I read a discussion on facebook in a navy wife group that kind of irks me. Yes, the girl was venting. Yes, she had a point, but something I've learned over the past few months is that her point won't get her very far with other branches and civilians.
So here's what happened. She started a discussion because her cousin, who is an army wife, wasn't sympathizing with her over a deployment. The cousin said it was just the navy. Granted, the cousin shouldn't have said this, but I've learned all too well that when it comes to deployments, each branch sees the other branches deployments differently, and most don't consider a couple of months a "real" deployment.
Okay, so what irks me is that this has become a discussion from a cousin who doesn't act supportive to bashing wives from other branches because they just don't get it and they say mean things. How old are we, really? It's not branch hating. How are you really able to sit there and bash your cousin or your sister or whoever you're talking about and say how they aren't supportive and blah blah blah and call them branch haters, when in all reality, you're doing just the same?
In my past, I have dated guys who were army. My sister is married into the Army. The one guy I dated was deployed during our relationship. It was hard. Every day I panicked. I didn't know what was going on. At first it was just letters. I might get one a week. I might get one three weeks later. It was super stressful. The biggest mistake I've ever made happened with him. I really regret it, but only to the extent that I really hurt him and ruined something reall great, and if I could take it back and still be married to my husband, I would.
My point is that all deployments in the military are hard. I'm not saying any branch has it harder or easier than another branch. I honestly feel like I have an advantage. I don't have to send my husband off for a year or two years. I don't have to go weeks without hearing from him. Yes, he's always got dangers of pirates or the ship having problems with something exploding or sinking.
Army wives say goodbye for a year or more. They only get to see their husbands for 2 weeks in that amount of time. They learn to do it all alone. They learn to juggle work, parenting, getting their kids to school, practices, put their kids to bed, wake them up, get them bathed, dressed, etc. Their kids grow up without their fathers around for a year or so. For little ones, like my nephew, they don't remember who Daddy is. Daddy remembers that 7 month old. When he pictures his son, that's what he sees. His son is now 18 months old. He's walking, talking and potty training. He doesn't take a bottle anymore. He eats adult food. But to my brother in law, he still sleeps all the time. He still takes a bottle. He's barely even crawling.
Navy wives say goodbye for a couple of days or maybe a few months. They get to see their husband's when the ship pulls in at the pier. Sometimes, the ship pulls in for the weekend and then leaves again. Sometimes the ship comes in and is here for a few weeks, or months. Sometimes, the ship goes off to the ship yards for a while to be worked on. Navy wives still do all the things army wives do while the ship is gone. For the little ones, they have to adjust to Daddy coming and going. They usually remember who Daddy is. Daddy knows them as that 2 year old that they were when he left. When he returns, he's still that 2 year old, or maybe he just had his birthday and now he's 3, but he still hasn't gone from baby to toddler while he was gone.
Every branch has deployments. Every deployments is different. Every wife handles those deployments different. Every wife looks differently at the other branches deployments. To most army wives, we have it easy. To us, they aren't supportive. To us, civilians have it easy. To them, we aren't supportive. We get annoyed when civilians pout over their husbands or boyfriends being gone for a few days, but when we go to an army wife or a marine wife and say we so upset because our spouses are going to be gone for a 3 month deployment, they tend to tell us to suck it up and get over it. Really, we are doing to them like the civilians do to us.
So I'm sorry that I don't feel this girl's cousin wasn't entirely in the wrong. Yes, I feel she should be supportive. That's what military wives do, but to her, she was just slapped in the face by a pouty navy wife. To that army wife, she'd love her husband to be gone for 3 months instead of those 12 months or more, but instead of posting it all over facebook that your cousin didn't comfort you, look at it from her angle.