Sacrifice and Gratitude

Marine - My husband, the Marine.
United States
January 28, 2007 5:42pm CST
I am a mother and a military wife. It's an exhausting combination, although I know plenty of women who are more exhausted than I, and deservingly so. I have one child, a son, barely a year old. Part of me wants a second child, part of me feels I already have my work cut out for me. My husband is a United States Marine, he has been in the Corps for eight years now and we just completed our first military move. Many families mover every year and a half or three years. I got lucky for the first four years of being a military wife. I don't think I am going to be quite so lucky for the next twelve years. He is going career. Being a Marine is not simply a job for my husband, it is who he is. This is why he hates being a recruiter so much. He feels as though he has gone from being a Marine, a canon cocker, a rifleman, to being a telemarketer and a salesman. He would rather be in Iraq right now. How can that be? Why would anyone want to be there? Much less go back a second time? As I said before, being a Marine is not just what he does, it is who he is. He is not doing the job he was trained to do. His friends, his brothers, are there dying and serving their country the way he feels he should be. The people he talks to everyday, telling them about the Marine Corps, don't understand this. They lack this sense of purpose, but it is that sense of purpose he is offering them. parents turn him away, hang up the phone, deny their children an opportunity to make a difference. Why do they do this? Because theu disagree with the war. A war most of them know nothing about. A country they never would have known about it it were not for the tyrannical leader who was recently executed. Had it not been for this man, we never would have needed to be there in the first place. I do not want my husband to have to go back there again. I did not want him to go in the first place. My reasons were selfish. I did not want to be without him. I did not want to risk losing him. I did not want to sleep alone at night. But it is not my place to be selfish. I cannot ask him to put aside his pride. I cannot tell him to not fight for our freedoms. As much as I would like to, because there are so many who abuse them and take them for granted. it is my place to make the sacrifice. To deal with the loneliness and the heartache. To wait unknowingly for the phone to ring or the mail to come. He and I make the sacrifice so that so many more do not have to, and it is so unappreciated by so many. Do not misunderstand, there are many who support us, who support the troops who are fighting, who understand how hard the decisions are for those in command. I am grateful for them. With all that we have been given, with all the freedoms we are granted, one would think there would be more. One would think there would be more respect for those doing their job and making the sacrifice so many could never fathom. One would think there would be more respect for a man who carries the weight of a nation on his shoulders, knowing no decision is right as far as the polls are concerned. Do we, as a nation, rescue a people whose leader kills with no remorse? Or do we sit back and let him continue to kill? He decides to try and save such a nation, there is nothing but backlash and condemnation.Yet when our nation was attacked by a man of similar mind, the President was condemned for not doing something sooner. This nation does not know what it wants. It does not understand the sacrifices made on its behalf. It is sad. So many have forgotten how we arrived at a point where we choose our government, forgotten why we have the freedoms that we do, but do not try to remind them. They will not hear of it. No, despite her greatness, she is not perfect, but she is the best there is. But WE are not perfect, and WE are what she is somposed of, so how can she be perfect? She should be grateful, being young compared to the rest of the world, to be the great entity that she is. We should be grateful that we, as a democracy, had a role in her greatness. We should be grateful that there are still a few willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to keep her such a great entity.
6 people like this
15 responses
@mansha (6301)
• India
29 Jan 07
I read your post, I felt I am reading my life and my thoughts here. I am also married to army officer and have raised my son alone for seven years. My husband is in Indian army and he was fighting kargil war when he was born. I think that was the toughest phase of my life. Whole day I used to sit glued to thew T.V. watching the war news over and over again. This is true of all countries and of all people that we fail to appreciate those who fight for us. Our men and sons die in the battlefield and face too many hardships for our freedom and we fail to appreciate their sacrifice because for us its just a news and once we switch channels it over for us. I fell USA is doing a great job in Iraq and should not leave Iraqi's midway. If they pull out now Iraq will become a playfield for all kinds of jehadi's and Iran may move in too. Its only fear of US troops thats keeping situation under control in that place. I am not american but I do realise the hardships your boys arte faciong in Iraq and every time a soldier falls I pray for his family because they are fighting in extreme weather conditions over therr and its a tough war in alien land.
3 people like this
• United States
29 Jan 07
You have no idea how much it means to hear this from someone outside of this country. Especially when so many here are convinced that the whole rest of the world hates us. I sometimes forget there are soldiers from all countries who have their own freedoms to defend. It just goes to show that we really are not that different. If it weren't for wars (not that they are all that good, but they seem to be a necessary evil), we would all still be persecuted in some way, shape or form, and there would not be so many beautiful cultures to learn from and appreciate. Thank you SO much for bringing another point of view to the table, and showing others that the USA really isn't as hated as we thought! ;-)
1 person likes this
@mansha (6301)
• India
29 Jan 07
Thanks but really I mean it from my heart, I wish there were no conservstive people and no wars. US actuallyu has done the right thing in going after the extremists, You can not leave them especially after 9/11. It has changed everything not only in US but everywhere in the world. It has brought home the fact that how vulnerabel we all are. USA has to see this through otherwise there may be worst consequences. I admire US soldiers because they are fighting a war in a different soil with different climatic conditions. How much physically taxing it must be and how much emotilonally draining.
1 person likes this
@max1950 (2313)
• United States
29 Jan 07
BRAVO!!!!! I JOINED THE CORP IN 1969 DURING NAM,AND AS YOU KNOW ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE,WE ARE THE BROTHERHOOD OF MEN,WITH TEARS IN MY EYES,SEMPRE FI,TO YOU,AND YOURS.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Jan 07
ooh rah!!!!
1 person likes this
@KrisNY (7591)
• United States
29 Jan 07
This sounds like my brother- My brother is a Career Army Sargeant. He has been in the Army for 17+ years- He has only 2 more (with all the reenlisiting they knock off time from 20). He is a father of 3 wonderful children- Ages 15, 12 & 7. He is a husband, son and brother. Not just a brother to me (Most importantly to me) but a brother to many other brothers and sisters (His army family). My brother fought in Desert Storm in Saudi. It was his duty. He and his family have lived in Georgia, Cali, Tennessee, Alaska, North Carolina and now Kansas. It is his job- his career and he loves it- He is a Proud Soldier. His family (me included) are proud of him-- but I must admit it is very hard- Hard for me and my parents to have have him in NY. To see him only once or twice a year. Hard for his own family- to have to move so often.. Just get settled in schools and make new friends and then be uprooted again. The kids didn't ask to be Army kids-- But they are Proud of their dad. My brother leaves for Iraq on Feb 2 (although now they are saying it could be Feb 7).. thats less than 1 week away-- As I sit hear with tears in my eyes thinking about him going-- He sits there with pride in his heart knowing that he can make a difference. He is doing what his heart tells him- He is a PROUD American Soldier! God bless our soldiers!! and their families. God Bless America! for it is a great- the best country to live in.
@Bee1955 (3884)
• United States
30 Jan 07
As a retired US Army nurse who had done time in Vietnam and in the Gulf War, I understand your spouse's frustration. My family also could not believe I would volunteer during Vietnam to become someone who would evently go there and much ado was raised within our family - epecially since I was a female. Though I have supported 4 Presidents during my career, I did not always agree with their policies. But I did not want anyone under or above me going somewhere without a sense of purpose or belonging. I was proud of who I was and the accomplishments I achieved. I was and still am proud of the men and women of all the military that worked so hard to keep our country free and the strongest nation on earth. However, enough is enough when a purpose has been achieved and its time for us to withdraw with honor back to our homeland with flags raised. We found the dictator and freed the land; mission accomplished. Encouraging and supporting a civil war is and was not our mission, therecfore I disagree with the policy makers and the President. We (the USA military) are now becoming viewed by the world, not the freedommakers, but now the oppressors and who gets hurt the worse? Our proud men and women still overseas.To all our family and supporters of the troops everywhere - continue on with hopes raised. We need your love and comittment to get us through - but please continue to ask your local representatives and higher government to support removing our troops to come home again in one piece.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jan 07
I appreciate the poise you presented in your response. Few people can disagree without outright insulting someone. And I GREATLY appreciate your service, especially as a nurse, hoping to insure everyone returned safely. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
1 person likes this
@Ambur25 (1007)
• United States
29 Jan 07
God bless your husband! He is one of those few good men who would sacrifice everything for the sake of our country. I've seen some men and women join the military because "It has a great sign up bonus." Or "They pay for my college." But seriously! The men and women who are doing this not because of the money (which I know isn't THAT great), but they are doing it for our rights to sit on Mylot, or in our living rooms, or at the coffee shops and bash our service men and women. A friend of mine has 4 boys. Ages range from 12 to 5. Her husband was in Iraq for over a year and a half. This woman has got to be the strongest person I've ever met! I get testy with my 2 boys and always ask my husband to help with certain things. But, she didn't have anyone to help her or turn to. Not even her family in most cases. They all accused her of "over-reacting." But, let me tell you. This woman worked full time as an RN, raised 4 boys, sickness and health, football practices, football games, parties, etc. By herself. I am so proud of her and admire her, as well as any other wife/mother of someone serving in Iraq or any other place around the world. For me, I don't like the war. I hate the idea of our men and women dying in Iraq or anywhere else. Everyone wants peace, but that peace comes with a price. We wouldn't have the peace and freedom we have today if it weren't for past wars, and past men and women who sacrificed themselves to give us the rights we have today. Hate the war all you want, but support our troops and pray for them every chance you get!
@chertsy (3804)
• United States
29 Jan 07
First I like to say thank you and salute you and your husband. Your husband might not be in Iraq now but he has, and he should be proud of that. I know in a way how he feels. When your taken out of your normal role, you feel naked, like your not doing your part. I was in the Navy and was put on shore when I became pregnant. Shore is a huge differnce from being on a ship. I then became a Navy wife with a infant all by myself, because my husband was still on a ship and done many deployments. I didn't have the internet during those times, so I had to find other ways to keep busy. The war at the moment is a touchy subject. My husband is out of the Navy and now in the Army National Guard. The fear of him of going there scares me. He can train all he wants and I will always be scared. It's like taking a duck and putting it on land. But I won't sit and whine and cry telling him not to go. I knew when he joined that the chance of being deployed will always be there. Honestly, I can see where a recruiters job is hard. I wouldn't want my kids joining the Army or the Marines. Those are my babies. If they wanted to join the military there's to other branches that they can take the asvab for. Not to sound rude, mean, or anything. But I knew a lady that was a military wife and she had six kids. She made it look easy. I on the other hand, couldn't do that, that would only add more stress. Again I thank your husband for this job, his life that gives the people in this country the ability to complain about the war, to hang up on him, etc. I thank you for being a dedicated military wife. The strong woman that you are. For keeping a house a home while your man, your solider is gone.
• United States
29 Jan 07
I know what you mean, there are wives who have it so much worse than I, and I respect them SO much for it. It amazes me when two members of the military get married. I don't know how they do it, one of them is always gone. My husband's cousin is in the Navy, and his wife was also til she became pregnant with their second child. They are/were both officers, so one would come home after 6 months or so and two weeks later the other would leave. I could not have done that. Like I said at the beginning of my post, there are many mothers/wives more exhausted than myself and they deserve to be. I am not asking anyone to feel sorry for me, I just want to remind them why it is and who makes it possible for us to be free.
@manong05 (5029)
• Philippines
29 Jan 07
Good posting! I hope many users will read this. I have read a lot of postings which are anti-war, anti-american policies and wanting America to pull out troops and spend the money on domestics needs rather than spend it on weapons. Most of this comments are coming from spectators and not from real participants in the issues involved. People should see it from your point of view a person directly involved. Where would America be today, without the sacrifices of men and women in uniform who are willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of freedom. To many, they are simply statistics and nothing more. This is very unfortunate. It is also sad to hear anti-american sentiments but I'm sure they only come from a minority who are very vocal in their views and do not reflect the whole sentiments of their country. A greater majority appreciates what American is doing in her effort to protect human rights abuse in different parts of the world and maintain peace as much as possible and stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction that can blow our earth many times over in seconds. Who else is in the position to do this? I can assure you that the silent greater majority of the citizens of the world appreciate what your country is doing and salute your men and women in uniform. You are blessed having a husband who is a United States Marine. Cheers!
• United States
29 Jan 07
Thank you so much for your support.
@bhogz13 (126)
• Philippines
29 Jan 07
I also came from a miltary family...and I also dream of becoming one...my father and my brother both serve the country and the people.They are not owned by the their family instead they are owned by the government. I know how hard for my mom thinking of those 2 guys when they are in the battlefield. Thats why I choose to be a civilian...
1 person likes this
• Italy
29 Jan 07
you are also a beautiful woman:)
1 person likes this
• Portugal
29 Jan 07
I understand what you feel, all my thoughts are with all marines and other troops that fight in Iraq and other places, hope that they go home soon to their families. Semper Fi,
1 person likes this
@pd_davies (149)
• India
29 Jan 07
i salute both u and your husband, as you are also sacrificing for your country i know it is easy to talk, but the one who is facing the situation really knows how hard it is to lead a life of a soldiers wife. well i'll advice that you think from your mind and not heart before taking the decision of having a second child.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan 07
(((HUGS))) My husband used to be active duty Navy. He was a Seabee so he worked with the Marines a lot while he was in Iraq. He recently got out of the Navy but I've done the deployments and have had the kids and have raised them myself during deployments. It is hard when you hear so many people bash the military when they have NO clue who it works. I really like the people who think we sit on our butts all day and rake in the money. Umm...when my husband joined the military he was bringing home 800.00 a month after they paid for housing. If you have to live off base you don't have your heating bill, electric bill, water bill paid by the gov't like you do if you live on base. You pay that yourself out of your own money. They give you the going rate of a normal apartment in the area. In my case it was 600.00, apartments cost 535 and I was expected to pay my electric bill out of what was left over??? Fortunatly you do earn more money as you advance but it is SO hard starting out. As for wanting another baby. Think hard. I had one while my husband was active duty and had the second when he decided to go Reserves(he had an excellent civilian job lined up). We did a deployment to Iraq while he was in the reserves and the deployments were easier for me while he was active duty with one child. It was so hard (for me) to help them both understand where their dad was at and why they couldn't see him when they wanted. And when I needed that break there was sometimes no one there to help me. But I can't scream me, me, me because I ALWAYS remember that our spouses give up more. They are prepared to give up their lives. They are the ones that leave their whole family behind and they have no one but each other. I had my kids and as hard as it was sometimes, I wouldn't have it any other way. Take Care of yourself!!
• United States
29 Jan 07
BTW--I just reread my response and it almost sounds like I'm saying not to have more than one kid. That isn't what I mean at all. I mean think hard as to when you want it, when you think you can handle it. Like I said, I've had 2 on a deployments, it is emotionally hard for them sometimes but I wouldn't have done it any other way even when I thought I needed to pull my hair out...LOL!
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan 07
It is always nice to hear from people who have been through all of this before. I am lucky that he is here now and it makes me want to try and do this while he is stateside for a while, but I am finding that just one kid is hard when you have a dog, cats, a husband! LOL But I do not want to end up being pregnant during a deployment or if we were stationed overseas, there is a lot of thought has to go into and discussion with the hubby.
• United States
29 Jan 07
First let me say that I thank you and your husband for sacrificing your life and your family for me and my family. Words can never tell you or the many others like you, exactly how thankful I am that we have such unselfish people in our country. I feel so much of what you are saying - even though I am not a military wife. I have friends who are and I know the heartache they suffer and I know what they have given up for us. I hope you are able to stand proud and know that it is people like yourself and your husband that make this country great. My bestfriend is married to a man in the Army. He has been to Iraq twice now. It is also in his blood to be in the military. It's just who he is. She has two children from her first marriage and she just had a new baby with her Army husband. She found out she was pregnant right before he had to ship out to Iraq the 2nd time. She was home alone (with her other two kids) during her whole pregnancy and he was only able to come home and see his new son for a couple of weeks before flying back to the Middle East. I know how hard it was for her but she doesn't regret a moment of it. She moved from California to Kansas, not knowing anyone there. She use to share with me all her concerns and worries. Anyhow, I just wanted you to know that you are not alone and you have so much to stand proud for. I, for one, THANK YOU.
• United States
29 Jan 07
Please let her know what an amazing woman I think she is for being a fellow military wife and taking care of two children while being pregnant and alone. I don't know that I could have made it through my pregnancy if he were deployed. I am not always as strong as I would like to be or even think I am. There are so many women working harder than me it seems, and I wish the society as a whole was more supportive.
• India
29 Jan 07
so...u are justifying the war? hahaha fine Osama did commit a crime by knocking out the world trade centre...but frankly even though the war in afghanistan can be veiwed to be one that attempted to destroy al quida, the war in iraq is by no means justified... Sadam was secular and no terrorist... yes he did hurt his people a great deal, but he was no terrorist and was an enemy of alquida also, Sadam was helped by ur all so loveable USA as a balance to Iran, and the US supplied arms and all to Iraq..this is a well known fact... also, many of the 'terrorists' became so because of the attitude of ur army... there is one instance that a boy took up arms cos he saw his father humiliated by the US army you view urselves as liberators, but u forgett that the views of others matter as much as yours
• United States
30 Jan 07
That's the freedom that everyone has and forgets why/how they have it. He proved the entire point of my post!
@ashumit02 (819)
• United States
30 Jan 07
The service of milatary is different from normal jobs.I think it is one of the specific job which gives the enjoyment to serve the mankind and the motherland.What is the problem with this job is nobody can kill the frontier in his logical brain so they need to sleep there brain .By doing this they can make it possible to attack on enemys.Milatry jobs is very challenging in nature.His family members are also always furious by the members job.One of my friend is in army have lost his hand during his training and now is in home for all his life.so what he get only a cent of pensions.wooo..i dislike that.I think that electronic wars can solve the problem of milatary very much.