There is a feeling that is like none other and it can only be known by those of us in the ranks of the Milsos. We who kiss a loved one goodbye after we have watched them (or pretended not to watch them) dress for the day in their crinkly sounding uniforms. We who remember just how dangerous their jobs are and just how little support they seem to get from the powers that be. We who stand proudly when living on base as anthems and trumpets blasts are played in the mornings and the evenings. We admire our warfighters as they check to see that their haircut or style is regulation or as they squint silent judgment at a hem, tape, rank, or boot. We who follow the man or woman we love across the country in a pack-yourself-and-go truck or who watch every physical thing we own get haphazardly boxed and packed to fly or sail its way across an ocean.
Only we know the joys and pains our amazing role can bring. We try to commiserate and draw strength from one another be we can be some of our own worst enemies. How? Some of us act as though the rank our service member wears is our own. Others leave spouses who cannot personally enrich their lives out in the cold. Some are cliqueish, some are snobbish, some are filled with trite platitudes, others have their peacemakers nearby and out of harms way and forget what those who do not are feeling. Some prey on the innocence of the new spouses while others have just grown bitter and apathetic over time. Oh, wait...that sounds like any other wife of any other person in any other profession? Perhaps. The difference is the added stress that comes with the men and women we love having committed their work, energy, free time, rights, freedom, and very lives for so many who abuse the very rights our spouses defend. Yeah, that little difference.
The malaise comes in as we sit muddle through yet another holiday or family gathering or sibling's wedding or child's milestone or scary encounter or household emergency without that rock we call our best friend. The malaise is due to always having to do the job of two people when your significant other is deployed or on an extended training mission or in school or away for months and months at a time. The malaise is inherent in the long hours and weekend activities they are voluntold to attend.
But we are proud. We put our hands on our hearts at the first ringing tone of the National Anthem. We have the American flag proudly displayed somewhere in or on our home. We plaster our cars with ribbon magnets and Thank A Soldier/Airman/Marine/Seamen bumper stickers. We pay for the meals of most men wearing WWII Vet or Vietnam Vet hats and we know the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. We love our country and hate to see anyone disrespect it or our service members and we will encourage our lived ones with our dying breaths.
The holidays can be hard for some of us - whether our significant others are home or away - because they can be miles away, reliving something difficult, while sitting right in front of us. There is nothing as pride and fear inducing as loving and sharing your life with one of the few and the proud and we hope you will be sure to support our loved ones with your thoughts, words, and deeds today and always.
I am Christian Straightedge Christ follower, an Army Brat, an ex-milso, founder and CEO of FitnessAnyaMind, a sofa CEO, a nomad, a fur baby mom, and a mindset builder. I enjoy nature, reading, music, cooking, and taking care of those whom I love.