Monday, September 19, 2011

The military isn't just the guys with the big guns...

Maybe I should've written this rant a couple of days ago when it happened so that it truly would've been a rant.  However, I think it would've required a decent amount of censorship if I wrote it then…

Over the weekend I visited a fast food establishment.  I won't name names, but lets just say it isn't open on Sundays and promotes with cows saying "eat mor chikin."  Almost all locations of this particular establishment offer a military discount.  This particular location informed me that their military discount is only for military…the ones with the white active duty ID and a uniform, not the dependents with the pink ID.  This infuriated me so much that I left, without purchasing the sandwiches for my kids.  I then went and bought burgers at another location (one that offers no military discount).

The issue wasn't about having to pay a little bit more for the food.  It was the principle behind them not issuing me the discount because I don't wear a uniform and shoot the bad guy.  The military isn't just the guys with the big guns….

I am the military.  My children are the military.  Although I may not put my life on the front lines like my husband, I make sacrifices for the freedoms of this country on a daily basis….sacrifices that most people would not be willing to make.  Yes, I married a military man so the sacrifices I make were my choice.  However, it upsets me when my role is dismissed and basically deemed completely unimportant.

Yes, a great deal of my role is as a cheerleader and moral supporter for my husband when he is deployed overseas (kind of a reason for him to keep doing the job he is there to do and knowing he has someone waiting for him at home).  The military is a family, we all support each other.  Just like a real family, we might not all like each other, but we pull together and support each other when we need it.  I don't just support my husband, I support his friends and their families too.  It is a role I am proud to have, however, it can be a trying role.

I have been a military spouse for twelve years.  In those years, I have spent 50% of my marriage separated from my husband, I have given birth to a child with my husband literally on the other side of the world, I have been a single-parent for half my childrens' lives…all in support of our country.  I have spent late nights comforting friends who miss their husbands, being a shoulder to cry on for a friend who miscarried during her husbands deployment, and watching a friend's children so that they can have their first day "off" in months…all in support of our country.  I don't talk to my husband for days, have sleepless nights worrying whether or not he is okay, pray I never have to hear the dreaded knock of the door at 2am, all while assuring my children that Daddy is fine and misses them too…all in support of our country.  If the military tells us to, my children and I are ready to move anywhere in the world, leaving behind schools, jobs, friends, and our home…all in support of our country.  My children are 50% more likely than non-military children to join the military (either as an active duty member or as a supportive military spouse), meaning my family will more than likely continue actively support our country for years after my husband is no longer a gun-toting member of the military.

I love my family (near, far, and unrelated)…I love my country…and I am beyond proud of my husband.  I would change nothing, and would not hesitate to choose this path as my life again.

I generally don't harp on the  military spouse soapbox, but this time I was making an exception.  Having my sacrifices belittled and to basically tell me that what I do for our military doesn't count, well, quite frankly, it pisses me off…

Contributed by J.L.Quick of The Military Is My Husband's Mistress
A copy of this blog has been sent to the above listed establishment…I will update if I hear anything back.