Wednesday, March 17, 2010

And he Wonders Why I Get Upset

I debated writing this post because of what some of my family members might say when they read it. But then I thought well this is my blog about my thoughts and feelings and I'm just going to say it. So just a little disclaimer in the beginning here if my inlaws are reading this this is my blog and I'll say what I want to.

Okay, that said. My brother in law is a member of the United States Army. He has not been a member for very long. Joined in his late 30's and he's now 40. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that he wants to serve his country. What I don't think is great is that he whines and complains that he's stationed miles away from his family (meaning his wife and her three children whom he has only been married to now for going on 3 years, but who he has had a long on again off again relationship with lots of infidelity on her part, but then suddenly when there's the chance that he could be shipped over seas she amazingly wants to marry him). Yeah, but we won't go into my feelings about her. Well, wait a minute that's not true, I just might bring her up again.

So then there are families much like my friend Renee's family who are in the process of getting ready for something like his one millionth deployment to Afghanastan. All year long or longer deployments. He has missed out on much of his children's lives in this time. And through it all my friend Renee has managed to deal with all of the kids and numerous medical problems and surgeries without her husband there to help her.

Then we go back to my brother in law. His wife and family could have moved with him to North Carolina. There was a house there for them and everything. First the excuse was they couldn't sell the house here so they had to stay. Now never mind that her father lives in the house with them and could have stayed behind to sell the house. Or the house could have sold with no one in it. Then it was her health. She couldn't be in a warm climate. Well, anyone who has been in New England in the summer knows that it definitely gets very hot and very humid here. Maybe not for as long as it would in North Carolina, but it definitely gets hot here. But this started their crusade of getting him transferred closer to home. Letters from us as the family stating that we can't take care of her because we have our own responsibilities.

All the while I kept thinking of Renee who's husband was probably deployed yet again. She didn't get to write letters stating what a hard ship it was for her husband to be away. Even though with four children at the time under the age of 8, one of them with Down Syndrome and Cancer. And now, just three months after adopting their 5th child from the middle east who also has Down Syndrome her husband is preparing for another deployment. But for her this is just the life of a military wife and family. They do what they have to do. Just about 6 years ago she moved with her husband out of her comfort zone and home of California her entire life and moved to TN because that was where he was stationed. They have made a home in TN. They have a life and friends there. She found a support system so when her husband is away she has someone to lean on and help pick up the slack. Right now she's in the process of talking to her 5 children about daddy going away again and making out wills and power of attorney and all the other stuff that goes into preparing for a deployment.

Then there is my brother in law who did get his transfer closer to home. He's now stationed out of NY, but still only is home on the weekends. And there is still the complaints of I never get to see my spouse. But that is by their choice. They have chosen to keep two separate homes. It does not have to be this way for them. So why wouldn't I be upset when I see my friend just going about life and dealing with the day to day things without complaining that her husband is being deployed yet again? They have never had to deal with deployments. He has always been close enough and capable of coming home should there be an emergency. Maybe they should be counting their blessings and thanking the men like Frank Garcia who are leaving their families behind yet again. I know I am forever grateful to people like him.

And I know many other military families who have had some difficult things to deal with from the military. Situations where they weren't allowed to move with their spouse. Having to uproot the entire family and move overseas. And they have done it with some complaint yes, but not with some motive to try and find a way out of it. Yes, it stinks, but it is the life of the military. And if you can't handle the things the military throws at you, then maybe the military is not the place for you. And that, brother in law of mine, is why I get so upset when you complain about not seeing your family. Because the truth of it is, if your family really wanted to be with you, then nothing would stop them. I know if Joe's job told him he had to move hundreds of miles away I sure would be following him. No house not selling or medical condition would keep me from being with my husband. And my children from being with their father.