"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." - Winston Churchill
As I look into my heart for the words to say on G.I. Joe's 6 month alive day I have 2 main emotions. One is contentment. And I'll get to that in another post this week. But I'm also deeply saddened by attitudes that are being promoted in the military spouse community. I guess its true misery loves company so it seems anytime a blog post or freelance article is posted where someone gets so brutally focused on the negative aspects of our life it practically goes viral. There is so much good to said for being honest and airing our struggles so that others know they don't have to be alone. However...I think on one issue we have taken it too far.
Our nation's military and their family should be respected and supported from the outside. We do make sacrifices that others will never understand. But where has this sense of entitlement come from that has people crying out for civilians to become more in touch with war and the things we go through? What gives us the right to criticize those who simply don't have our experience and dare ask us a question that's slightly "wrong?" The search for understanding, respect and support is not something military families are cursed to struggle through. This is a human condition. Its a communication issue. Yes, sometimes people do put their foot in their mouth. But that's because they don't have the benefit of experience when it comes to our issues. You know something though...as a military wife I'm capable of doing that exact same thing to a firefighter's wife. Or a policeman. Or someone who took care of a parent during a long battle with cancer. Anyone has the potential to misunderstand something from the outside. And as military families we are not above that.
If the next thought is "well, yeah that's why I just wish they understood war" then please stop and think for a minute. Before we run to media with these campaigns or just start a whole new blog dedicated to inflicting the effects of war on the American public please remember WHY they do it.
I'm sorry if someone will get offended by this but my husband fought and shed his blood so that the American public will remain untouched by war. That's like half the point, isn't it? They put on the uniform and go overseas to do things so that you don't have to bare the burden of it. Its unfortunate that this falls on only 1% of our population today. Because of that, and because of the highest sacrifice that too many families have had to pay, we need to respect each other. We need to support one another, both civilians and military families.
At the end of the day the men and women who march into battle wearing the stars and stripes on their shoulder should be proud if we here remain so out of touch. That's part of the sacrifice. And maybe if we are feeling so isolated we should work harder to lift each other up, as opposed to having the age old "alpha suffering" contests and continually making everyone around dwell on the negative.
When we moved to Walter Reed I truly felt like my life as a Milie before had been a fantasy land. I had no clue how much so many of our military families have to sacrifice for freedom. We're talking blood, limbs and livelihood. To say that America needs to be more affected by war just goes to show that even those of us who love a man in uniform can be out of touch.
Tonight I will go to sleep knowing that rough men stand ready. Even now, after living with America's most severely wounded, I still don't understand it all. I'll go to sleep knowing that tomorrow I may say something the wrong way to G.I. Joe, or that others out there won't totally understand me. But I'll have yet another day to make the effort to show compassion for someone else's circumstances. All because God has blessed us with a multitude of people like our military and police officers and firemen who stand ready to protect our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I love this guy more than words can say.
He's STILL willing to go back...
to bare the burden
in the hope that you and I will get to remain untouched.
Thank you, Babe.
That most lonely and most forgotten part of your sacrifice
will never be taken for granted here.