Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I have to get this off my chest

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.


  1. I HONESTLY can not believe what I just read.
    I sorry that you feel that way but speaking as a Navy wife, I dont agree AT ALL!
    WE ALL go through the SAME thing. Army, Marine, Navy. No one puts there life on the line any more or less than the others! Marines go on deployments ALL the time, and there wives whine about that too im sure! We all have the right to be upset. It doesnt matter if its a day, a month, or a year, missing him is missing him.
    And on a side note: I AM A NAVY WIFE AND MY HUSBAND IS BEING SENT TO AFGHANISTAN FOR A YEAR. So, The navy DOES do that too!

  2. Guess I got so frustrated I typed too fast.
    **Marines go on deployments WITH THE NAVY ALL the time, and there wives whine about that too Im sure.

  3. I'm wish Alisheau on this one.
    My husband is on a carrier..
    "UNLIKE the Army, the Navy is in and out, in and out.. you're constantly having to adjust over and over." (this was said by my sis in law who is an Army wife) My sis and law also said she thinks it's much easier to get it all done with at once instead of having the strenuous workups, and constantly having to adjust and having that extra stress.
    Also, My husband doesn't deploy for just 3 months. My husband deploys for 6-10 months on average and has months of workups ON top of the deployment. And my husband's ship now.. is doing back to back deployments that means nearly a years worth of workups (by the way.. I have only spent maybe 10 days with him since April because of the workups)then deployment for 6-8 months, then home where they start workups again, no real break.. and then back out again for a world cruise.. which is 9-11 months. So, Your "3" months.. is 3 years for me. I'll take a year straight any day. Screw the R&R.. we don't get that anyway.
    On top of that.. Not all Navy is on ships. I have 2 friends over in Afghanistan right now. One of them is only there for a short deployment, but he works with the seals. They never get time off and sleep very little. The other is there for a year, just like the army, doing the same thing the army does. I have another friend leaving in a few short weeks.. for a year.

    I believe your perception of the Navy is a bit skewed.

  4. & as far as the enlisted Navy seeing their children, A very good friend of mine has an 19 month old son, who hasnt seen his daddy since he was 7 months old. I understand this blog is for posting opinions and I dont know how long you have lived as a Navy wife but the "facts" that you included with your opinion are completely wrong.

  5. It's not about who has it harder. We all have it hard, regardless of the branch. The 3 months part was sparked off of this girl's statement. My point was that wives are quick to jump to "branch hating" or feeling like other branch wives feel above them.

    I've seen this term alot in the past few months. We seek support from women married to other branches. Sometimes we get it. Sometimes we don't, but alot of the time, when we don't, we jump to this term, "branch hating."

    My post wasn't about how "easy" we have. We have it just as hard as any other wife from any other branch. We go through deployments. Regardless of the length of the deployment, we still have the stress, and we still have to live just like they do.

    Some military wives are jealous. I know my sister is. My husband keeps coming and going. I see him randomly. She'd kill for that. Yes, part of me wishes that his time out was consecutive, but I'm glad I get to see him, however, between my job and his, even when he is home, it never really happens.

    Some wives in other branches are nieve. They don't see how our sailors are at risk. Pirates only exist in movies and books to them. They don't realize that yes, we do have guys in Iraq or Afghanistan. My husband WANTS to go.

    None of what I wrote are claimed to be "facts." I never once stated that. I'm stating what I know from both branches as personal experience. Yes, guys go to the Middle East. Yes, guys are in danger at all times when out at see because of freak disasters that could (Heaven forbid) happen on the ship, or pirates. Yes, Marines deploy with the Navy. FACT: Not all marines deploy with the Navy. The navy might transport them, but a friend's brother never deployed with the Navy. He went over to do two tours, neither of which were with the Navy.

    Wives from all branches complain. They complain to each other within their branch. They complain to wives in other branches. This is where branch hating comes from. Wives from one branch complain to the other wives. The other wives can't sympathize or get jealous because the first wife is complaining about a shorter deployment then the other wife is facing.

    Personally, before we jump to branch hating, I think we need to step back and examine the situation. I mean, why would I cry to my sister about a few months or even a year, when her husband is scared to death and caught in crossfire for two years? I learned real fast that talking to her about deployments is out of the question.

    Deployments are hard on whoever is involved. It doesn't matter how long they are or which branch. No deployment is the same for any wife. It doesn't matter if their husbands work together on the same ship or in the same unit. It dosen't matter if the husband's are battle buddies. No two people see a deployment the exact same. What might be hard for one person, isn't so bad for another. Some people have kids, which may make it harder then it is for people without kids.

    So if three months bothers this person, then it bothers her. No, her cousin shouldn't have said "It's just the Navy." At the same time, we don't know the whole story. Maybe the cousin was dealing with a deployment or maybe still is. Maybe she got scary news that day. Maybe it's just that to other branches, 3 months isn't so bad. To me, 3 months is a lifetime sometimes, but compared to a year, I'd take it any day.

    I'm not defending either party. The cousin may have had her reasons, and like I said, I'd take 3 months over a year any day. At the same time, that's no excuse not to support your cousin.