Friday, August 22, 2008

What is a Military Wife?

A Military wife can be tough to describe.
She is a Southern belle, a Northeastern Mets fan, a California 3rd generation recycler, a Pacific Islander.
She is short or tall, a tomboy, a fashion diva, a physician's assistant, a Republican, a Democrat.
A Military Wife is a career gal, a home-schooler, a scrap-booker, an accomplished cellist, an auto mechanic.

What IS a Military Wife?

WHAT is a Military Wife?
What is a MILITARY Wife?

They may look different and each is wonderfully unique, but this they have in common.

They have THIS IN COMMON! Lots of moving---
moving far from home
moving two cars, three kids and one dog, all riding with HER of course
moving sofas to basements because they won't go in THIS house
moving curtains that won't fit
moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours
moving away from friends moving toward new friends
moving her most important luggage; her trunk full of memories.
Often waiting-
waiting for housing
waiting for orders
waiting for deployment
waiting for reunion
waiting for phones calls
waiting for the new curtains to arrive
waiting for him to come home for dinner----AGAIN!

They call her 'military dependent', but she knows better she can-

balance a checkbook
handle the yard work
fix a noisy toilet.
She is intimately familiar with drywall, anchors, and toggle bolts.
She can file the taxes, sell a house, buy a car, or set up a move, all with ONE Power of Attorney.
She welcomes neighbors that don't welcome her.
Reinvents her career with every PCS.
Locates a house in the desert, the arctic, or the deep south and learns to call them all 'home'.
She MAKES them all home.
She is fiercely IN-dependent.

Military Wives are somewhat hasty-

They leap into decorating, leadership, volunteering, career alternatives, churches and friendships.
They don't have 15 years to get to know people.
Their roots are short but flexible.
They plant annuals for themselves and perennials for those who come after them.

Military Wives quickly learn to value each other.

They connect over coffee, rely on the spouse-network and accept offers of friendship and favors and record addresses in pencil.
Military Wives have a common bond.

The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands. His commitment is unique.

He doesn't have a job, he has a 'mission' he can't just decide to quit.
He's on-call for his country 24/7 but for you, he's the most...
Unreliable guy in town!
His language is foreign: TDY, PCS, OPR, ACC, BDU
And so, a Military Wife is a translator for her family and his.
She is the long-distance link to keep them informed the glue that holds them together.

A Military Wife has her moments-

She wants to wring his neck, dye his uniform pink, and refuse to move to Siberia.
But she pulls herself together.
Give her a few days, a travel brochure, a long hot bath, a pledge to the flag, and a wedding picture.
And she goes.
She packs.
She moves.
She follows.
What for?
How come?
You may think it is because she has lost her mind.
But actually it is because she has lost her heart.
It was stolen from her by a man who puts duty first, who longs to deploy, who salutes the flag, and whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her Military husband, she will remain his Military wife.

1 comment:

  1. Melanie:

    I loved your view of a military wife. Although I am not a military wife myself, I can understand it perfectly well since my dad is retired Air Force and my only sister is married to a career Navy man. Thanks to the US Navy, I've been able to visit them in some cool places--Japan and Hawaii :)

    Saw the picture of you and the kiddos with one of your comments on the Dishchicks (BB10).