When you enlisted, you thought it was just another job. A good job, with benefits that would make life easier for your spouse and one day your children. At the recruitment office or the family orientation, no one prepared you for how much you’d miss your partner during basic training and the everything that followed.
All around the country you see little yellow ribbons saying “Support our troops,” but who in the country really understands what kind of support you and your family need?
I know how you feel. As a former police officer’s wife and the mother of two military families, I’ve walked some of your walk. I’ve visited some of you in your homes for coffee, I’ve listened to your conversations and I’ve had successes and failures in my own marriages. I can tell you that if you don’t keep the communication happening, it’s going to get rougher than it needs to be.
The likelihood that you’ll face a divorce this year is as much as 3% higher than your non-military friends. Believe me I know, divorce hurts everyone, and it’s going to be more difficult for you than most couples, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time apart. Most of that time will be spent doing routine, safe things, and you may develop a habit of downplaying emotions. Then one day, it’s not going to be routine and you’ll be deployed and staring down a war zone. When that day comes, it’ll help if you have laid the groundwork in your relationship, so that even though you’re far apart, you’re still very much there for each other.
It’s my plan that we’re going to have some fun together, talking stuff that is playful. But sometimes we’re going to get down to the real work, and it may get hard. I believe that with your help and maybe some of the wisdom I have gained along the way, I can be useful to you.
I’m going to keep supporting you as best I can, and I welcome you to tell me what you want to talk about so that the materials that I put together truly do “Support our troops.”