Monday, March 14, 2011

Varying Degrees of Seperation

This is a subject very close to my heart and something frankly I just need to get off my chest.
I am going to attempt (ha, ya because I never offend anyone) to do this without offending friends or family.

One of the things that is a constant frustration for any wife or loved one of a deployed Soldier is listening to someone else complain about how hard it is for them to be seperated from their loved ones. I won't say that you don't miss him/her while he/she is on their business trip, working out of town for an extended period or otherwise out of town camping/hunting and so on. I'm certian that you do. However if I have to hear one more time how hard it is being alone for a weekend, or 6 weeks while he/she is gone giving a seminar, or how you miss him ever so while he's in Korea and you can "totaly sympathize with you on how much you worry and how hard a deployment must be, because he's been gone x amount of weeks or months just like Matt", is NOT in any way, shape, or form the same thing as a deployment. Nor is a Navy deploment or Airforce deployment the same thing as that of an Army one. Does that make any branch better than the other? No, could we all do our jobs well without the other. No. However, your spouse or significant other on a ship the size of a small city, with AC/heat, internet, phones and chow halls to choose from and a deployment of 6 months or so is slightly different than 12-18 months in Iraq or Afghanistan, hikeing mountians, shoveling snow, looking for IED's and insurgents. Dodgeing bullets or having to ACTUALLY fire a weapon on someone, a real person, not a paper target.
While yes, the men and women who join the military are CHOOSING to do so, and they know full well that they have a high likelyhood of deployment it is not the same thing as your loved one taking a job in Utah (5 hours away) or even on the other side of the country, having internet contact daily, or cell phones where you can get a hold of them in an emergency, or have them rush home if need be. Choosing to work out of town for a job weather it is long or short term is different than serving in the military, and even in the military as I said there are different degrees of seperation.
I won't say mine is harder than yours. That I miss my husband or worry about him more than you do. I will say however that hearing complaints about how hard it is to be a geographicaly single Mommy while your husband goes hunting and you totaly get what I'm going through, might not be the best idea. It takes all the strength I have to not let you know how I really
This rant is not meant for those wives who's spouses serve as firefighters, police, coast gaurd and other jobs such as this on a daily basis living with danger. The seperation is different but I'm sure the worry and stress over them is the same. There are some jobs that are dangerous such as oil rigs and so on that require you to work away from home a lot. Again dangerous, but the seperation is not the same. Pretty much everything else, I have a hard time hearing how hard it is or how it's "totaly the same thing you and Matt are going through, my kids are going through the same things!"
Did your son cry before bedtime because he accidently came across the news and how a suicide bomber killed 33 people in a blast in Afghanistan tonight? Asking " was Dad was anywhere near that? Was he ok, have you hear from him yet!" (see this is why they are NOT allowed to watch the news).
Or having school teachers call you to say that your son was crying on and off for an hour while having to write a paper about your hero and he just missed Dad so much it was too hard to write?
How about when Baby looks at the computer some days like the man smileing back is a stranger and other days points to pictures, says "Da Da!" and kisses it? Did you worry tonight when you went to bed if you would wake to uniformed men knocking on your door to tell you he won't be coming home?
When the phone rings and you just can't get it to it fast enough, do you worry that that might be his last call and you just missed it? Or that maybe he REALLY needed to just hear your voice because today was "that bad"?I'm not some dooms dayer, I don't think Matt will die. He's a capable Soldier. Wait, scratch that, a fantastic Soldier. I have faith in his skills. However sometimes his skills may not be the reason something bad could happen to him.
We get emails almost weekly informing us of Hero's we've lost from this unit. It makes things a little more real. I guess what I'm saying is, that when you are having a crappy day and think that his deployment or seminar or hunting trip is the same thing as others......take a step back and just ask yourself, how many people do you personaly know who died last week, last month, this year who died doing what your spouse/loved one is away doing, or how many times your child worried about life or death over thier parents job. Like I said, I'm not saying I miss him anymore than you do. Or that my life is harder or some lameness like that. Varying degrees folks. Just don't tell me you can sympathize or empathize with me unless.....well unless you just read through this and STILL think you can.
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Just sayin!


Molly said...

I don't know if I get these comments more or less because I'm living far from base but yes...Shut Up! Even more so I have gotten tired of hearing "Oh how is he...I can't even imagine what you're going through." Or "you're handling it so well." It just drives home the fact that very few people DO understand, CAN sympathize, or perceive how truly stressful it is. Many well intended comments only serve to bring up fears and nightmares I had done perfectly well ignoring for a few weeks.

The comment about waking up to uniformed men really gets to me. I have stress dreams about uniformed men showing up to my work or being on my patio when I get home. Oy.

~Our Rockabilly Army Lives~ said...

Ya, and since I have friends and family who are in other branches, plain old civilians and family who choose to work away from home and still seem to think it's even remotely the same I just had to say I'm sure I've alienated a few people but I do that every