being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus
Hug a Veteran’s Wife Today
November 11, 2010Posted by on
Today is Veteran’s Day.
And while I truly respect Veteran’s and appreciate all they do and have done for our country, today’s post is about their wives (yes, I know there are military husband’s too, but I don’t know many of those, so I’ll write what I know). And to be honest, most of the veterans I know would be okay with that.
You see, I’m a veteran’s wife. And I know many veteran’s wives. Military spouses are some of the heartiest, strongest, incredible women I know. The news talks about the war and the troops. Seldom do you hear about the families behind the troops. Those serving in the military are only as strong as their support system. And they can only do their jobs because they have their own personal cheerleaders in their spouses.
You may think you know all about what it’s like to be a military wife. Unless you are one or have been one, you don’t. I’ve never watched Army Wives, but I do know that Hollywood is notorious for misrepresenting real life. I’ve never wondered if they show did military wives justice. I just know that it can’t possibly portray the true military wife.
Military wives are as dedicated to their country as they are to the men they love who serve it. I want to give you a little insight into who they are. I asked some of my military wife friends some questions about themselves. They answered honestly and candidly.
This is who they say a military wife is:
She chooses to stay, as much as her service member. She knows that he signed on the dotted line, and by default, she did too.
She misses countless holidays, birthdays, special occasions, and family gatherings because the military has moved her family to some obscure location. No one was there to celebrate the birth of her children. If she’s lucky, she can skype in and enjoy the festivities from afar.
She has friends all over the world.
Her life is always changing. Just when she gets settled somewhere, it’s time to pick up and move again. While this is hard sometimes, she wouldn’t change it because she gets to live in places she never thought she’d even visit.
The words “I got my orders for combat today” strike a fear in her that you can not imagine. And while she can feel her heart crumbling inside of her, she puts on a strong face for her man. She won’t let herself be weakened. If she does, he can’t confidently go to war. And if he can’t go confidently to war, the mission could be compromised.
She understands that the mission has to come first. She knows that if he could, he’d put her on the top of his priorities. But he made a commitment. She understands that and she lets her husband honor his commitment.
She lives in a state of anticipation and waiting . . . for the deployment, for the R&R, for the homecoming, for the next duty station, for her household goods to arrive.
She can fix a toilet, put up Christmas lights, change her oil, shovel her driveway, mow her lawn, counsel her friends, make a mean cup o’ joe, make friends wherever she goes, and cook a Thanksgiving dinner for 30. Why? Because she rolls up her sleeves to any task she is given. She can’t wait for her husband to come home to do it. That might take months.
She has to explain to her two year-old why Daddy isn’t here. She has to explain to her four year-old that when Daddy comes home, he won’t go away again for a long time. She deals with the crazy teen years all by herself. She lives the life of a single parent, even though she’s married. She’s the glue that keeps her family together in the midst of separation.
She knows that she has medical benefits others dream of having right now. She’s tired of hearing about it. Because others don’t understand that she pays for those benefits with her heart. You’ve seen those stickers on her windshield that say, “Half of my heart is in ___________”. It really is the truth.
While she gets the comments, “You are so strong. I just don’t know how you do it” she’s all the while thinking, “I cry by myself at night.”
Your husband’s business trip is not an equal comparison to her husband’s deployment. If you want to complain about how much you miss your spouse to her, she’ll listen. But don’t expect sympathy. And know that while you’re complaining, her inner dialogue is this: “You don’t worry about him getting shot at. You get to talk to him every night. I don’t know when, or if, I’ll hear from mine again. You don’t wonder what he’s doing, where he’s at, or if he’s ok. And doorbells don’t make you cringe.”
She doesn’t want (or need) your sympathy. She doesn’t want to be pitied. She doesn’t want your admiration. What she wants is your prayers. But not for herself. For her husband.
She, above anyone else, is proudest of her husband. She believes in him, in what he does, and she does her best to support him.
So, today, on Veteran’s Day, thank a veteran. And then turn to his wife (or her husband) and thank her (him) too. She sacrifices a lot for her man so that he can sacrifice for you.
To all the veterans I know, and to all their wives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.