January 04, 2005


I have always maintained that I am lucky to be a modern military wife and that the struggles we face are nothing compared to those who have gone before us. In times of fear, I always count my blessings that my husband fights in Iraq instead of on Normandy Beach. I perhaps could have endured WWII though; tonight, after watching Glory, my benchmark is set much higher.

I'm brave, but could I have sent my husband to fight in the Civil War? Could I have endured each excruciating moment, knowing that he was lining up in perfect rows in plain sight of the enemy, drummers and colors nearby? Could I have born the agony of imagining him fighting with a bayonet? I'd like to think that I could have carried that weight, knowing that the cause soldiers fought for then was the same cause we fight for today. But it's hard to say; in an age where supposedly 77% of HMMWVs are up-armored and 100% of men wear armor plates, how can we even fathom rows of men trying to reload their muskets faster than the other guy?

I would hope that I could be as strong as women past. Edith Roosevelt hung a photo of her dead son on her mantel to defy the Germans who sent it to her. I picture her when times get difficult. I'm certain that Civil War women deserve far more respect and admiration than I can guess.

Military wife-ing has gotten progressively easier, no matter what anyone says. Watch Glory and imagine your husband fighting for freedom back then if you don't believe me.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:20 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1 While I do not doubt they suffered much, I feel the wives of today's army have it much, much worse. This is not an argument one wishes to elaborate upon, but for me you have it far worse. That being said, you've nothing to worry about anyway

Posted by: Sean at January 04, 2005 06:39 PM (37FD7)

2 the wife and families endure more hardship than us, soldiers. we love our families; they didn't sign up for the army we did. great blog.

Posted by: Sminklemeyer at January 04, 2005 11:46 PM (m+gEn)

3 I think we have it better than the wives of soldiers serving in every war before OEF/OIF. Today's wives have information thrown at them from every direction. (Radio, TV, Internet, email, snail mail, phones, etc.) Civil/WWI/WWII war wives had rumors and imagination to deal with, just as current wives does. However, today's wives can combat rumor and imagination with all of the other media input. Before the rumors of a soldiers death or injury can begin to circulate units and FRG's are initiating phone rosters to head off the rumors. As recently as the Vietnam War, spouses were forced to move out of quarters (housing) when their spouses deployed. Imagine having to move out of quarters these days with each deployment. Oh what fun we would have had!

Posted by: Vonn at January 05, 2005 10:29 AM (FmIVz)

4 With modern communication like telephones, e-mail, blogs, and the like, you can at least periodically be in contact with your husband. Imagine just getting letters once a week or month, and not hearing their voice for years on end. Or imagine in times of sailing ships where you would hear virtually nothing of your husband for 2 or 3 years!!

Posted by: Tom at January 05, 2005 11:29 AM (D7UYv)

5 There is a major difference in the current families left behind. In the past units were community based. This concept includes Soldiers mobilized from one post. There was a community tie and affiliation with the deployed as well as an ingrained support for the families left behind. Today with so many reserve component forces being mobilized spouses left behind are often living in communities where they are the only household going through the experience. This can lead to stress put on what were previous friendships. Spouses hear comments like, "How are you going to get by with him gone for a year?", "I couldn't do that, I love my family too much." such comments stir ire in spouses. Thoughts of retorts flare "I don't know, perhaps you could give me a hand with my 4 kids while I mow the lawn/shovel snow/etc" or “Yeah, I know what you mean, I guess my husband doesn't love us as much as you love your family as demonstrated by your lack of commitment." It never ceases to amaze me how many people support the troops but will not invite or socialize with the spouses who need social interaction the most when the other adult in the household is gone for months and often years at a time. Support the troops yes, but lend a hand and actually help the wives left behind.

Posted by: cfborman at January 29, 2005 04:08 PM (UOr9J)

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