Monday, June 11, 2007

News from a spouse in Iraq

Al at deadissue have found a gem again!

The author also has a page at Daily Kos.

The author's wife serves in Iraq as an officer and his perspective is one that scarcely makes the mainstream media. In my opinion, it's even more insightful as the author's wife is serving in Iraq and his reflections break down stereotypes of military spouses and their loved one's service to the nation.
I am frazzled, I am tired and I am disgusted. My wife has a personal blog and
posts from Iraq. She is often deleting my posts telling me I'm offending some
who may be reading. She also warns me I am referring to her know
who...the idiot Redneck who used to be our Governor when she and I met in Texas
during the Clinton era. The military was actually enjoyable back then.

His description is powerful. Unless you have served, you cannot fathom the day to day responsibilities of military family life. I was single my entire military career, but I know that my service did strike fear in some family members.

15 months away, carrying a weapon virtually everywhere you go. Worrying about yourself and a platoon of 32 soldiers and your family thousands of miles away.

It's a tremendous burden.
I live in fear every day. I look down the street hoping not to see any cars coming. The dreaded government vehicle pulling into the driveway is my greatest
fear. I become sick when I allow myself to imagine how I will react to that
terrible news so many of us have endured. That being said, I do have to plan for
my wife's death. What a terrible thing to write. I have to plan for her death
because that is the responsible thing to do as the at-home parent for our kids.
Arrangments have to be discussed. Burial plots, family, insurance, inheritance,
etc. The only thing harder in life for me to deal with as a military spouse is
the sight of those Government cars.

The tears and the crying and the goodbyes are very difficult, but sitting here
day after day waiting for any communication is enough to make me want to
take a long nap. A 15 month nap to be exact. That is how long my wife will
be gone. Watching my wife say goodbye to her kids with tears running down
her face and the kids crying is enough to make me want to completely lose it. I
cried watching her cry saying both "goodbye for now" and "please never forget
me" to our kids. She was saying she'll see them soon and saying goodbye forever in a fragile and motherly way. It is a terrible thing to load onto children. It is a difficult thing to do for a mom who will be at war for months on end. I haven't cried so hard, (in private) with full voice, and clenched fists, and red-faced with pain, and with tears running off my nose and chin in years. I am no longer a God-fearing agnostic, just in case. I have been praying a lot lately and my wife, who grew up in Catholic schools, taught the kids to pray nightly.

Imagine this situation occurring half a million times over...

It's sad, but the story depicted above never sees the light of day in the mainstream media. Thanks to the Daily Kos and great military bloggers like Al at deadissue, these stories see the light of day.

He posts a few emails from his wife, who unlike Matt Sanchez, is truly embedded in Iraq.
Victory is the camp that most of the politicians come and visit. It has palaces,
what used to be nice buildings and even a man-made lake. To me, it is a shame
what we have done to this city. I look around and I could see how everything was
destroyed. We drove through what used to be a zoo and now it is just a field
with over grown grass and trash.

Of course the politicians go to the nice camps! I'm sure glad Congressman Kennedy predicted we'd be able to vacation in Iraq, just like California, in 5 years!
My wife wants to run for office one day. She wants to become a US Senator and
maybe President. She is certainly qualified.

She can count on me for a contribution, that's for sure! I know a few Washington guys as well, we can hook something up!

The other email's are equally as powerful and moving, and despite it being reality for those that have served, if more people felt this pain perhaps our nation would not be on the verge of losing its military power.

Other than the death and destruction in Iraq, the destruction of our military by Bush is what bothers me the most. For 11 years, I provided blood, sweat and tears to a great organization, only to see Bush work to destroy 200 years of military history.

Our soldiers are coming back to a broken VA and healthcare system.

Our equipment is in such great disrepair that stateside units rarely get to train on equipment they will use in Iraq, because it's needed there!

Regardless of my rant, this stuff I came across today is amazing! Thank you for getting this story out there.


Matt Sanchez said...

I've found the morale to be very high here, including in the FOB's which are smaller less accomodating bases.

When you're back in the US, it's a luxury to whine and cry about what's "going on here" in Iraq. But when you're here, you simply don't have that type of commodity.

Blue man said...

Ever heard of "false motivation"? We had it all the time on active duty.

Leave it to an extreme righty to take a shot at soldiers families back in the United States who suffer while their loved one is deployed.

If you don't think a soldier in Iraq cries and whines you are a bigger tool than any of us have ever imagined.

We're trained to keep our emotions inside, to not let anyone know how we are feeling and what we are thinking. It's an unspoken part of the Warrior ethos.

Matt Sanchez said...

No "potshot" just my experience. I've embedded with Army and Marines. I've seen very focused and level-headed people performing at a high standard.

Not too many people here feeling sorry for themselves. Even the liberals seem to cope.

Blue man said...

Morale is high, recruiting is down!