Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Truth about Military Wives

I'm so sick of us getting a bad rap. We're not all sluts, whores, money grubbing cunts. In fact, the majority of us are pretty decent. So let me clue you in on how things REALLY are.

I fell in love with my husband while he was active duty. I gave up my job, my home, everything, to move 1,400 miles away from the only life I knew. I gave up my roomy mini van (that I happened to love) for a more economical car because as a Senior Airman, we couldn't afford the gas for my van. I gave up all of my belongings and moved me and my 2 children clear across the country with nothing more than what fit into the trunk of my car.  I sold my furniture, my clothes, my kids toys so that we could be with him.

We lived in base housing for the first two years of our marriage. Anyone who has ever seen base housing knows that it's about the same quality as section 8 government housing. Because guess what? It IS government housing. I did my best to make that house a home.

My husband was given orders last year and we moved to England. 4,800 miles and an ocean away from all of our family and friends. It's miserable here. It rains constantly. My kids were bullied in the DODD school that they attended to the point that I had to pull them out and home school them this year. I have NEVER had issues like this with a school before.

There is a minimum of a six hour time difference between us and our family and friends. Which means that I can't just pick up the phone and call my best friend when I need to talk to her. I have to plan every phone call, often staying up late into the night just to hear a familiar voice.

My husband leaves to go to these incredible places that I can't go with him to. I stay home and take care of our two children. I haven't been any further than London since we moved here, and it's likely that I won't be able to go much further than that while we are here.

I can't work because his job takes him away, at times with little to no notice. If I work, then my kids are raised in a day care facility. I'd also have to work a minimum of 2 jobs just to afford the child care. THAT is the norm over here for families who have both parents working.

I am left for weeks at a time to deal with everything. If the furnace goes out, I handle it. If the dog needs emergency surgery, I handle it. If I need surgery and my husband can't take time off for it, I handle it.

Because that's what we do. We give up everything that we know and we move to new states, new countries, etc. We go through culture shock. We adjust to new environments, new cuisines, etc. We make an empty military house feel like a home in 48 hours because we know that our children need their belongings in order to feel a bit more settled.

I mow the lawn, pull the weeds, plant gardens that I may never get to see bloom. I pack his lunches, cook his meals, feed the airmen whenever they need a home cooked meal and a bit of family. I provide low cost child care to his squadron because I think it's ridiculous for people to have to work 2 jobs just to pay for daycare.

I never throw away curtains anymore, because who knows what size I'll need in the NEXT house. I keep more luggage in my closet than any of my civilian friends because I KNOW I will need it soon. I live in houses with icky white walls and I don't paint because I know I won't be here for long. I have no keepsakes from when my children were little because we just don't have the space for it.

When he leaves, I stay up until the wee hours of the night until he can call, because even after 4 years, I can't fall asleep without hearing his voice. Without knowing he's safe. I sleep with my cell phone, house phone and computer. I also take them all to the bathroom with me because I'm afraid that he will call during that 2 minutes that I'm in the bathroom and I'll miss my only chance to talk to him that day.

I live in constant fear that every kiss will be our last. I never know when that call will come. Will I even be home when he gets that emergency call telling him that he has to leave? I hope so. I spend the nights that he's gone crying into my dogs fur, hugging her close because THAT is my consolation when he's away. I get sick at the thought of another man touching me. They are not him. He is fighting for our country's freedom. He is putting his life on the line. The LEAST I can do is be sexually deprived for that same country's freedom. 

I have volunteered for his squadron,  putting in more hours than most people do at a full time job. My kids help me in every way that they can. We have raised money to ensure that the 50 single airmen living in the dorms last Christmas had stockings and gifts. I get phone calls from the other spouses at 11 pm wondering where their husbands are, I deal with suicidal airmen and their wives, I help get them financial counseling, etc. I bust my ass to make sure that the airmen and their wives are taken care of. I do this so that I know that anyone on that plane with my husband can have their head fully into the mission. So that they are not worried about what is going on at home. So that maybe, just maybe, I can help in some small way to keep my husband safe. 

Do I whine at times about how difficult this is? Yes. Do you ever bitch about your job? About your life? I'm sure you do. The only difference is that I am a military wife and according to all of you, I KNEW what I was getting myself into and I shouldn't complain.

Do I cheat? Hell no. Do I blow his meager earnings on shit we can't afford? Nope.

Do I get sick and tired of being judged simply because I am a stay at home military wife? Fuck yes. I do.

I am a military housewife. I am strong, I am capable. I am independent because he NEEDS me to be strong. He needs to know that I can take care of everything while he is away. And I can.

So now you know the truth about me. Maybe, just maybe, you'll think twice before you judge the next military wife you meet. We're not all bad. Please stop judging me based on that one wife you heard about on the internet. I am not her. I am a TRUE military wife.