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Posted: 09.14.2002
Please read this
If you truly believe the U.S. should invade Iraq, please read this -- "A Military Wife's View". We owe it to them, so we know what we're asking first -- even if we still ask it after we've read and understood. We owe them so much more than that, but at least this is a start...

Hey boy take a look at me...let me dirty up your mind...

I saw that Christine had some similar thoughts. I know that fighting and dying are part of signing up for the military, but sometimes I think the hawks forget that real flesh and blood (as real as those that died in the WTC) will be sacrificed to remove Saddam. That deserves serious thought before rushing to war.

¤ ¤ credit: wKen | 09.14.02 at 03:14 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

It's unfair that she doesn't allow comments. Some of us are too old to join the military but would in a heartbeat. I never thought America was built on people not willing to fight the fight themselves. Given the chance I would fight and die for this country. I don' tbelive in this fight and I don't believe in this President though...

¤ ¤ credit: F. McSweeny! | 09.14.02 at 04:17 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Every single member of our military (with a few notable exceptions) is there by choice. True, the pay for the average enlisted man, especially one with a family, could definitely be better...I am totally not arguing that point. But clearly understand that these are not ignorant conscripts, armed with 40 year old weapons and given perfunctory training. That pleasure belongs to the other side.

According to statistics (current as of July 2002), less than 4% of our current fighting force is on their first tour of duty...this means that 96% of everyone in uniform re-enlisted, had the chance to get out but didn't, chose to stay. As the daughter of a Green Beret and the wife of a Naval Intel analyst, I completely understand the horrific ordeal experienced by the families who are left behind...who have nothing to do but wait. But as Jen herself says, "We are ready," and "Semper Fi."

You may not agree with what our government is doing or how they're doing it but our duty is to completely support the 1.4 million citizens who choose to hold the line for the rest of us. As Robyn says, to acknowledge our debt to them.

I'm not yelling at anyone, I'm just sayin'...

¤ ¤ credit: Sekimori | 09.14.02 at 08:50 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Our military is comprised of people that choose to be there - but I can tell you from first hand experience that probably 95% of them never dreamt that we would go to war when they signed up. I still remember clearly hearing that *all* the time when Desert Storm began. I knew people that considered going AWOL, just because they never thought there would be a war. "Well, yeah, there was Vietnam, but that was before I was born..."

I was fortunate - I lived at Ft. Bragg before I got married. The 82nd Airborne division is known to just leave - they aren't even allowed to tell their spouses where they are going. I got one of those late night calls. "We're deploying." Where to? "Can't say. Watch the news." It's a terrifying feeling, and many people go in to it without thinking when they sign up.

I support the military 10,000%. But I agree - we are putting lives on the line and we should think about it before we do.

(I agree - I wish she had comments too - I thought that when I read her post this morning.)

¤ ¤ credit: Christine | 09.14.02 at 01:26 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

i have this crazy what-if that scampers through my brain now and then. what if there was no war? what if there was no military, if all those resources were devoted to like, health care and schools? what if dying for a country or a cause was unheard-of?

i know, i know, i'm nuts. i haven't even been listening to old john lennon songs, i just get these thoughts.

¤ ¤ credit: kd | 09.14.02 at 05:15 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

One of my best friends is a military wife here in Australia. They both knew what they were getting themselves in for. They all may have thought in the beginning that they weren't ever going to 'go to war', but that's just damn stupid to think like that.

Over here they get free medical for the families, extremely cheap housing and they get looked after pretty well. I have the utmost respect for people defending our country (and yours), and they deserve to have equipment to fight with.

Now I hope I don't sound like a bitch here, but I lived with this Army fellow and his girlfriend before they got married and he'd come home and tell us what he did. At least once a week, their job was to play cricket. Sure, it did the team building thing which is great, but for the most part, he got paid well for a job that was all training and no action. They have to expect that sooner or later they're going to have to use that training. That's why they're there. That's what our taxes are paying them for. They all have the chance to leave, but they choose to stay.

I do think the wives have it worst though. I just could not be a military wife, or the wife of a cop or a fireman either. I couldn't live with the stress that my partner was potentially putting his life in danger every day. But that's just me. Bravo for those who can, because the military need support from their partners.

¤ ¤ credit: Jessica Parker | 09.14.02 at 07:40 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I want to thank you all for reading my post about a military wife's view. If I knew how to turn the comments on I most certainly would. Unfortunately I am new to all of this.

Robyn, if you don't mind I would like to make a comment here to Jessica Parker.

My husband also plays games once a week. It's called Physical Training, or "PT". The rest of the week they get up at 4:30 in the morning and meet for a 5-6 mile run. So once a week the higher ups give the guys a break and let them play football or basketball instead. My husband is an Air Traffic Controller. That entails many many many hours of study. Time when he is home, but he has to lock himself in our room away from our girls and myself. And now, in 2 and a half months, he will go to Japan. For one year. With no visits home. We found out on Friday.

As for your friend in the Army, was he an officer? They get paid a little better than the enlisted. We, however, live on $1385.40 a month. We live in 60 year old base housing. Please don't get me wrong. I am not complaining. I am able to stay home with my girls. I just want you to know that not all of the conditions we have are great. Yes we have medical coverage, and it is wonderful. We don't pay for visits to the doctor when my children are sick. We don't pay for visits to the emergency room when they have a fever of 105 and I don't know what else to do. Yes I did not have to pay $35,000 for my c-section. I am grateful, but I also feel it is the military's responsibility. If they don't keep the troops in working order, they are no good. If they don't keep the troops' families in working order the troops are too worried to be of any good.

As for your taxes paying these men and women, yes it does. But they pay taxes, too. As for their job being "all training and no action", what about the men and women sent out on MEU's? On 6 month deployments to many other countries to protect the Embassies? Is that not action? We have men and women in places other than Afghanistan. There are places all over the world that our military protects. You just don't hear of them every day.

I hope I don't offend, but from your post I got the impression that you think the military men and women have it easy. None of it is easy. I have to get up every day with the thoughts that today could be the day that a helicopter crashes into the tower and kills my husband. And when he leaves it will be a thousand times worse because I cannot see him when he gets home every day. I can't even call him when he gets home. I am terrified that one day I will open my door to a person in uniform that is going to tell me my world as I know it is over. But I am proud that my husband is out there protecting me and my children and millions of other people. I wouldn't change a thing.

¤ ¤ credit: Jen | 09.15.02 at 07:16 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I don't think they have it easy by any stretch of the imagination. Perhaps the hours they work (although your husband sounds like he works much longer hours than my friends partner did) are easier, but the fact they have to put their lives on the line makes it hard. I don't know how you do it. I wouldn't swap places with you for anything. The stress would drive me insane.

You also must remember that I'm Australian. Our men see much less action than yours, and when they do, it's usually peace keeping. Very little danger involved compared to what the Americans face (from the little I know of it). He did have to leave home for several months at a time, but could always ring home and would come back and tell us what a wonderful time he had and talked about all the places he travelled and all the things he got to do. It was more like an adventure to him than a job.

I'm sure that one day he will actually be sent 'to war' and all of this will change. I hope that your husband comes back to you safe and sound.

¤ ¤ credit: Jessica Parker | 09.15.02 at 08:08 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

This is why I get so frustrated with the "you're a liberal wimp if you stop and think about attacking Iraq NOW!" crowd. Unless the Shrub shows us proof (not old pre-Gulf War crap) that Saddam's got or is about to get nukes, what does it hurt to stop and think about it first? What's the big hurry? If the hurry is that proof exists, then it should be cake to show us! At least then we'll know our troops won't be sacrificed in vain.

¤ ¤ credit: Solonor | 09.15.02 at 08:56 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Thanks for the link, Robyn! It's always good to visit another new military spouse blog. :) Love the way you write Jen!

¤ ¤ credit: Simply Sara | 09.15.02 at 09:13 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Just wanted to let everyone who wanted to comment on my site that I got comments enabled. Please come on by and say what's on your mind.

¤ ¤ credit: Jen | 09.15.02 at 11:10 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I love that commercial!

¤ ¤ credit: bozzy | 09.15.02 at 09:53 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I'll toss this on the pile... when Desert Storm geared up and all the guys were whining about being deployed (I heard it everywhere I went)I finally started responding with, "WHAT did you think you were training for? Did you think this was all just a game?" Yeah. It's not.

The benefits are great. There are honestly times that I miss being an Army wife. I was proud that my ex-husband is in the military (he'll hit 20 years in 2004.) But the other side of the coin is that we are talking about human lives here.

¤ ¤ credit: Christine | 09.16.02 at 03:52 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

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