February 9, 2012

Wives of the Military

WARNING: This is rant, fueled by pregnancy hormones, a headache and a desire to have The Man home.  However, I’m a big girl and can take whatever comments you want to throw at me!

A post by a newbie blogger was brought to my attention by a friend on Facebook the other day.  While I hate to give her the traffic, you going to read it in her own words is way better than me trying to summarize it.  If you haven’t read it yet, you can click here to get to the blog post.  I’m writing a response here on my blog because after 12 comments, most of which were negative, she turned them off.  I’m guessing she couldn’t take the heat but I can’t be sure.  Anyway, on with my thoughts…

If I had been able to comment, this is what I would have written:

I am very sad to see this post. As an active duty Navy sub wife, I think it's much better to be supportive of one another instead of tearing each other down, regardless of your branch of service. Each branch has different missions and purposes...and each are needed. I have reserve friends and the things they experience with a deployment are the same as what I and other wives experience. Also...it can be just has hard, if not harder, to go back to a civilian job after being in the sandbox for a year. They're juggling a lot and they deserve credit for that. Being in the National guard or Reserve DOES NOT make them less of a person or less valuable to our country.


I hope that once you experience a deployment, field training or just something MORE than recruiting duty you'll have more compassion for the men and women who serve with the other active duty branches, the Army National Guard, the different State Guards and the different Reserve branches. I hope it gets you off your high horse and helps you see that as wives, we're all in this together.


Also, isn't it a bit of a double standard to complain about wives wearing their SO's uniform and then do it yourself? You have no right to complain about something and then do it yourself.


Ok, ok, I pulled a bit of branch rank there in the beginning but I wanted her to know I was a fellow active duty wife.  Plus, I’m wondering how much of “real” army life she has experienced.  And by “real” I mean deployments, field trainings, duty nights, and times when she can’t get in touch with her husband.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say….she hasn’t experienced much.  So she’s basing her superiority on the fact that she’s a wife of six months who has only experienced recruiting.  I  HOPE that if she had experienced a deployment she would have more sympathy/compassion/empathy for those who who are/have been deployment.  A deployment is a deployment is a deployment, from 3 months to 15 months or longer.  No way around it deployments SUCKS, no matter what branch you are.

I think what bothered me the most was the level of disrespect to the soldiers and families in the National Guard, State Guards and Reserves.  I know she doesn’t mention all those branches but I’ve included them since they aren’t active duty and I feel can be included in what she’s saying.

Now, as an active duty wife, I have NO IDEA what it’s like to be the wife of a guard or reserve member.  I am however, friends with a few through the bloggy world.  Bloggers like Chambanachik and Mowenackie (who had been on a blogging sabbatical) have helped to see into their world and understand what it’s like to be the wife of a guard/reserve member.   They have helped me see that it can be hard to be the wife of a deployed guard/reserve member.  Sometimes they don’t live near the unit so they don’t have an FRG or other support to help them through.  They have the same fears/questions/concerns as the rest of us and often it’s harder for them to get the information they need.  I could go on, but then I would have a short story instead of a blog post.  I encourage you to read their blogs and find out more of what their lives are like.

I do have to say that there is one thing I do agree with her on. Shocking, right?  It’s the wives taking photos in the SO’s (significant other’s) uniform.  My biggest issue?  YOU DON’T WEAR IT, YOUR SO DOES! Just like you don’t wear rank.  So how about we admire our men (or women) in uniform and enjoy taking it off of them?  And once you have them out of it, DON’T PUT IT ON.  Leave it on the floor or draped over the foot of your bed.  You haven’t earned the right to wear it.  You haven’t earned that right until you swear the enlisted oath or are commissioned.  Please show our men and women who have earned the right to wear the uniform that much respect.  I don’t care if it’s your boobs, butt or a baby bump that’s hanging out, it’s not cute.  And for the record, it’s not just National Guard wives who do it…I’ve seen plenty of active duty wives do it too!  Gasp, the horror! 

Imagine that, not all active duty wives are the same or think the same thing…

What do you think?

Edited: I orginally said she had been married 7 months.  I counted wrong; she's been married 6 months.

Also, I would like to add the following as of 4:30, February 10, 2011:

the blog post that is currently up that I referenced in my post is very different from the one I read less than 24 hours ago. When I first read it, it was more harsh and included a part on PTSD that was quite offensive to many people. Also, there were pictures as well as information on the writer and her husband. This information included that they met in November of 2010, that they met while he was recruiting and that they are currently living in her hometown. It also included a few wedding pictures and the date they were married...August 2011 (which means they've been married 6 months, not 7. That's my mistake). She is also due this month with a little girl and had a maternity shot of herself in her husband's uniform. There were other posts as well, including a response from her husband. There has been an apology from the Army: you can see it here:http://spousebuzz.com/blog/2012/02/command-apologizes-for-anti-guard-comments.html

43 comments:

  1. AGREE! It saddens me that one woman- married for 7 months- could write something so degrading. ON RECRUITING DUTY! Are you kidding me? Yet, she calls herself an Army wife... get real hun- those Guard wives are more Army wife than she is at this point in time. Good grief. Hope she can learn to be more accepting and I wish you would have been able to leave your comment- since it was respectful and everything a military spouse should be.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That blog post makes me so angry! If she wants to start pointing fingers she better look at herself and her own situation first because someone could just as easily say that he husband isn't doing the work of a "real Army soldier" because he is sitting pretty also not looking at a deployment for 4 years. Pot calling the kettle black much? She complains about a Guard wife stereotype (that I have never seen to be true) all while being an appalling Army wife stereotype.  

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was so disappointed to read her blog entry. I agree with what you would have told her about supporting eachother rather than tearing someone down. It's sad that she has to segregate it so much instead of looking at military wives as a single group. We are all supporters of our husbands and should all be supporters of eachother. 

    ReplyDelete
  4. First, I want to thank you for allowing comments on your blog. ;) Some people just don't do that, I see.


    After feeling pretty attacked by that lady as the wife a Reserve/former Guard soldier (who really is a soldier, lol), it is so nice to see active wives standing up against this. I'm not quite sure why she would ever think that non-active military are any less-than, since they ALL deploy to war zones, all risk their lives, and all go in place of her so she's able to sit at home and make crazy judgements in her spare time. Active duty and Guard/Reserve spouses all do many similar things- we all send out care packages, we all ache for our spouses to be home safe and sound, we see PSTD, we are proud, we worry, and we all have to make sacrifices. These men and women also do things that active duty don't do, such as be activated for state emergencies (battling floods, snowstorms, etc.) and often deploy for longer lengths of time. 

    I'm honored to be a part of this online military community, as I obviously don't live on a base. It's wonderful that even though some people, like herself, will never understand, I have the GREATEST group of military spouse friends who will always recognize that active or not, I am still an Army wife. Hooah. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nicole VandeventerFebruary 9, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    I'm going to pray. That's all I have to say.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had plenty of colorful words that I expressed in the privacy of my own home when I read that post. I will not repeat them here.

    I'll just say that I agree with you. Completely.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow! Read her post. she sounds angry, arrogant, and utterly foolish.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am PISSED!
    I wonder, would she say that to a wife of a fallen National Guard Soldier? Do his children miss him any less because he was not in the Army? Was his sacrifice for HER FREEDOM any less needed? I'm gonna stop there because the more I type the madder I get. She'll get hers ... when this little shore duty (sorry, always thinking Navy) thing is over and they are back in the real world. May those "Army Wives" eat her alive.  Oh, how I wish she'd screw up an allow comments again ... 

    ReplyDelete
  9. My sister's bf and one of my close friends were both air reserve and I have to say that they got way less respect then they deserved espcially since both did deployments. To me, I feel like that being the reserves/guard has it's own set of challenges then the life Chris and I lead as a active navy family. I base this solely on my friends' experiences and from reading about Erika's life on her blog. Something I love so much about this blog community is the support we all give each other. It isn't based on our husband's ranks or military branch affiliation or any of that. It's based on the shared human experiences of what it is like to be a spouse or s.o. in the crazy military world. Everyone's experience is unique and I feel it is really unfair of her to be so generally judgemental. We all have prejudices in this life but to be so unaware is inexcusible and reflects poorly on her as is evident by the response that the post has garnered. Obviously freedom of speech applies to her too so that should be honored but dammit how can people be so obtuse? ugh...drives me nuts. 
    Anyways, I love your response in this post. I hope she found her way to it. 

    ReplyDelete
  10. I agree on all counts with you dearie.. though I am no where near an  army wife at all, not the life for me... I highly respect those who chose that self sacrifice for our country. its amazing the strength you all have, abut this gal's blog just .. i dunno, makes me really pissed off. I will not say anything, since I have no stance, BUT, to let you know... that blog was opened back up for comments... and I think yours is very valid & true. #JussSayin Keep it up dearie :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well said - I could only wish that she would read it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow, her post really pisses me off. My husband was active duty and now Guard.  It's rough.  Yes, he mostly only has drill once a month.  Mostly.  But when he has drill, he's gone.  His Guard unit is 73 miles away from our house.  And the state won't pay for his hotel unless it is 75 miles away.  He could be called to do stuff at any time with his unit.  I can't say what. What about when I'm 9 months pregnant?  He'll either have to go to drill or make it up.  There is no "leave". 

    I missed the part of her post that says she is a recruiters wife but I have to wonder as you do, what has she actually done as a "real Army wife."

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm a new follower! I read that girl's blog, and found the post to be downright disrespectful. I'm a NG wife. For her to call my husband, not a "real" soldier and for me to be called, not a "real" army wife is disgraceful. My hubby went to BCT, AIT, trainings, and still has to do deployments, For her to stereotype NG wives as trashy and hicks is ignorant. I'm sure there are people like that, but in all branches. I'm just speechless.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow! I agree with you whole heartedly!


    I feel like I need to apologize to Guard spouses on her behalf. I get it is her blog and she can say what she wants but posting wrong information and bad mouthing other branches is just unacceptable! 

    My husband is active duty Navy and he is a Sailor and I'm extremely proud of him for it. I'm also extremely proud of the men and women who serve in the Army, the Marines, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, and the Reserves. They along with their families make the same sacrifices we do and deserve the same recognition.

    It makes me sad that she feels the need to say what she did about fellow wives instead of just connecting with them in support of each other.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I can only imagine how she feels about CANADIAN 'Army Wives'.... ;)  Well said.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I do have to say, I wish this had been written before Wednesday. I never thought of the uniform thing that way and I did just do a photo shoot for Josh using his camo top and cover. Granted, it's for him only and no one else will ever see it, I now see that it really is disrespectful. Thank you for pointing that out to me. You made some great points.

    As for the rest, it is a shame that the blogger couldn't muster up support and love for her fellow wives. It doesn't matter what branch they are in or if they are active or non active military, they are still military and they still protect our country and our freedoms. It doesn't matter who they work for, they are just as important as every active military branch.

    She wrote another blog about how the guard wives and stuff aren't "Army wives" I'm sorry, but ARMY National Guard, ARMY reserves...they are Army wives, whether she likes it or not. They may not be active duty, but they are still soldiers! Just like I feel Air Reserves are airmen, Navy Reserves are still sailors, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  17. To my wonderful Sister In Law as you know we were in the military both of us and had 3 kids.  Yes you are right in every respect it isnt easy.  The hardest part comes when you have kids.  If you are lucky he might be there for the birth of the little one but for most there not.  One thing you have going for you is Mom and Dad and the rest of his family are just down the road.  Never had much of that.  You do rely alot on your other military family no matter what branch they are.  That is why they made Family Support Group.  I was lucky to be one of the first to start this group up in the military unit.  Higher ups hand this program down and we were to make it work.  Not only was I the secretary and had to help deploy the solider I also had to take care of their families that were left behind there were 600 soliders.  I cried when they had to go cause I was expecting at the time so I was left behind.  So to watch my friends and my buddies leave and watching how hard it was on alot of the families and I was also one of the wives left behind it impacted me even more.  Some of the families want nothing to do with being bothered they are able to handle things on their own, some however just dont have a clue their pay gets cut, bills pile up they dont know where to turn.  Those are the ones you need to extend a hand and give them some guidence on where and how to find the extra help.  Some of the wives do go off and I agree dont bash the other services no matter what it is all the same rather you are army navy airforce active reserve but you get so lonely and so tired of handling everything by yourself and you lash out at anyone who will listen.  Some people just dont know how to handle it all and the solider him/herself feels trapped as well.  I didnt have any family around me for most of our time in the military.  Like alot of them he was always gone he might come home for 3 months and then be gone again for another year or two and then get assigned somewhere else and you are left alone dealing with everything again and when you get a system down that works for you he comes home and it changes again.  oh wait again gone ok i can do this you tell yourself oh we have be reassigned now i got to pack up the house clear post housing or put the house on the market take the kids out of school get everything done on this end make it to new base and guess what again gone it is all on you to get kids in school run around and get all the paper work done to get on post housing or look for another place to live the list is endless and the depression is a killer.  Dont let them get to you some you can help and others you cant do the best you can do and be happy with that cause at the end of it all it is what you can accept for yourself that matters.  Some peoples views you will never change but know you are true to yourself.  Now i am the one writing the novel cause i could go on and on with this stuff for i have been on both sides of the fence.  Take care hon and if you need anything i am just a call or type away...love hugs and kisses

    ReplyDelete
  18. I read her post late last night. I would like to say I am shocked by her 

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh i read her comments and not to say she is totally right but she is in some ways...she is right about respecting her husbands uniform the motto here is "If the army wanted you to have a wife and kids they would of issued you one"  what she is trying to say is that you can as a spouse get your hubby in trouble for how you act for he is responsible for you especially while he is on active duty.  As a reservist or national guard the rules are much more relaxed cause you normally dont see or have any interaction with the spouse.  So I can see her point for I was also a Reservist in the army what she doesnt point out is that yes they do two weeks a year and one weekend a month they and some do pick up more time during it.  They can do what is known as RMA days or weeks depending on what the unit needs.  This is active duty time and is active duty pay and it can last for months or just a day.  Most dont know about it and most dont do it.  The National Guard and Reservist can switch their weekends if they cant make it to work a weekday in other words they can make them up or just not go at all.  Some of them just dont show up at all and they are not kept to the standards of regular army and most can move and switch units at any time hold more than one mos and so on.  If after a while the solider doesnt show up all the military does cause it is too costly to go after them anymore is put them in IRR to finish out their time.  Half the time you dont even have a valid address of where they live.  Some take their duty seriously and some dont.  But there is a difference in what you are accouable for in actie duty cause you know where to find them and if the spouse gets in trouble the active duty person is responsible but if the spouse of a reservist gets in trouble no one will ever know.  Sad but true.   I think this is the point she is trying to get across that there are different standards for Active verse Reserve and that she takes her duties as a Active Duty wife seriously and doesnt want him in trouble or showing of any disrespect to him or the uniform and the wives of  the National Guard can do what ever she want and have him home more so and no one will know.  There is a fine line between them.  But either way it is hard on everyone no matter what.  That is what i was getting from what she was saying.  My thoughts

    ReplyDelete
  20. I read her post late last night. I would like to say I am shocked another wife would say that but I'm not because I have seen it before. Unfortunately she doesn't understand what support and military community really is.

    I am from Vermont and some of my friends from high school are NG or NG wives now. I have seen through their facebook and talking with them what they have gone through and it is no less than what my girls and I have gone through with David being in the Navy. There have been deployments, training, and time away. She is ignorant and naive. And if she keeps that "better than you" attitude she is going to get a real smack down when her husband is off from recruiting duty and she has to really deal with other wives.

    She (and her husband both) should expect that since they are NOT near a base that they are going to get asked what guard unit they are in. That is where they are stationed for goodness sakes. It makes sense they would be asked that because that is where they are at. It is disrespect to him as an active duty solider. It's just the place his is currently stationed at. Get over it and grow up.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow! Went back to see if I could comment today and it looks like she's taken her blog down. All that is there is this idiotic post. Think maybe someone got in trouble? Don't you just love people who freely speak "It's my opinion, my blog I can do what I want" and then back tracks?
    I hope they are both being dealt with. 

    ReplyDelete
  22. When I read this and her post this morning, I had so many mixed feelings! First, I was angry at her ignorance. How dare she try and divide us all but even worse, call NG members not Soldiers. Oh, so angry. And then I was angry at her. How dare she misrepresent the recruiting command and families. Lance and I met while he was on recruiting and I was just so freakin' offended that she would represent us that way (even though we're obviously not in recruiting anymore).
    My next reaction has much to do with what The Young Retiree said, SHE'S ON RECRUITING! I sure as hell had a hard time calling myself an 'Army Wife' while we were still on recruiting because those guys don't deal with the things they deal with while on active duty - no field time, no deployments, duty nights, nada - its very much like an office job, so for her to go on this high horse and belittle other fellow millie wives and soldiers like that was just plain shameful and an embarrassment to the VT Recruiting command and all of recruiting. 

    ReplyDelete
  23. Love your respomse!  Especially the point of building each other up as wives rather than tearing one another down! 

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think anger was a common response. I read it just shaking my head in amazement!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think her DH got spoken too. I'm not surprised she took the whole blog down....there was so much backlash! I think she knew her post was going to be controversial but I don't think she expected that kind of response!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I can understand that it can get annoying to be asked what guard unit you're in but just because you're army doesn't mean you're better...and I think they both forgot that.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Darlene, I agreed with her points about being respectful while DH is in uniform. However she was so disrespectful to those guard/reserve. I think it was her inexperience and immaturity showing. I also think she wanted to stir the pot...hence the title of the post. Also, since she has no experience as a guard/reserve wife, she really didn't sound like she knew what she was talking about!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I think her newbieness and pride is what was driving the post! I hope she has learned from this and is able to reach out to other milspouses!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks for the follow!

    I agree...there are people like that in all branches! I think she was just to new to the lifestyle to know/see it.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I wonder if she didn't know/realize that many of the reserve/guard are former active duty. I wonder what the percentage is? Anyway...hopefully as she continues in this lifestyle she will mature and come to appreciate the other branches...all of them!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I was able to write a comment but it wouldn't post....and as of now, the entire blog is gone.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I hope it finds it way to her too! I know that there was a lot of negative posts but I hope that she saw some of the other ones too.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks:) I bit my tongue several times in writing this post too!

    ReplyDelete
  34. You're welcome my friend! I'm thankful that I get to be apart of your virtual FRG:)

    ReplyDelete
  35. I knew who you were:) Praying is good!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I agree...supporting each other is how we're all going to get through and thrive in this lifestyle!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I tried to be respectful! I hope that she has learned from this and is able to embrace wives (and hubbys!) from all branches.

    ReplyDelete
  38. ooooofcourse it is.  -_- atleast you got to say how you felt here.

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear your thoughts, so please share! If you know us in real life, please refrain from using our names to help us keep some semblance of privacy.

Also, I ignore comments that only ask for a follow back. The best way to get me to YOUR blog is to leave comment showing that you've read SOMETHING on my blog. Thanks!