Ding, dong, DADT is dead!

Military Wife Life

Now that I’ll be moving to Militaryville to live with Captain Awesome, I think it’s time to get this off my chest: I have a huge aversion to being an Army wife.

It’s not that I look down on them. It’s the opposite – I know too well the sacrifices they make.    A lot of those sacrifices can’t even be measured  because it’s stuff that will never happen if you’re a military wife. How are you supposed to have a career when you have to pick up and move jobs every two or three years? How do you go to a top-tier law school and live with your partner at the same time?

I’m gonna come out and say it: The Army has a lot of BALLS to be asking what they ask of military partners. And they foster a culture of silent ascetism to force people to be down with that. Face it: if you bitch too much about your lot in military life, that makes you a shitty Army wife, according to the military community.

The military asks a helluva a lot from Army wives, and I’m not gonna do it.

Saying that goes against volumes of military etiquette. It makes me look like a shitty Army wife. Well, I am one. Even though Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has been nominally repealed, I do not support and WILL NEVER support the U.S. Army.

I support Captain Awesome, not the Army.

So one thing I’m worried about when repeal gets implemented is that I will be expected to start doing the things straight military partners do.

Let’s get this straight right now: I have NO INTEREST in being part of the “military family”. Been there, done that.  It’s blackmail.  They prey on the emotions you feel towards your partner, and your need for support from other people in your situation —  to get you to support a WAR! Get real, heteros. This noble military wife idea is all orchestrated so they can get free support for a war.

That’s so low of them!

They don’t care about you!  There’s this belief that all the sacrifices you make, you’re making for a bigger cause — freedom. They put out this idea that if it weren’t for our giant standing army, America would’ve been bombed into smithereens decades ago.

News flash: Costa Rica abolished its military years ago. They’re still on the map. Anybody who thinks a standing army the size of ours exists for self-defense is lying to herself. The U.S. military has one interest, and one interest only: expansion. (Not of territory anymore – of influence.)

Many military spouses are down with that cause. That’s great – no dilemma for you. I personally think that cause is bullshit.

We partners and spouses should connect WITHOUT the military facilitating. What would happen if a committee of undercover military wives used their military IDs to spread anti-war fact sheets all over a base?

See, that right there is why I’m not cut out to be a military wife. That right there is why I will never reveal my identity even though repeal’s been signed — because that kind of thinking could have reverberations for Captain Awesome.  I think even Left Face might balk at that (but hey ladies, hit me up if you’re down).

But no matter what you or I think, if you’re the spouse of a soldier, the military’s got your ass in its clutches as sure as they have your partner’s.

I’ve told Captain Awesome that I would like us both to have an equal chance at a career, and that if it comes down to following her versus following my career path, I will live without her rather than abandon my goals.  She says that makes sense, and she only plans to stay in four to six years.

But if she calls my bluff and decides to be a career soldier, I’ll be there for her. Anti-queer laws or not.

I have no choice.

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Comments on: "Military Wife Life" (8)

  1. Anonymous said:

    Wow … as a former soldier and military spouse … I have to say that you are spot on with this.

  2. Thanks, anonymous. I wanted to keep it brief, but I was also going to say — when my mom went from active duty to being a spouse (when I was born), she said she felt like no one took her seriously anymore. She said she went into the same PX she’d been in the day before and people treated her completely differently.

    I don’t know know if that’s representative of most people’s experience. But to me it shows that they don’t care about your life — they just care about what you can do to make your partner a better soldier.
    Luckily for legally married partners, you need to be happy and healthy to make your partner a better soldier — so you get benefits. But spouses should not confuse that with the military giving a shit about them.

  3. You know, I don’t think I could handle being a military wife. I don’t have a lot of active military in my family, so I didn’t really grow up with it, and I’ve never had to give it much thought, but… yeah. I don’t know how well I’d be able to cope. It sounds like hell.

  4. IndieArmyWife said:

    Some of the things you wrote I wrote myself before I married my soldier, almost to the word. The first time I was told an FRG mandatory was “mandatory” I went OFF. But two years later I can tell you it IS possible to stay yourself, have your own career, support your soldier without drinking the Kool Aid. It’s not always easy, but it can be done, and it can save your sanity.

    The Army is more diverse than it appears, although the ‘rest’ of us are hidden like reviled stepchildren so they can shove the dutiful “True Believer” wives in front of the cameras. There are more free thinking, independent, career oriented partners out there then you might think, and if you stay true to who you are then they will find you.

    As someone who had a sticker on my car stating “George W Bush – Killing US Soldiers for Profit since 9/11” in the middle of bumfuckhicksville TN/KY at Fort Campbell I can say for certain that it can be tough but is doable, and worth it.

    Just don’t ever change who you are to fit some outdated BS stereotype. The Army spouse image needs a modern upgrade, it’s not 1940 anymore.

    Although pin ups are still hot.

  5. IndieArmyWife said:

    *meeting
    I can write. Really.

  6. I'm a wildcat, rawr said:

    Having visited my queer military partner while she was at AIT in “da Bibble belt,” and having to hide under the “I’m her best friend EVAR!” guise, I can tell you that as a civilian you tend to get treated like SHIT on a military base, especially if you’re not an official Army wife.

    The MPs especially treat you like gunk on the bottoms of their jackboots. For example, asking for directions at the gate:
    MP: You’re at the wrong gate. Visitors need to go through the gate on the other side of the base.
    Me: Oh, I’m sorry. So I have to get back on the freeway, then?
    MP: Yep. (clearly waiting for me to turn around and leave)
    Me: (<—is clearly not from the area, having shown him a way-out-of-state driver's license) Do I go north or south?
    MP: (looks at me like I'm wasting his time) …North.
    Me: Thank you.

    I mean hell, they won't even sell you cigarettes at the gas station on post without a military ID (even if you have your valid civvie driver's license), which sends a pretty clear message that your status as a civilian is worth shit to the military community. They need those cancer sticks for the SOLDIERS, dammit!

    My lady's planning on being a career person, I think, but she might stay in the reserves rather than go active, which is a relief at least for me. It means I won't have to pick up and move to butt-fuck Egypt and deal with being considered less-than by everyone on post except her because I'd rather not sign up to put my conscience on a shelf for 4 to 6 years and kill brown people in another country just for the government pay.

  7. @ Indie Army Wife — thanks for your words. Logically, I know there must be other legit military families out there — but I definitely worry that I’ll never find them (or the other dykes). Your comment makes me smile.

    @ Wildcat Rawr — You’re right on the mark. I always feel like a piece of luggage when I’m on base. I have to laugh sometimes. Military leaders like it when military people think they’re the most bad-ass in the world. So they have to give them all kinds of special privileges and stuff to make them feel like bad-asses. And then everybody runs around with guns like they’re in a video game or something.

    It would be funny, if the bullets weren’t real.

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