Heroes of the Homefront

Posted: May 10, 2013 in General, Military
Tags: , ,
For the Heroes at Home without whom we could never have the strength to do what we do.

For the Heroes at Home without whom we could never have the strength to do what we do.

Today, May 10th 2013 is officially Military Spouse Appreciation Day.  Most often when we refer to military spouses we focus, like I do, on the lady who kicks ass and takes names when I am away.  To often we forget that spouse is not restricted to the female gender.  There are plenty of men who do what needs to be done around the home front while their significant other is deployed to some far away land.  In the realm of equality it may not be too long into the future where the institution may catch up to the acceptance of marriage equality in the military, and at that point it is anyone’s game.

Regardless of who the military member is or the dynamic of the relationship, today we get to honor those who sit back here keeping the kids safe, the lights on, the bills paid and all the other mundane tasks that life requires us to do.  They take on the jobs that in normal times are accomplished as a partnership all as their own.  They bear the burdens left behind, sometimes at a moments notice, all while keeping up a brave face in public, only allowing the facade to crack in the privacy of their own homes.

The fear is ever present for them, that they may look out the front window and see people in their military finest walking up to the door to deliver what they have feared all along.  Yet each day these ladies and gentlemen wake up, stuff down that fear and move on with their day.  They get the kids ready for school, fix their meals, clean up the boo boos, and wipe away the tears of their little girls when they are too young to understand why daddy is gone for so long and they just want him to tuck them in for the night.  They do this night after night for months on end.  Sometimes they have to give in to the stress too, they are only human after all.

This is not the limit of their superpowers.  It is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the immense strength they possess.  In addition to management of the home, they are our long distance therapist when we wake them up in the middle of the night because we are time zones away.  They give us strength over the phone when we tell them one of our comrades has paid the ultimate price or has been wounded in battle.  The first question is always “are you alright”?, the second is “what can I do”?.

We soldiers are burden with what is happening around us at any given time, our spouses are burdened with what happens after.  Our spouses not only have their own fears and demons to deal with, but we place our own upon them too.  The best of them drive on, some, simply reach their limit.  There is no definitive mark on the wall for that limit, it is different and unique for each.  Those that have reached their limit need to be recognized as well, there should be no fault laid at their feet, this life is simply not for everyone.

To all the spouses out there, officially recognized by law or not, you are a rare breed and I salute you.  We soldiers wear our uniforms and are easily recognizable, if you are reading this look to your left and your right and look at the person sitting their without their significant other present.  They may not be readily apparent for they wear no uniform, but they just may be a military spouse and their service member spouse may be deployed far away.

To my lovely wife, the foundation that has held us together all these years, I LOVE YOU.  Our time together in the Army is quickly nearing an end, and I know many times through these long years it has seemed like it cannot get here soon enough, yet you have been there all along, through the good and bad.  Together we have made it through our darkest times, but I would never have even tried if you were not the half that makes me whole.

UPDATE:

To my wonderful mother, who shouldered the burden of a newborn for a year while my father sat in a jungle 12,000 miles away, thank you and I love you.  You did not have internet and email, regular mail was slow and unreliable, and there were no cell phones to call right away.  You gave me the foundation for life in that year and showed me what qualities I needed to find in the mother of my children.  My wife is the half that made me whole, but you gave me the frame to fit the pieces in.

msp

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