What does being an Army Wife mean? Well, there is actually a handbook for Army Wifes and it is 392 pages long. It has all the vital information that a woman could need or does need being married to a man in uniform (don’t they look good in that uniform ladies?). It has instructions about meeting and greeting all the way to military funerals. Yes, there is a specific manner at which an Army Wife is to expected to act at all of these specific events and functions; you would not want to embarrass your husband would you? What the handbook does not cover is everything else that comes along with being the other half to a man in camo. The deployments; especially the waiting and the loneliness. The feeling that your life is on hold until he comes home safe and sound. No one can understand the emptiness that awaits you when you go to bed every night wondering if he is ok. You miss the pillow talk and everything intimate in your relationship. You miss the fact that something as simple as coming home every night is not an option. We pray that the guys in class A’s never come knocking on our door with bad news. There is a feeling of helplessness when they are gone; no way of knowing if they are safe. There is no way to prepare another Army Wife for the emptiness that comes when the one you love is taken away with a fellow swoop. The Army does not care what might being going on in your life at the time or, what events he might miss. When he gets back the rewards and medals await but, for us who were left behind, we get nothing, no medals, no parades, no pay….nothing; just the satisfaction that he made it home safe and sound. There is no vacation during war.
I am married to a man in uniform; actually he is a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army National Guard. He just celebrated his 10 year anniversary this last month. I have to say that I am very proud of him. I was there when he received his commission as an officer and most importantly I was the one that pinned on his “bars”. The ceremony was very special to both of us; Officer Candidate School was long and hard but, he made it through with flying colors. Right now Tim is gone; he was activated for training and will be deployed for 6 months. All of a sudden the household that took two people to run is now down to one, me. Sometimes I wonder what did I get myself into. I did not sign up for this; he did. I am the one left behind with everything to worry about and take care of; it is not that easy. I have done it before and I will do it again. I know that my husband is very good at his job; he is great in the Army and he has lots of medals and achievement awards to prove it; even a Bronze Star. He is one of those people you want defending our country and protecting us at night while we sleep. He takes his Army responsibilities very seriously. I can not count how many times the Army has come first and our marriage second. I was there when he raised his right arm for the second time to re-enlist and there were tears of joy, pride, and fear in my eyes. I thought to myself he had made it though a deployment over seas and made it back safe; why were we doing this again; why risk it? Tim is a lifer. He will be in the service until they kick him out. I have a great sense of pride knowing that but, a great sense of fear knowing that he can be taken away with one phone call and then gone forever with a bullet or a road side bomb. I know that it is the ultimate sacrifice to die for your country but, I am not quite ready to give my husband up for it yet. The Army can throw some sucky things your way and you can either be bitter or proud. Like, when I had major surgery at Mayo and Tim could not reschedule his drill so he could be with me…that really sucked. For the first year of our marriage he was deployed; I never got to be a bride or even a newlywed. That really sucked. For the first 2 years of our marriage I was bitter about the Army but, now I am proud. You can be bitter and resentful or be proud and supportive. I am proud all the way from my house covering American Flag to my “Army Wife” tattoo. Sometimes it is hard to suck it up and put on a smile but, it has to be done; I am the only person he looks forward to coming home to. The house is lonely, quite, and my bed is empty at night but, I know that it is for a good cause! Please support our Troops!