THe Harting Family

THe Harting Family

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Anatomy of a Military Spouse

**This is a blog post from my friend Kama, our husbands work together and are deployed together. Kama is a rare soul. She is a military spouse, she is an athlete, she is a mother but most of all she is a great friend. Always upbeat, always optimistic and always trying to help others better themselves in a non preachy very helpful way. She blogs on Semper Finest Care Packages and this is one of her latest post and I wanted to share it with you all. I hope you all love it as much as I do.

Anatomy Of A Military Spouse

You walk past a woman with two kids in tow. She seems frazzled, as her kids begin running around her in circles, though she barely seems to notice. On her wrist is a band you recognize, but only abstractly. You can tell it must be her last name, and that the print is military in nature, but you aren’t sure what branch she is representing. It doesn’t matter now, it clicks in your head – she must be a military spouse. Since it is a Saturday afternoon at the park and she seems to be alone, coupled with the bracelet adorning her wrist, you make up your mind her husband is deployed. You are right.

You feel bad for her, for her ‘situation’, as it looks like she could use some help and might not be getting any for quite some time. Her kids are fighting, and she swoops down with the calm of a mother and sternness of a father, dousing the fire before it gets out of hand. You are impressed at her swiftness, and how able she seems despite being a single parent. You catch her eye and she smiles, and you see something more, something beyond the basic observations you made earlier. She is strong. She’ll be fine. You are right.

At this point you sit down at the picnic table where she has now opened a book and settled into her afternoon at the park. You tell her your name, and that of your kids’, and she gives hers as well. You get up the nerve to ask her if she is military and she says that yes, she is. You go one step further and ask if her husband is deployed. He is. Wow, you say. For how long? How do you manage at home with two little ones and no help? She smiles and says, A year, but I have help. She goes on to tell you of her ‘sisters’, other military spouses who are going through the deployment with her, some with kids, some without, all unified in their strength to not just survive this, but thrive in it. They take turns running while one watches the kids. They get together in the evenings for a glass of wine once a month at least. They understand that with loneliness comes solitude; that with his absence comes independence. Interesting. She seems like she has it all under control. You are right.

She works full time, takes the kids to soccer and ballet, recitals and school plays, doctors’ visits and dentist appointments, and sometimes – just sometimes – she reads a book at night till she falls asleep. She smiles guiltily like she considers it a vice. She runs marathons, has a college degree and again, sheepishly, confesses to love The Real Housewives of L.A. Most of all, she loves her kids and her husband. Wow, you say again, this time to yourself, this is one of the most amazing women I have ever met. You are right.

Aren’t you scared, you ask her. Of what, she replies. That he might not come home you answer somberly. Her smile fades, and a look of peace and wisdom beyond her years creeps over her face. I am a military spouse, she says with pride. I chose this life as much as my husband did. I am prouder of him and his sacrifices than I could ever be afraid. Because the thing I fear most is having nothing to stand behind, to stand up for. I believe in him and if he doesn’t come home, I will let my kids know what a hero their dad is. You take this in a moment before you reply. You don’t want to sound corny, or out of place, but she is the hero too you say. You are right.

1 comment:

Paula said...

Sorry it's been so long since I've stopped by and left a comment. Love the new look of your blog.
Love this post about the anatomy of a military spouse. You're right, we tend to recognize others in the same boat.
I hope your deployment is going as well as it can and is passing quickly.
I'm sorry about the loss you all recently had.