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One More person gets it

March 23, 2009

I’ve been sitting on this – I didn’t know how to say what I wanted to say – and where to post it. I hope this isn’t going to upset any of our new readers -HI Welcome!!

The other day – I had a conversation with a young woman at my office. She had listened to a radio show interview– Bringing home the fallen – on WAMU (the local Public Radio station). The interviews were of the Marines who are tasked to escort the fallen Marines from the plane that brought them home, to the mortuary. Here’s a link to it… It’s amazing. It reduced her to tears (when I found it on line, and heard it… I sniffled too.) She sought me out, to ask me a few questions.

What hit me so hard – was the first question she asked me. How do you deal with that possibility? Do you think about it? It took me a minute. I remembered a discussion on another blog – about planning our service member’s funeral. Now to me, that’s a fact of life, it’s perhaps not normal to anyone who isn’t military, but it is to me and to many other military family members.   I told her yes, I had thought about it, I had even planned both my son’s funeral and my husband’s.  I didn’t have to finalize those plans.    My husband and I talked about it, after he realized that it would help me if we did, if we made some decisions so I didn’t have to do during that awful time, it if I had to.

For the first time, I think she got it. She realized that deployments aren’t just a lousy way to spend a marriage; that the military means more than separation; that we are in many ways very different than civilians and their families.

Then, a few days later..  I got asked (by someone else) where Baghdad was, and why was my husband there…. sigh… I suppose we have to do this one person at a time!


9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2009 2:35 am

    Every day my husband flies, I think about his funeral. Morbid, yes. Unrealistic, no. He’s barely through training, and we’ve already lost friends.

    I was discussing military culture with a friend, today, and realized (again) how little understood it is. I was trying to explain my apprehension about my husband’s new deployment-heavy job, and they just didn’t understand- like you said, it’s not that its a lousy way to spend a marriage (although it is!)…it’s about the fact that he may not come back alive. That said, he wouldn’t be the man I love if he weren’t willing (if we weren’t willing) to deal with that fact.

  2. FOW permalink
    March 23, 2009 5:59 am

    Sometimes I thinkmy head will explode when people ask me questions like “Why would your husband go on a Cruise for 6 months and leave you home alone” but then I remember that they have no idea about the Navy and I laugh.

  3. March 23, 2009 12:18 pm

    It’s always in the back of our minds, isn’t it? Sometimes it pops to the front of my thoughts and takes by breath away ~ what if he doesn’t come home? Then I push it back and carry on. Just like all of us do.

    Thanks for helping your coworker understand one more aspect of this life.

    I wish I could have seen the look on your face when that dufus asked where Baghdad is and why your husband is there. You were probably much more polite and patient than I would have been.

  4. cindy permalink
    March 23, 2009 12:36 pm

    I’m new to this great family and glad I’ve found you 🙂

  5. neverapartinheart permalink*
    March 23, 2009 1:46 pm

    Welcome Cindy, and we are glad you found us too!

  6. March 23, 2009 2:35 pm

    I told on friend-of-a-friend that my husband was in Iraq for 15 months, and she said, “But how do you visit him? Is it really expensive?”


  7. March 23, 2009 2:40 pm

    My favorite is, “Well, he will be home soon, right?” And then I get to be all snarky and like, yeah, if 11 months is soon. (Which of course I never acutally say) And it is always followed by, “Oh my God! A year!?!” And then I think to myself, yeah, this ain’t summer camp folks. But I try to keep those extra snarky thoughts to myself. Sometimes it doesn’t work so well.

  8. March 23, 2009 4:54 pm

    Thanks Amy, I just snorted out my chai…Is it really expensive? Umm..yeah…what are we up to now? Closing in on a trillion dollars?

  9. March 24, 2009 10:26 am


    I’m a Royal Navy wife rather than a US Navy one but I assume our issues are the same…FOW: those ‘cruise’ comments make me laugh too, I once told someone that my husband hadn’t been able to be at the birth of our 1st baby as he was at sea and she got really angry on my behalf thinking he’s gone on holiday without me!

    I’m enjoying this site it’s really informative. Thanks

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