Friday, August 13, 2010

The wife of a...

As soon as I knew I was doing this guest blogger series about branch pride I knew this story absolutely had to be included. Let me intro my friend R with a little story...

On Easter Sunday Morning my {large} church showed a video interview with a member I'd never seen.
We'll call her Ms. K.
I started bawling and squeezing G.I. Joe's had when Ms. K started describing things like:
"a knock at the door" "your husband isn't coming home"
"went home with a flag"
At lunch I told my mom that it was heartbreaking to hear a Milie 
describing my worst nightmare.
Then my mom informed me of something~Ms. K was NOT a Milie at all!


Now I'll let R take over because her husband wears the same uniform Ms. K's husband did...


Let me start by saying this: I'm not military. My parents aren't, my husband isn't, I don't have siblings or cousins in any branch of the service... the closest it comes to me is that my father in law was in the Army, as was my maternal grandfather... both long before I was born, and I have several friends who are or have been in one branch or another... I have very little knowledge of what military life is like, and while I love the Lifetime TV series "Army Wives" and have seen PLENTY of war movies - I'm pretty certain it's not quite what life is like in the real world. I've never dealt with basic training, deployments or PSC'ing (which, by the way - I don't even know what it is... I just read it on all y'alls blogs all the time *note to self: Google 'military PSC') and I've certainly never moved all over the country or world on any type of orders... I know, I know, you must be thinking "so why in the heck is she a guest blogger? what's she bringing to this party? she's not one of us!" so I would like to thank Mrs. G.I. Joe for including me & inviting me to be a guest blogger :)

What I am, is married to the law. Well, a cop anyway - which is practically the same thing around here ;) To be exact - my husband is a County Sheriff's Deputy and previously worked as a City Police Officer. So, while there are many differences between being the wife of a cop and a military wife, I think there are also some similarities... my hubs went through the police academy, and while he wasn't far away from me for weeks and weeks with little communication, he WAS up early and home late often for 17 weeks... I got to see him some nights though, even if those few shorts hours were spent helping him study or holding his feet as he practiced his sit-ups or counting as he did his push-ups... and I got to see him on weekends, which were again filled with studying, sit-ups, push-ups, report writing, homework and catching up on laundry. I was so proud of him when he walked across that stage at his Academy graduation, one of the top recruits of his class, shaking the hands of law enforcement officials from around the region who had been his instructors, and would become his colleagues and counterparts... that was over five years ago, and I'm still so proud of him today, doing the job he does, and loving it.

While I don't have to worry about deployments, I do understand (to a lesser degree) being a "sometimes single-parent" and attending functions solo (or with child) - as Hubs works the night shift. He always has, and quite possibly always will. He misses plenty of family functions, holiday get-togethers, and bedtime stories. We rarely have date-night, as Goose & I only see him 3-4 nights a week, if he's not pulling a lot of overtime shifts. He works 12-hour shifts and he begins his shift as I finish my work-day, and is usually in bed before I'm out of it in the mornings,
without OT his regular "pay period" consists of working 7 out of 14 days... which is 50% of the time... meaning I'm single parenting it 50% of the time. Not the way I'd always imagined it, but we manage. Sure, I get frustrated, bored & lonely sometimes, but who doesn't when they're missing their spouse? Whether he's 15 minutes away and I'll see him in a couple of days, or whether halfway around the world and won't be seen for weeks, months or years. What I deal with as a cop's wife isn't even close to what most military wives (and husbands, fathers, mothers, siblings, family & friends) do - but that doesn't make it less how I feel... and sometimes even our own families and friends still can't understand that. They complain when he skips out on things on his days off, they don't get why he can't come home at 5am after a 12-hour shift and still attend a birthday party at noon, they don't understand why he would not want to share a hotel room on vacation... they need to be reminded that nights are his days, and days are his nights... and sometimes he just needs time to sit around and do things around the house, or do nothing at all...

I consider myself lucky in that I don't have to face people that are against war being disrespectful or anything like that against my husband or his chosen profession. I do hear derogatory comments about cops - but I try to be the bigger person and shake them off. My husband isn't fighting the war overseas, he's fighting the one at home. He puts his life on the line every day he puts on the uniform, and while people trying to hurt or kill him isn't the norm, it does happen. We usually talk on the phone before I go to bed at night, and I always tell him the same thing before we hang up "have a great night, be safe. I love you babe" and on the nights he's too busy for a phone call I text him that same message.

I do pretty well at not worrying about the "what ifs" and things that "could happen" while he's on duty. He refrains from telling me about the worst of his job, and the things that he thinks will make me worry too much, but I can tell when it's been a rough shift. He's quieter, doesn't say much, and sometimes wants to sit in front of the TV and zone out... I have to remind myself to be patient, and that if he needs to, he'll talk about it. Some mornings I wake up to find that he isn't home yet... most mornings I can keep calm by telling myself that he was dispatched to a call right before his shift ended, and he's finishing up reports... if I can't reach him by phone by the time I leave for work though, sometimes the fear gets me... the fear that he's been hurt, or worse, and I start to panic... the worst fear remains the same whether you're married to the law, or the military... fighting that fear is the battle I face, and I pray that I never have to explain to my daughter that her daddy isn't coming home... Being a cop's wife ain't all that and a bag of chips, but it's what I am, and what I do.

I'm not military. I am married to a man in uniform, and am so proud to be able to say so.




Whenever we go out and get our Only-Soldiers-Really-Sacrifice face on I hope that we will stop and think. It shouldn't have taken Ms. K's tragedy for this Army wife to appreciate the struggles of a Cop's wife. We shouldn't  can't wait until the worst happens before we unite. 


It doesn't matter what your husband's shade of camo is.
Or what crest he wears.
All that matters is that they all wear the same flag.
They are ALL American heroes.
And any one of them would give their all for you.







25 comments:

Sespi said...

What a fantastic post! My dad is a retired police officer, and I've been thinking a lot about the similarities with military life recently. I remember many meals and special events that he missed because of work. Thanks for reminding us all that cops are heroes too :)

Mrs. G.I. Joe said...

R, thank you so much for sharing this on my blog. I think it just proves that our lives are in fact a lot alike. At least they all involve loving a man in uniform and spending some time worrying about him like crazy.

Thank you and your husband for all you do everyday to keep America safe :)

Patty said...

Wow, loved that you included this guest blogger's post! I am a new follower of yours so let me first introduce myself.(sorry, no pic yet in my profile, I'm still working on all of that as I have just recently joined the milspouse blog community!). I am Patty from Jersey and I have one of the rare double titles of both Army Wife AND Police Wife. My hubby's in the Army Reserves, deployed to Afghanistan right now. At home, he's a Jersey police officer. Yes, the worrying is non-stop. At home, as R describes, he puts his life on the line every night patrolling the town. He's doing the same for our country overseas right now. But I get to experience both lifestyles, Army AND Police and I couldn't be any prouder of my solider/officer!

Goodnight moon said...

It is so true! I've always thought that being married to the law is alot of hard work!

Thanks for this great post to help remind people that the military isn't the ONLY job that is dangerous!

Thank you to your husband for keeping us safe here on the homefront, and to YOU for supporting him like you do!

Lauren said...

I really appreciated this post. Well, I've appreciated all of them, but this one in particular as I have friends who are married to the law, just as I am married to the military. And I like what what said at the end- that they're all American heroes and they'd give their all for you. Great reminder. : )

Sammie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I think its great to be reminded that although our spouses in the military do face danger and possibly the ultimate sacrifice...they aren't the only ones. Thank you!

Libby said...

This post came right after watching a video of military reunions. I'm going to be crying the rest of the night.
Very beautifully written! I can only imagine how hard it is for anyone married to anyone else who is ever in danger.
Thanks for sharing this side of the story as well!

Mrs. Muffins said...

Another amazing guest post :) I've always believed that cops serve too. I used to give them the military discount at my old job... actually, there wasn't really a military discount but shhh! I'm glad this "Milie" was able to share her story so that we can all remember ALL of our heroes!

mrs.wood said...

Mrs.GI Joe, Thank you for including this story in branch series, I agree with you that it is not only soldiers who scarifice,Police officers are also American Heroes. MRS. R, Thank You for sharing your story, Thank You for your service and Your Husband's service.

Pretty Lady said...

This is awesome! I am loving this blog, I actually am military and leave for bootcamp in less than 30 days and im uber excited but also have some worries about leaving my husband behind. He is an amazing man who originally wanted to join and due to Asthma his waiver was denied. i took it into my hands to make our dream come true.
I think all you women are wonderful! for everything you do being at home and the worries that my husband will soon have. He even likes reading this so he can get an idea for the real life of what happens when someone is gone. =)

LTarmywife said...

I think, all too often, military wives think we are the only ones who can have their husband's taken from us in the blink of an eye. Being the wife of a Police Officer or a Fire Man is just as dangerous as being married to the military. What a wonderful story. Thank you so much for choosing her.

Ashley said...

I can really relate to this post! My father is a fireman. My mom always jokes around that my dad's job prepared me to be a military spouse. She may be joking, but she is right. We missed several holidays and family events with my dad. My Sr Graduation he was able to get someone to cover his shift long enough for the ceremony. We then went and celebrated at the fire station afterwards. This past spring, one of his close friends was severely injured in a fire. He died a few months later. I remember always worrying about my dad getting hurt in a fire. I remember crying and praying for the fallen fireman and police as well on 9/11 as well as those who were away from their families for days, weeks, and months after 9/11. Thank you so much for writing this post and to Mrs. GI Joe asking you to join in on the posts!! Thank you to you and your man in uniform!!

Jessica said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing!

Samantha said...

This was a fabulous guest post. I've always believed that police officers are heroes, just as the members of our armed forces are, but I'd never really thought about the similiarities between the two. There are certainly many more than I ever could have imagined. I'm so glad you were able to share your story here, R. Thank you to your husband for all that he does and to you for being so supportive!

The Mrs. said...

Thank you for including this in your postings. My husband served the marine corps and now serves as a police officer in DC... I'm glad that more people will now know that just because he isn't military, he still puts his life on the line!!

((HUGS))

Mrs. Doc Handsome said...

I loved this story. And wanted to thank both of you for sharing it. It's truly amazing how similar a lot of our lives are. They are a beautiful family. I love how she didn't say military families or law enforcement families were better, but that we share equally difficult jobs and that should unite us.

Sarah said...

Wow! Thank you so much for posting this!!! I think I really needed a reminder. I mean, sure, we all *know* that police officers put their lives on the line every day, but do we really think about it? I know I don't. Just like most civilians don't think about our Soldiers' sacrifices. I have a tendency to put on my "only soldiers make the real sacrifice" face or the "no one can really understand" face. Thanks for the reminder, and thanks to your husband for putting his life on the line every day!

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

I love this! Thank you so much for sharing. My oldest brother has been PD for about 8 years now and is also now full time SWAT. Its scary and these law enforcement officers are just as brave and sacrificing.

Lisa said...

Great post! I've always seen cops as similar to the military, and P actually considered becoming one before he joined the Army. Of course, that was back before we knew each other, so I didn't have any involvement. Thanks for sharing R's story with us!

Amanda said...

It's so true. Our lives are probably very similar. In fact, I'd rather not be a cop's wife. I can rest easier when my husband is stateside rather than deployed. A cop's wife never gets that solid chunk of "down time." It's like their spouse is constantly deployed. I have a deep respect for them all.

September Love said...

Great post, R! Mrs. G.I. Joe, that was a fantastic idea to include civil servicemen in your "party"! Jed once said that he'd love be a police officer when he left the Coast Guard (which won't happen now because he's decided to go career) but when he said that, I was like "No! That's MUCH too dangerous!" Whenever I see news about police officers or fireman that have left behind loved ones in the line of duty, I am so sad. It's great that you included R in our little gathering of the minds. Great idea!

Marie said...

This was wonderful. My husband is in the guard and is attending the Police Academy next fall when he gets back home so this felt very relateable to me! Thank you for sharing.

R said...

thanks so much for including me - and thanks to y'all for all the super sweet comments - I was a little nervous going in that I wouldn't get said what I was trying to say (I tend to ramble & go off on odd tangents - OFTEN.) so I appreciate the wonderful welcome I received :) *hugs* to all of you - no matter what branch, rank, or job you relate to!! ;)

Patty said...

Wow, thanks for sharing! My dad was a firefighter and I remeber the fear in my moms eyes when he was injuered years ago. My husband is Navy and I have been next to friends as they were handed their flags. I think it is important that we all remember that no matter what the uniform- there is still so much sacrifice for the good of others that feeds it. If only every one could respect what all these men and women do what a wonderful world this would be!

Gina Carroll said...

Hi new friend, I am now following you via MBC.