Do Something For Me

Ash has been in the Navy for almost 19 years. NINETEEN years. Wow. It doesn’t seem like it, but I guess it’s just because it’s become a way of life for us. We were just talking about the other day, when he took new orders to stay in this area for at least another year, that we’re getting the itch to move. It’s not that we don’t like it here; in fact we’re quite happy with our church, school, etc. It’s just that we have never lived anywhere more than three years at a time. This will be the first place to live where we’ll hit year four.

Ash is an engineer for the Navy and helps build ships down here in the South. He hasn’t always had this job, however, and in the time we’ve been married he’s done 5 deployments to the Middle East, not to mention countless underway (that means out-to-sea) periods for training or “smaller” missions. (Note here that “smaller” doesn’t always mean “less dangerous”.) There have been times he has called me only to say, “Just watch CNN or Fox News and you’ll know where I am.” Yikes. It hasn’t always been a walk in the park is what I’m saying.

I ran across this article and it almost brought me to tears just reading it because I related to it so much. It’s called What Not to Say to a Military Wife. It’s a short list of things I’ve heard from people a million times. Those words brought up those same old feelings I’ve had when people have said those things to me. They brought up the emotions I so well remember when I dropped my husband off at a pier hoping and praying I would see him again, but knowing if I did it would be at least 7 months before I had that chance. I’ve had a lot of fear, loneliness, anger, and sadness in the last 17 years, but you know what? I’ve also had so much pride, patriotism, and thankfulness for what Ash and his fellow members do for our country every day.

Please take a moment to read the article. I hope it gives you a little perspective on those silent military members who are left behind. We don’t wear a uniform, so you may not notice us, but we’re here holding it all together so our other half can provide a hedge of protection for us all. I’m not looking for kudos here or anything, I just hope that it will help you the next time you’re talking to a military family.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christina
    Apr 13, 2011 @ 18:12:10

    That was a good article. Some of those are so obviously rude it’s crazy to think anyone is stupid enough to say them. But others… well, it’s good that now I’m informed. 🙂 And what I want to say to you, and your husband and kids, is
    Really, truly, from the bottom of my heart. Freedom is not free, and your family is bearing much more of the burden of that cost than most of us.


  2. Lauren Cristina Vitrano-Wilson
    Apr 13, 2011 @ 20:15:27

    Thanks for shring this! Helps me to have a better perspective. Interesting to see how in different professions/situations in life there are things that are best not to say (e.g. when someone is sick). Praying for you guys. Glad Ash is able to stay on a 4th year in AL. Wow! 4 years alreday!


  3. Ash
    Apr 14, 2011 @ 01:02:51

    Thanks baby! You are the real trooper. I would never have made it without you. No matter where we pulled it, I ran to the phone to hear your voice.


  4. E.
    Apr 14, 2011 @ 13:14:18

    I grew up in a area heavily populated by military (Air Force) and — well, actually, my dad was in the Air Force until he retired when I was 10 or 11. Anyway, even with all that, I know I’ve been guilty of saying some of those things myself (though never the sex one, yikes!). Other than that, I just want to say “ditto” to what Christina said!


  5. asmalltowndad
    Apr 14, 2011 @ 14:08:10

    Hey Sis, I think people that don’t have a spouse or child in the military will never understand, or know, what the spouses or children of military person go through. It’s like a person that has lost a child, or their home in a tragedy, or has cancer, without going through the same, you will never know, how they feel or what their going through.
    But on the other hand, I think when these things are said, although with ignorance, it’s out of concern, hope for the best and the admiration for the military person and his family, that these things are asked. You being a military wife all your married years, make you ignorant to those who are not, so be understanding, to myself and others that will never know. Love ya all!


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