A Reflection on the Military Wife
Just yesterday, I read this article in a publication that my retired military husband receives. The author is unknown. I suspect it has been around for a number of years, because some of the words and thoughts are a bit anachronistic or politically incorrect, but much truth is contained herein.
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A military wife is mostly girl. But there are times, such as when her husband is away and she is mowing the lawn or fixing a youngster's bike, that she begins to suspect she is also boy. She usually comes in three sizes:petite, plump and pregnant. During the early years of her marriage, itis often hard to determine which size is her normal one. She has babies all over the world and measures time in terms of places, rather than years. "It was in England that the children had the chickenpox. I was in Texas when Paul was promoted." At least one of her babies was born or a tranfer was accomplished when she was alone. This causes her to suspect a secret pact between her husband and the military, providing for a man to be overseas or on temporary duty at times such as these.
A military wife is international. She may a Kansas farm girl, a French mademoiselle, a Japanese doll, or a German fraulein. When discussing service problems, they all speak the same language. She can be a great actress. To heartbroken children at transfer time, she gives an Academy Award performance: "New Mexico is going to be such fun. I hear they have Indian reservations...and tarantulas...and rattlesnakes." But her heart is breaking with theirs. She wonders if this is worth the sacrifice.
An ideal military wife has the patience of an angel, the flexibility of putty, the wisdom of a scholar and the stamina of a horse. If she dislikes money, it helps. She is sentimental, carrying her memories with her in an old footlocker. One might say she is a bigamist, sharing her husband with a demanding entity called "duty." When duty calls, she becomes number 2 wife. Until she accepts this fact, her life can be miserable.
She is, above all, a woman who married a man who offered her the permanace of a gypsy, the miseries of lonliness, the frustration of conformity and the security of love. Sitting among her packing boxes with squabbling children nearby, she is sometimes willing to chuck it all until she hears the firm steps and the cheerful voice of the lug who gave her all this.
Then, she is happy to be...his military wife.