wanted nothing more to put it on again and each branch attended the same formation.

We started to interact more with the wounded warriors and their caregivers and then was I exposed to the other branches of the military. I am not sure that I would have been exposed to the other branches without my husband being injured. It was nice to learn about their bases, how things worked with their branch after being injured, and where they were all from. I now have friends whose husbands were injured while serving in the Marines, Navy, Air Force, Guard, and Reserves and they all have become very good friends.  I think when someone you love is injured, the branch they served in and their rank didn’t matter. We wanted to be taken care of, respected, and to get them in the best shape we could before they went home.

Once Bryan retired there were organizations that started to help us navigate the red tape.  Then we realized that some organizations were specific to our branch. It made it difficult when trying to assist other families that were going through it as well as they weren’t able to use the AW2 (Army Wounded Warrior Program) because they were a Marine, etc. I think this is where the division of branches started to arise again.

Sometimes the branch your spouse serve in needs to be taken out of the equation. We all deal with deployments, loneliness, trainings, field time, being displaced from our families, and learning how to be a milspouse.It is hard enough navigating the military system and I think that we need to unite on the same front and that is being proud that our spouses serve.


Mrs. G.I. Joe said...

Your post is so inspiring! I completely agree about sometimes having to just leave branch out of the matter. I'm so glad Brian has just celebrated his 4th Alive Day! You guys have come a long way since the days at Walter Reed.

I can only imagine, but it must be very moving to see so many heroes from all different branches standing in the same formation together.

I think that's the front that we as military spouses should share, even without an injury or worse tragedy. Thank you SO much for sharing your story for us over here!

Jessica said...

Wow! What an inspiring story! I have tears in my eyes from reading it. Thank you for sharing your story. I can only imagine what that formation looks like. I would probably watch it and cry with pride and patriotism.

Goodnight moon said...

What an amazing post! At the end of every serviceman's day, they are all human!

Thank you for this great post! I hope that it helps people realize that we are all going through the same things no matter what branch we are in.

Thank you for all YOUR support and for your husbands hard work and courage.

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

This is so inspiring! Thank you for sharing :) I think its difficult to keep a separation of the branches for me, because I just think Mil-Spouse and they are all my friends. Its different when you are the actual service member.

Ashley said...

What an inspiring story! I wish we could all remember that no matter your rank or branch, we are all fighting for our country! I am shocked that so many of the organizations for injured soldiers are branch specific. Thank you for sharing your story and thank you to your husband for his service to our country!

Wife of a Wounded Soldier said...

Thank you for asking me to do this. I hope to hear more from you soon. Thanks to all the readers who read this post.