Oh. My. Gosh. I saw this while scrolling through Pinterest, and I thought, “This cannot be real.” So, then I looked it up, and girls really do this! I’m blessed in my life, and I’m very content with what God has called me to be as a military wife, but I would never chase after a life where I am parenting, taking care of a house, and spending my nights alone. I wouldn’t chase after a life where I worry if the next time I speak to my husband might be my last. I wouldn’t chase after a life where I know every single detail of my husband’s funeral because there might be one within the upcoming year. I wouldn’t chase after a life where I have to hold my child tight in the middle of the night after a nightmare about his Daddy being killed. I wouldn’t chase after a life where my husband would go off to war every few years and come back a little different, a little tougher, a little more distant, and a little less himself every time. I wouldn’t chase after a life of unrequited love for the sole benefit of a man who looks hot in his uniform.
I fell in love with my husband, not the military, and not his uniform. They hardly ever wear the dress uniform. I can actually count, on one hand, the amount of times my husband has worn his dress blues. One of those times was for his DA photo, which will end up being framed and surrounded by flowers if he does end up with that funeral this year. Seeing him in it is quite attractive, but the reality of what the uniform represents – duty, honor, sacrifice…possibly death – that is anything but hot.
I’ve met lots of military men in the past 8 years, and some were good guys, some were bad guys. You can’t categorize the military men as loving them all, as if they are all one specific type of person. To go out of the way to find a military man to marry and be open to parading outside of the base is the same as sitting outside of a hospital, hoping to marry a doctor. It’s absurd. I’m proud of what my husband does, but it’s not because of his uniform. It’s because of how he does his job. I’m proud of the man that he is, not the rank that precedes his name. I married my husband, not the military. The military is just the duty that came along with my calling to be my husband’s wife.
Unmarried ladies…please, don’t subject yourself to this type of desperation! This is no life you want to just throw yourself into because you’re tired of waiting around for Mr. Right! If you’re tired of waiting now, then this is absolutely not the piece of pie you’re looking to take a bite out of. This is a life built on waiting. All a military wife does is wait and figure out how to make the waiting feel like less of a wait. And it’s not just about you who is waiting for him to return, to call, or to write either. It’s about his children, his siblings, his parents, his grandparents, his aunts, his uncles, his friends, his neighbors. You have to put your own pain aside to cater to their feelings, as well. Because it’s you who keeps those relationships going for him while he is away. Screw them up, and you’ll lose even more of your husband, rather than gaining more of him for yourself, when he comes home.
This life is all about sacrifice, and not the pretty kind that gets published in papers and decorated with medals. I’m talking about the ugly kind. The kind where you eat after the kids go to bed, because there’s nothing else to do when your husband has 24 hour duty at the singles’ barracks. Where you sit in your bathrobe all day, because you’re not going anywhere, and he’s not coming home any time soon, because he’s at an FTX for the next 2 weeks. The kind where you are never the Hero in your kids’ eyes, because you always have to be the disciplinarian, and you want to make sure that the children always view their father with respect and honor. The kind where you talk to the TV, and develop way too attached feelings toward the characters’ fake relationships, because you’re new on post, and you don’t have any close friends, well into the first year of PCSing. The kind where you cry yourself to sleep after realizing that it’s been over a week since you last heard from him down range, and you don’t know if your prayers for safety are 6 days too late or if the communication lines are just down.
Marrying a military man is not a fairy tale. It’s a story about faith, courage, fear, humility, and loneliness. You don’t choose this lifestyle. It chooses you. (Moreover, God chooses you for your husband, who happens to be a military man) If you’re out seeking it, then you are not fit for it. Anyone who says that they can do it is really proving that they cannot. The real women that are able to live this lifestyle are those that admit defeat before the journey even begins. The truth is that we absolutely cannot do it, but we do it anyway.