Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #3

13 things that might make military families crazy

I tried to make light of them since all of these things have more positive points then negative ones, but I thought I’d rant on this Thursday Thirteen...Next Thursday I'll do a positive one, I swear! Besides, this is all in good fun, right?!

1. Postal employees having a bad day. This really drives me crazy. I’m in there so often and it’s not the happiest moment ever realizing you’re sending stuff to your husband at war. The last thing I need is a grumpy person behind the counter. Especially when I'm trying to hide that I'm the one with the grumpy pants.

2. The political talking heads doing commentary news reports. Half the things reported are either incorrect or exaggerated and it’s likely the anchorperson has little or no military background other than what he or she reads in college… Potentially, all they are doing is bringing down morale and fueling all the possibly ignorant people who form their decisions from them and not factual news reports or the troops themselves.

3. Visitors who knock. I have now established a ‘call ahead’ policy at my tiny and overpriced, but FANTASTIC apartment. I dread the knock.

4. Faulty cell phones. Ironically, the sat. phone in Iraq worked better than my old cell. Thankfully, the Old Man managed to find time to buy me a cell phone to replace the ridicu-phone I used to have with a broke antenna and white screen. Granted, it’s big, black, manly and rubber, but it works and it’s great!

5. The fact that we have to buy gear that’s comfortable for the Old Man. It’s all well and good that the Corps issues certain things like combat boots or sunglasses, but it's not so good when the boots weigh 80 lbs each and are hard as a rock to walk in.

6. Leave policies. It is heartbreaking how the Old Man ALWAYS finds out about his time off a few days in advance. It's a struggle to find last minute airfare that’s actually affordable and it's nearly impossible. I guess that whole concept of last minute decisions comes with the Corps.

7. Useless military discounts. It’s awesome that many companies support the military and their families, but I think that giving discounts like 5% on purchases over $500.00 are only so the company can advertise that they’re military friendly.

8. The reporter who made the comment to Kristen Henderson, “…does it ever bother your husband that you’re writing about the wives instead of the real story?” Henderson is the author of a wonderful book titled “While their at War: The True Story of American Families on the Home Front.”

9. Sympathy-less sympathizers. I understand that sometimes when people are faced with someone who has a loved one deployed during wartime; it’s difficult to know what to say. Before I became a military wife, I used to be at a loss for words myself. Saying thank you means a whole lot more than one might think. But, saying that you know how they feel and then continue to talk about that one time a few months back that your significant other left for a business trip or whatever for a week and you were miserable the entire time only means to me that you have no idea what’s actually going on with your country being at war. There is absolutely no comparison to a business trip or a few days you couldn’t accompany your spouse somewhere. None. For the love of God, just say thank you or God bless.

10. Holidays. Where do I go? Who do I visit? What about saving my time off for when my husband returns? What if I break down wherever I am during my time there? What if I just want to be alone? Why can’t my husband be home? I hope he’ll get a chance to call. What if my package doesn’t get their in time for Christmas? I hope he stays strong. …these are some of the things that are going through my mind about the next few months.

11. Death tolls. Why don’t they have Success Rates? Why can’t the news channels report on the lives that are saved by the weapon caches that are uncovered? Or the children who run through the streets following troops and the families looking admirable as if silently thanking the troops for being in Iraq.

12. The general misconception that the military is the military and the troops are the troops and it's all the same. OK, this is mostly personal and I’m just as proud to say my dad served in the Air Force. And don't get me wrong, it's an HONOR to serve in any branch of the miltary. But, the Marines are the First to Fight and the Few and the Proud and all those other catchy slogans that the Old Man thinks are silly, but they're so true. Marines have to earn their right to say they’re a Marine. If they screw up in boot camp or don’t cut it, they go home, unlike any branch of the military service.

13. War. Of course, the most obvious thing that is very likely to drive a military wife crazy. It takes a strong family and a strong love to withstand the ups and downs of any deployment. Especially a war deployment. It’s a circumstance that one wouldn’t wish upon anyone, but in the end, somehow manages to be rewarding. Living months on end as positive as you can, but knowing in the back of your mind what the worse case scenario is- is both an adrenaline rush and a Debbie Downer. Nonetheless, it’ll make for an awesome homecoming and strong marriage!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Welcome to Thursday Thirteen! Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Karla said...

((((Hugs)))) to you. My mom was a military wife (my dad was career military and retired when I was in college) and so much of what you said reiterates things she has told me.

Prayers for you and your husband.


Stacitee said...

Thanks for writing this post. I didn't now a lot of these things. I'm amazed at your courage. Thank you to you and your husband for your service for others. Prayers for a safe homecoming for your husband.

Melissa said...

Wonderful list. Thank you for sharing your struggles and feelings. It is hard for those of us without military family to relate. Thanks for your sacrifice and I pray that he returns home safely.

JAM said...

Thank you for the insights. God Bless you and your husband.

K T Cat said...

Big head bumps and purrs for you. I'm with you on #11. And when there are deaths, why report about how it happened? Do eulogies at funerals focus on just how the oxygen tank worked for the emphysema patient? I think not. How about a report on the things the hero died trying to save and protect?

My TT is up.

Caylynn said...

I'm a military wife (albeit a Canadian one) and I can sympathize with many of the points you've made. Canada doesn't have a marine corps, but in the Canadian Forces, it's the army that does all the hard, tough jobs.

#2 especially drives me crazy. My hubby is an engineering officer, and since officers traditionally do the soldiers' duties on Christmas, my husband spent one Christmas burning human waste, since he was in Eritrea on a UN peacekeeping mission with the first group of engineers who went over. They were setting up the camp for the mission, so when they arrived they had nothing - just an empty field. So they were living in tents and burning their waste until they built the camp. The stories like that are never told in the news. Currently, with Canada having a large contingent of troops in Afghanistan, the media never reports on all the good work they are doing in that country, including all the humanitarian relief they are providing. Then there is all the information that is just plain incorrect that we read in the papers. It is enough to drive one crazy.

#10 and #13 are so true. The same Christmas that my hubby was in Eritrea, my family couldn't understand why I was so sad. Gee, maybe because they were all celebrating Christmas with their spouses, and mine was half a world away. But we definitely have a strong, loving marriage, and my husband is more than worth the time we have to spend apart when he's deployed.

Jane said...

I think you are amazing. Your list taught me a lot. I admire you for your strength and I admire your husband for what he is doing. He is definately a hero and you both will be in my prayers.
Thanks for coming by my T13 today.
Be blessed.

Crazy Fat Chick said...

I don't think I could handle being a military wife, especially now. I have a good friend in Iraq but he only emails us with funny stories. Best wishes for you and your husband.

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Thank you so much for sharing. Sometimes we who do not have loved ones on the front lines tend to forget the enormity of it all (for the soldiers and for their families). My thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband. Oh, and I totally agree with #2! God bless :D

Alyssa Goodnight said...

I'm in awe of you and all military families. I can't even imagine how you handle it, but we are all fortunate and blessed that you do.

I'm glad you found inspiration in my TT!

Prayers for you and your family.

Shoshana said...

Awww, here's hugs for you.

I am in awe of military family.

Anthony said...

Well... i don't know where to start except to say it's a great list.
You've certainly educated me today.
I hope your husband comes home safe and soon.

Rachel said...

That was so beautiful.

Thank you and God bless.

Janet said...

It's nice to see someone post something well written and positive about being in the military. I was a military spouse (AF), married to a fire fighter, which is way less stressful than being a Marine or Army spouse, in my opinion, in that I knew he wasn't going to war ... hang in there! Thanks for visting my blog, too :-)

Carmen said...

my sister is a military wife. she feels your pain

Sally said...

Thanks so much for posting that. I had no idea about some of that stuff. God bless you!

Sparky said...

Man I love your lists everytime. You will help me know what not to say to the military families I run across occasionally. While we may not be thinking the same way all the time, i hope that everything goes well for you and the Old Man.

As Always, Go Navy, beat Army

gail said...

Yeah, good list! I wish more positive was in the news about the military as well. Thank you to your family for what you do for our country.
Thanks for stopping by.