Tuesday, November 29, 2005

On the homefront

Soldier's Mom (via ArmyWifeToddlerMom) has a post up about what it's like to send your child to war, and reading it had me nodding in agreement, and seeing the similarities in my experience as a military girlfriend:

People -- especially other mothers -- tell me that they can not imagine what that would be like... that they would be a basket case 24 hours a day. Yes, that's it. It's like you live standing on your tippy-toes every day your child is away... and you live on the edge of breathlessness... a mental asthma attack gasping and gasping for strength and sanity and peace of mind. On the outside, we smile bravely and say, "you find the strength." And we do find the strength, but the truth is that we really only find distractions from our worry, our anxiety, our heartache.

We go to jobs. We try to maintain some semblance of our lives, but those lives have changed. And we blog. We write letters. We send cards. We shop for things to send our soldiers. We pack things for our soldiers. We stand in line at the post office to mail things to our soldiers.

We talk about them. We live for the opportunity to talk with them. Then we talk to others about what we talked about with our soldiers. And we wait for another chance to talk to them again.

[...]We talk or email other parents. We wonder what they've heard. We offer support when they're down (and we all get down) and we call when we're down 'cause we know they understand completely. We trade jokes, we trade information, we even trade recipes.

[...]Although we send one child (and my heart knows no limits to the compassion I feel for those mothers with two or more service members in the war!), we adopt many more... and eventually ALL soldiers -- every soldier, sailor, marine, airman -- become our sons and daughters.

We can not see a soldier anywhere without approaching them and thanking them and telling them that we, too, have a soldier.... because we all know that all soldiers have the same blood and speaking with that soldier makes us feel like we are talking to our soldier. We hug them if they let us -- and we hug them whenever we can. And we know somewhere there is a mom thanking us for taking the time to talk to (and for hugging) her soldier. She would do the same for me.

I can remember when I flew home last Christmas, and was on a flight with many soldiers returning home for the holidays, and I was in awe of the instant familiarity many had with each other, just because they all belonged to the military community, and instantly had some kind of connection.

A year later, I now feel that I belong to sub-community of the military: the homefront. Those who wave goodbye, and welcome back, and hold our breath in between.


Blogger airforcewife said...

I feel that way, too, and sometimes I worry that I am distancing myself too much from those who are not connected with the military.

I know that it can get very uncomfortable sometimes, and I get very big vibes of, "They just don't GET what I'm SAYING!"

1:49 PM  

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