Untitled Military-Related Post

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A mug of ramen noodles in hand (so much sodium), I sat down to write a post about the art of people thanking me for my husband’s chosen career choice. My desire to put my thoughts on the topic into words stemmed from an interaction I had recently at a party I attended without my husband. The details are unimportant but I walked away feeling dirty – I think because everything about the encounter felt disingenuous. It felt like lip-service.

I wanted to respond, “Have you considered donating to Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, or Blue Star Families, or Team RWB since you’re so thankful for ‘our’ service?” I wanted to discuss the numbers of veterans who are homeless. Or about how so many people are willing to clap loudly and shake the hands of those in uniform returning home only to inform them that “we’ve decided to go in another direction” or “your skills are not needed at our organization at this time.” And I wanted to talk about the mental health crisis that is not only affecting veterans but our nation as a whole. But I didn’t. I just felt my cheeks turn red as I said “thanks – it’s not a big deal” and promptly changed the subject.

Vietnam War Memorial

There isn’t much more I feel like I can say on the topic. Perhaps I am afraid that people will think that I am not being gracious – after all, this person took time out of their day to express thanks. Or maybe I am afraid that I totally misinterpreted their intentions and they really do support veterans and care about the military beyond simply seeing them as pawns in the vicious political arena. Maybe I have fears about being labeled a ‘bad’ military spouse. Or maybe I feel slightly muzzled on the topic because I don’t want to say something that could hurt my husband’s career. Maybe someday I’ll be able to truly put into words what I am thinking inside my head about this topic. Today is not that day.

{For what it is worth, I considered saving this in draft form and coming back when my thoughts are better organized. But I think I’ll publish it – if anything, as a reminder that there is no manual with this gig.}

 

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