Friday, September 16, 2011

Five Questions-- Daddy

My Dad was a Soldier, though for a short period of time before my birth, but his stories still created a framework for my childhood. When I was in fourth grade, he met and soon married my stepmother who served in the Active Air Guard. I admittedly do not know many male spouses of military members, but I'd love to get their perspective on what it's like to be married to a military member. The fact that my Dad once wore the uniform himself gives him a different view of things as well.

Thank you, Dad. (Yes, it helped.)

1. What are some things you know now about military life that you wish someone had told you?

* I had never thought how hard it would be to watch instead of participate.

* I never saw that life as a female service member could be so threatening.

* Most things remain the same, but the real life adventures go on.

2. What is the most important thing you'd like to tell new spouses?

Get ready for the most frustrating, sometimes lonely, bureaucratic lifestyle you can imagine. Then watch it be even worse at times.

3. What do/did you love the most?

That same bureaucratic lifestyle can be among the most warming.

4. What do/did you find the hardest?

The helplessness that comes of being on the sidelines and effectively a non-entity to that same bureaucracy.

5. Tell me a story that sums up military life for you.

As much as I thought I understood military life, and loved it, I had never experienced it as my wife did. I could not understand what she went through until I looked at her career differently.

My personal best story, for the altruistic camaraderie that always impressed me, was when I was responsible for saving a fellow soldiers life, by lying still. The fact that I took my only ride in a helicopter ‘mainlining’ my blood to another soldier proved that sometimes just being quiet can do a lot. He survived, and so did I. The main change would be in today’s world, the ‘typing’ of the blood would rely more on science than a line on a dog tag.

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