September 17, 2012

Supporting the Troops

At the risk of understatement, it has been a hellish week in the world.

There’s been a lot to follow on several fronts and lots of frightening developments, both abroad and here at home. I think I went from shocked to infuriated to exasperated, and all over again, about 4 times a day. I’m not going to lie, the idea that anyone was flipping out over yet another iPhone in the wake of half a dozen nations trying to provoke us to war was…disturbing.

And seriously, Apple, who decides to do a product launch the week of Sept 11? Did you really think you were going to be the biggest news that week?

Out of all the din, I was brought up short when a fellow milspouse lamented that the troops had been forgotten, not just in the unfolding drama of the week, but in general. You know, one of those, “People care about an ambassador being killed but not about troops that die every day”?

And I understand how it can feel that way. Something civilians don’t always remember is that weeks like these are doubly stressful for our military families. In addition to the initial shock and horror, there are also implications that are very personal. Immediately, a milspouse’s mind leaps to, “What does this mean for my family, not just the world?”

But while civilians don’t always seem the most engaged with the military community moment-by-moment, to say that they don’t care at all is also unfair. Now, I know my perception is a little skewed because I am active in a very patriotic political community, and I grew up in one. Rarely a day goes by that I do not get a spontaneous expression of support and appreciation for myself or my husband. And when a patriotic holiday comes around, watch out – my twitter mentions explode!

But still, I know that not everyone experiences that. Which frankly is a crime considering we’re living in a time of ongoing war over a decade on multiple fronts. But that’s another issue.

Anyway, it made me heartsick to see one of my lovely millies feeling like the country had forgotten her and her soldier. Especially since I know that’s not the case. So, I took it to twitter.

I asked my great twitter friends to let our millies and troops know they were appreciated and not forgotten. I didn’t get to start as early in the day as I wanted, but even still, my twitter peeps didn’t disappoint.



And that was just by the time I went to bed.

The point is, they haven’t forgotten us, millies. Even when it feels like we’re all doing very thankless jobs, especially our servicemembers, they believe that our servicemembers are America’s best, bravest and brightest and deserve nothing but this nation’s unconditional gratitude and support.

On the other hand, civilians need to remember that the general warm fuzzies they feel when they see the meme pics of deployed soldiers on facebook (and they do feel them) don’t go past their four walls unless they are turned into words. If you happen to run across a milspouse at the store or in social media, do say a quick “Thanks, we’re praying for you.” I’m not asking for myself, because like I said, I’m already pretty blessed in that area. But maybe the millie you’re encountering at that moment just dealt with all three kids having the flu and her van’s engine light just came on and she hasn’t heard from her husband in 3 weeks. It might be awkward for you, a spontaneous expression of gratitude, but it might just be the bright point in that woman’s day.

As would be helping her carry her groceries to said van. Just sayin’.

6 comments:

  1. Really love this post.
    I love that i have support but i know plenty of mil spouses who dont. Even if you have support its always great to hear it. Really love this post and plan on sharing if thats okay!

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  2. I would say it's about 70% support to 30% (random made up statistic as most are) ambivalence for me. I'll mention that my husband is in Afghanistan to coworkers. Most will say thank you, but then there are the others that stare at me like I have ten heads. It gets even worse when they say, "There is still a war going on?" Uh? Most Americans have their hearts swell with pride when they see a member of the military, regardless of their political affiliation. If they actually help out a military family, that's a different story, but I think most people do support the military. Does this make any sense? I'm on night shift brain.

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  3. This is an absolutely fantastic post!! It is wonderful to see the support for mil spouses!

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  4. Wonderful post Jaci! Thank you to all of our men and women who serve, especially the family members. We have a tough job at home when our loved ones are deployed! God Bless!

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  5. Love it!!! I saw all the RTs yesterday and it was fantastic. =)

    I think there are a lot of civis out there who just don't know what to say or how to say it. As an awkward person myself, I get it. But I also get how hard it is when you never hear a "thank you" or "thanks, we're so proud, what can we do to help?".

    It's a difficult situation all the way around.

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  6. Great post and I just added you on twitter. Thanks for joining our hop.

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