June 18, 2007

MILITARY READS

After the Milblogs Conference, CaliValleyGirl wrote:

Since my boyfriend/fiancé has returned, I have distanced myself from the Milblogging community. Not really on purpose, but just because once my soldier returned I wanted to celebrate his being home, act like we were a “normal” couple, doing normal couple things
...
When he was deployed I knew everything that was going on, the names of operations, the areas of operations, how things were going in these areas. I would check the names of fallen soldiers and read about their lives. I read milblogs religiously. I sought out new connections, searching for degrees of separation. I lived and breathed the war on terror. And I was shocked, shocked I tell you, that other people didn’t share my fervor in following all things combat related.

I often complain that war is too distant from the general public. Because of the deployments, soldiers clock-in and then clock-out of the war. They aren’t in war mode the whole time. And consequently their families aren’t in war mode. I complain about the general public lacking the passion to fight this war, but I realize that I am just as much part of that problem. As soon as my boyfriend came back, I clocked-out.

Over the weekend, I realized that if you aren’t a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem. I had subconsciously become one of those people who lives as if we aren’t at war. And part of me thought that in 2 ½ years things might be over in Iraq and Afghanistan, and my fiancé won’t be deploying again. That this war doesn’t really directly affect me anymore. Over the weekend I realized that I hope my fiancé deploys again in 2 ½ years. Because if he doesn’t deploy, it means that we have given up.

I can completely understand her feelings here. And I applaud her for expressing them so honestly; when I tried to bring this up once on SpouseBUZZ, it didn't work out so well.

I still spend roughly the same time online as I did when my husband was deployed, but the hunger for frontline stories isn't as deep as it was when he was gone. Back then I needed to feel connected to Iraq in a different way than I do now. And while I am just as emotionally invested in the outcome of the war, I know that I too am half-clocked out. Or at least enjoying the idea that I have the luxury of being half-clocked out until next year.

But I am trying to reconnect with what I've let go since March 2005. So I offer some military reads today.

Read this day in the life of Greyhawk.
Read this old Matt Sanchez story if you missed it.
And read this encounter with a suicide bomber from Tadpole.

Posted by: Sarah at 10:23 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 Your contributions as a Blogger are as important as any marine's fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan. Please keep that in mind. The Milbloggers are the source of the _real_ information about the "War against Terror and Islamofaschism".

Posted by: Zeno Davatz at June 18, 2007 09:37 PM (FcYJW)

2 I'm not proud of it, but I've done my own share of clocking out since my sweetheart redeployed. I still pay attention, but I don't obsess anymore. Not to make excuses, but do you think part of the reason we do this is to give ourselves a break from the constant worry and burden we lived with during deployment? Maybe we're just replenishing our sanity reserve for the next tour.

Posted by: Bette at June 20, 2007 07:47 AM (ICdbF)

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