Sometimes they actually have to go somewhere...
Published on January 30, 2007 By greywar In Current Events

     What is the military for? What does it mean to be a military family? These are questions which go largely unasked by some military families until the day that Mom or Dad gets deployment orders.

     90% of military families confront these questions then and there, reaching the inevitable conclusion that Mom or Dad is a soldier and soldiers fight in wars. This means that separations from their families are not just to be tolerated but expected and planned for.

     It is the remaining ~10% that cause most of the military’s familial issues. This 10% have spouses who somehow believe that the purpose of the military is to provide their family with a steady paycheck, free health care, post housing, cheap day care, job placement services, and a host of post services in exchange for Mom or Dad to stay stateside and out of the line of fire until retirement.

     It is these “entitlement” spouses that anti-war groups seek out for protests and press pieces. These are the folks you will see going on and on about their spouse’s deployment and how “unfair” it is to the family. The only thing that bitching about deployments does is cheapen and denigrate the support of those families who actually “get it”.

     These are the spouses who waste hours and hours of 1SG (First Sergeant) and Commander time making useless phonecalls complaining about every single aspect of their spouses deployment. They are the ones who constantly ask "Isn't there a single soldier who can go instead?" and don't see the illogic of treating single soldiers like lesser soldiers.

     When you marry into a military family or your current spouse decides to join what do you expect? Honestly, should the military simply be an upgraded form of welfare with no expectations of the beneficiary?

     My wife is a Sergeant First Class on active duty. It is my expectation that she can/will/and should be available to deploy. I do not believe that he government “owes” her a job or my family her presence.

     Would it suck for her to be deployed? Absolutely. Would it suck more if she was deployed 4 or more times in 5 years? Sho’nuff it would. Would it be unreasonable to expect this sort of deployment from a soldier? Not a bit.

     They are Soldiers… not city employees. They fight Wars… not just stateside exercises. They Die… while those fortunate enough to live free under their protection sit at home in comfy chairs kvetching about the commissary lines.

     If your Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine is home right now, be thankful. Go to Vegas, take some time to cuddle and watch TV, or do whatever you like with them but do NOT act like you didn’t know they were in the military when their next set of orders comes in.



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on Jan 30, 2007
on Jan 30, 2007
It is *amazing* how many Military families (spouses for the most part) get their panties in a bunch due to deployment/war requirements. The refusals and objectors that come out of the woodwork when even the mention of deployment arises is a little embarassing. I have tried for 2 AND A HALF YEARS to get deployed and it pisses me off when I see someone trying to duck their duties.

Even more amazing than Soldiers and their spouses these days is the Military parents (especially the parents of fallen Soldiers). I understand not agreeing with the war, but your child elected to *volunteer* for the service (no draft to twist their arm anymore). Do not disrespect thier memory by protesting and being an idiot. It hasn't and won't make a difference to the GWOT.
on Jan 30, 2007
This touches on a number of themes you've hit recently. Link

on Jan 30, 2007
I think the main reason some wives complain is because of the irregularity of deployments.

Meaning for example, my husband has gone to the desert more times than I can count since 1989. He is gone right now as a matter of fact. And yet, we meet people all the time, same rank, same type job (though different classifications/qualifications) that have NEVER GONE. In over twenty years of service, my husband has never been home over 6 months straight. Period.

Am I complaining? No, I am stating facts. We chose it, we live it, and we're happy with our lives.

But I'd be lying if I said it didn't bug me sometimes when I meet women whose husbands have NEVER deployed. For one reason or another they all have some "great" excuse why my husband can go all the time and theirs "just can't."

It's none of my business, I get that. But I'm not blind and it does occasionally rub me the wrong way.
on Jan 30, 2007

Being a brat, I never saw it that way.  Old enough to observe, I did see some that way.

Very well put.

on Jan 31, 2007
lw oopsie
on Jan 31, 2007

Name me one other job where you can flat-out refuse to do to the work you're being paid to do simply because you disagree with the boss's decisions and not be terminated for it.

Some law firms allow client refusal based on moral issues, and a few PR firms do as well. It's not quite the same though; you can't really be a soldier without fighting/deploying in a war but you can be a PR expert who doesn't do Big Tobacco.
on Jan 31, 2007
My wife is a Sergeant First Class on active duty.

I always knew she would end up being my boss.

This is a topic close to home. In almost eleven years in the army and ten years married, I've spent roughly half that time away from home. I couldn't do it without Life-happens' full support, and I don't get how so many of our guys and their families just have no concept of what it means to be deployed.
on Jan 31, 2007
I always knew she would end up being my boss
It's that lack of a degree holding you back...
on Jan 31, 2007
It's that lack of a degree holding you back...

must... control... Fist... of... Death...!

I missed you while you were gone, Grey.

I don't know why...
on Feb 03, 2007
Well and here I am.. Married now for what.. just over 4 months now.. and I look at going out for 6 months real soon... just over a month actually...

My wife hates it. Don't get me wrong. She's deeply loving and so supportive that I could never ask for more from her. Yet I know all the same she hates it. She doesn't want me to leave for that long, just as I myself don't want to leave her for that long. Yet neither of us really have a choice. For one, as stated I CHOSE this job. I was not forced into it, I signed the contract willingly and of my own free will. I'm told to go somewhere with my ship, so I will.

Yet my wife recently has been telling me stories of women who are married to fellow sailors.. who havn't gone on a single deployment in 7+ years of serving, and those wives are bitching that now their husbands are going out for 6 or so months and how much it aggrivates them... Luckly my wife has no pity at all for them She shouldn't either IMO because here I am, going to be leaving for a 6 month a few days after hitting my 1 year mark and these other wives are complaining about it when their husband has made it 7 years....

It's part of the job. Just as much a part of the job for the wife or husband of the military member. If you don't like it, best not marry someone in the armed forces because no matter what brance.. (well cept maybe coast guard) it's going to happen.
on Feb 03, 2007

I'll second that one! I have never looked forward to the times that SPC Nbs and I have spent apart over the years. I have learned to deal with it, and try to use the time constructively, because me bitching about it isn't going to accomplish anything other than make me look like a spoiled, petulant child. Unfortunately, there are enough spouses who complain that it makes things more difficult for the rest of us.

Case in point: I had been having major vision problems and was very restricted in my driving for awhile. Because of these limitations, I needed my husband to help me move. When he requested leave for that purpose, he was immediately threatened with being kicked out of the Army. Why? Because they assumed he would try to get out of deploying due to my illness. It's taken alot of time and paperwork to prove that is not what either of us was wanting. Do I want him to go? No, but we deal with it, without complaining to everyone around, because that's what he signed up for and I agreed to. End of story.
on Feb 10, 2007
Grey - As soon as I read this, I remembered the guy in our unit in Korea (not gonna name drop, but his last name began with a K). I remember a bunch of us had to deploy up to the forward locations when our link when down, and his wife called the freaking unit to INFORM us that she wasn't allowing us to send her husband. I couldn't freaking believe it....and that wasn't even for a real wartime deployment. More like a one week TDY. Unbelievable....
on Feb 10, 2007
We lived on base next to a bunch of TAR's and while my hubby was gone for six month deployments they were all complaining about their husband's being gone for a week or two. Argh! That isn't even long enough to miss them - lol!

My husband's last duty station was the type where he could go at any time with no notice but no long six month deployments. I have to admit that was still hard just in a totally different way.

I used to complain to my hubby (before I turned over my new non-complaining leaf) but never in a million years would I call his command.