The Difference between other spouses and military spouses

  1. -i thought this article was very touching....

    The Difference
    By Retired Lt. Gen. Edward J. Heinz


    Over the years, I've talked a lot about military spouses...how special
    they are and the price they pay for freedom, too. The funny thing about it is
    most military spouses don't consider themselves different from other
    spouses.

    They do what they have to do, bound together not by blood or merely
    friendship, but with a shared spirit whose origin is in the very essence
    of what love truly is.
    Is there truly a difference? I think there is. You have to decide for yourself.

    Other spouses get married and look forward to building equity in a home
    and putting down family roots.
    Military spouses get married and know they'll live in base housing or rent, and their roots must be short so they can be transplanted frequently.

    Other spouses decorate a home with flair and personality that will last
    a lifetime.
    Military spouses decorate a home with flair tempered with the knowledge that no two base houses have the same size windows or same size rooms. Curtains have to be flexible and multiple sets are a plus. Furniture must fit like puzzle pieces.

    Other spouses have living rooms that are immaculate and seldom used.
    Military spouses have immaculate living room-dining room combos. The
    coffee table got a scratch or two moving from Germany, but it still looks pretty good.

    Other spouses say good-bye to their spouse for a business trip and know
    they won't see them for a week. They are lonely, but can survive.
    Military spouses say good-bye to their deploying spouse and know they won't see
    them for months, or for a remote, a year...or maybe ever again. They are lonely, but will survive.

    Other spouses, when a washer hose blows off, call Maytag and then write


    a check out for getting the hose reconnected.
    Military spouses will cut the water off and fix it themselves.

    Other spouses get used to saying "hello" to friends they see all the
    time.
    Military spouses get used to saying "good-bye" to friends made the last two years.


    Other spouses worry about whether their child will be class president
    next year.
    Military spouses worry about whether their child will be accepted
    in yet another new school next year.

    Other spouses can count on spouse participation in special
    events...birthdays, anniversaries, concerts, football games, graduation,
    and even the birth of a child.
    Military spouses only count on each other; because they realize that the Flag has to come first if freedom is to survive. It has to be that way.

    Other spouses put up yellow ribbons when the troops are imperiled across
    the globe and take them down when the troops come home.
    Military spouses wear yellow ribbons around their hearts and they never go away.

    Other spouses worry about being late for mom's Thanksgiving dinner.
    Military spouses worry about getting back from Japan in time for dad's funeral.

    And the television program showing an elderly lady putting a card down
    in front of a long, black wall that has names on it touches other spouses.
    The card simply says "Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. You would have been 60
    today."
    A military spouse is the one with the card. And the wall is the Vietnam
    Memorial.

    I would never say military spouses are better or worse than other
    spouses are. But I will say there is a difference.

    And I will say that our country asks more of military spouses than is
    asked of other spouses. And I will say, without hesitation, that military
    spouses pay just as high a price for freedom as do their active duty husbands or
    wives.

    Perhaps the price they pay is even higher. Dying in service to our
    country isn't near as hard as loving someone who has died in service to our country,
    and having to live without them.

    God bless our military spouses for all they freely give.
    And God bless America.
    •  
  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   kats
    As a Navy wife, what we do does get taken for granted at times. I just wanted to say thank you for posting this. I got tears in my eyes while reading it.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    AF vet and wife here chiming in.................THANK YOU!
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Thanks you so much - how touching. I so remember all the years of being an AF wife and saying good bye to hubby. I remember - first being married in Japan - 1980 (I was in the Navy too) - and wondering if I had made a mistake - but there was no family nearby to complain to or run home to, so I stuck it out. I remember in 1985, when second son was born and we left Spain when he was 4 weeks old - the two boys and myself to Illinois and hubby off to Greenland for a year. I remember in 1988 when oldest son was in ICU three times in 8 months for severe asthma and how terribly scared we were. And I remember some very good friends - friends to this day! Thanks so much...
  6. by   kirbybunny
    As an active duty Army wife....Thanks for posting this. There's a bumper sticker we have here at Ft. Bragg...."Army Wife - Toughest Job in the Army!" (Just don't tell my husband that! :chuckle )

    ~ Jen
  7. by   sprtbikegrlsv65
    you are all very welcome! my BF is in the Army and i'm getting used to the hellos and goodbyes. i hope everyone has a great weekend!
  8. by   Alnamvet
    I'd say the hardest job in the military is a military wife...I know...was first married in '69, for 2 weeks before I shipped out to RVN; returned to find my wife had died in an MVA...she never knew the potential bliss of having a family...God bless her and all who serve alongside their men.
  9. by   traumaRUs
    Oh Alnamvet - I'm so sorry about your wife. How terrible for you.
  10. by   nekhismom
    thanks for the post, from a vet and an ex-military wife.
  11. by   Tweety
    Mom was a military wife who sent dad to Vietnam three times. Wasn't easy, especially with three little kids at home, the last time my sister was an infant. Thinking back on her strength and sacrifice, I get all warm and fuzzy.

    Here's to all military wives in time of war and peace, it's not easy.
  12. by   Tweety
    Quote from Alnamvet
    I'd say the hardest job in the military is a military wife...I know...was first married in '69, for 2 weeks before I shipped out to RVN; returned to find my wife had died in an MVA...she never knew the potential bliss of having a family...God bless her and all who serve alongside their men.
    That must have been very tough for you. Sorry you had to go through that.
  13. by   kitty29
    My nephew & his wife are almost done with a one year sepparation as he has been in Korea...my niece first sent this article to me...I was very moved. I can never know what they have gone through as a couple and their three little girls....my heart goes out to all millitary families.

    Sure glad GWB got the pay raises to these people...they should be getting so much more!
  14. by   dphrn
    Quote from kitty29
    My nephew & his wife are almost done with a one year sepparation as he has been in Korea...my niece first sent this article to me...I was very moved. I can never know what they have gone through as a couple and their three little girls....my heart goes out to all millitary families.

    Sure glad GWB got the pay raises to these people...they should be getting so much more!
    This post struck a cord with me because my husband will be retiring from the USAF in a year or so. He has started to network on civilian positions that are parallel to what he does now in the military. He has been offered $35,000 more a year (as a civilian employee) than what he makes now in the Air Force...in almost the exact same position. But, this is a whole new thread.

    Although there are many cons to being a military wife (family), it has had so many pros. Yes, we are not close to any family members at any one time, but that has made my husband and our two boys even closer to one another. The military is definately a different life style, but it has been good to us overall. Like I mentioned, my husband will be retiring soon, I will look back at these last twenty years as good years. But, I am truly looking forward to the civilian life again too.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post about military spouses.

close