With the wars raging in Iraq and Afghanistan we really pray for those troops. We know they are fighting for their country and they proudly represent the USA. The story that is never really told is that of the wives left behind with one, two, or even three or more children. She is left behind with the burden or responsibility of carrying on life to some form of “normal”. Do not know get me wrong I would never blame the soldiers for their choice of enlisting or even volunteering. Some go because they are told; while others want that feeling that they made a difference in this crazy war.
However, whatever the reasons the soldier join the spouse, fiancé, or girlfriend seem to have to take on the role of both parents. I’ll admit being a soldier’s wife is not easy. My husband is serving his second tour of duty, with the first being Iraq and now Afghanistan. I thought since he had already been deployed before it would be no different this time. I knew what the feeling of going without a phone call felt like and constantly watching the news and CNN to make sure I was kept up to date with what was going on. Although, this time I had another child instead of the one I had when he was first deployed to Iraq. Two children is still considered not a lot to most people but trying to find a babysitter to go to an appointment or even to have some down time is difficult. I manage as best as I can and count down the days in the year until he returns.
When he first enlisted I honestly never thought that he would be deployed, not only once but twice. One of the many lies of ”it could happen”, turned into it did happen, although, numerous deployments are not mentioned when enlisting in the service. This war seems to be never ending, but all wars come to an end like the ones before them. Whether by treaties or total murder of a people, they do end. The only thing a soldier’s wife can hold on is to hope that their spouse will come home. The prayer is that he comes home with a sound mind and not having flash backs of those horrible days. The media does not seem to make it any easier with everyday seeing the countless deaths of soldiers. Some so young that their pictures make them look like kids in a uniform.
One good thing is that a new television program comes on Lifetime each Sunday that is called “Army Wives”. I watched this program to see if it could live up to the truth and also tell the real dirt that I have seen while being an army wife. I have dealt with being the new wife in the group and trying to fit in to the pre-made clicks. Dealing with the ranks issues (special treatment for some) and having the hard time of making friends with the wives but having their husbands being higher ranks. The show started off with jumping into great scenarios, which included a couple just getting married after knowing each other a few days and also a wife having her husband being deployed for three months, while being left at home with her abusive teenage son. I was very impressed and recommended the show to a few of my friends. I guess it was nice having people watch a program that could really show the truth about what goes on behind the scenes when husbands deploy and the base being a ghost town. The women who are faithful stick it out but there is always those few who cannot wait till there husbands leave so they can begin their year of fun. The show has only begun to scratch the surface and I look forward to watching more of it to see if it will live up to the title of representing Army Wives.
Everyday is a day closer that they will be coming home. Each woman left behind deals with their own issues and grow just as their husbands grow. The hope is that once they get back together and life is getting back to normal they will be able to pick up where they left off. The key thing to remember is that things will take time for both and that kids will have to readjust as well. They will have to realize that there are two parents to obey and listen to again instead of just one. I can honestly say that with patience you can make it through it but be ready for little things that might have changed and be willing to make compromises and don’t just give up because you feel different. That person you love is the same one you fell in love with just keep that in mind while you think of how proud you are to be an Army wife and just forget about the lies.
by Sherita Smedley