Monday, July 11, 2005

Married to the Military

A couple of days ago NPR’s American Radio Works put out a program called Married to the Military and since I’m getting married in the very near future, it made me think (yes Tragic heard it too, I'd recommend it to any military spouse). As this war progresses, each day, news of the war moves further out of the forefront as fresher news stories take the place of the work that people like me are doing in far off lands. The circle of support is much smaller as the story moves further back in the paper. Don’t get me wrong the support is still there but we’ve come off the emotional rush from 9/11 and time can cool off the strongest fever. We’re fighting this war with a fraction of the troops that were in prior wars, 1968 there were 1.2 million troops in Vietnam, that’s 10-15 times as many troops as we had in Iraq at any given time. Spread through out the United States, it’s barely a dent There’s no draft, no war time rationing, other then the supporters of the troops and the anti war folk, we don’t even affect the lives of the average person.

All of this concentrates the impact of the deployment down to mostly the family and friends of the military members. With an all volunteer force, tours of duty a year to eighteen months long is going to weed out many of the people that weren’t that weren’t too serious about being in the military, those that were just looking for a job or signed up for collage benefits, it’s also going to weed out the people that don’t have strong family relationships. When the choice comes up of either divorcing or staying in? When that question comes up, I’ll be gone. Reality is, most people don’t like risking their lives, don’t like leaving there family behind or the suspension of some of their freedoms. The war is weighing heavily on the personal home front, now as we’re going into the long stretch, the people that are still around are the strong ones. I plan on retiring, but it’s going to be a joint decision with my spouse. We’re planning on seeing the war through. Now if only we can make it out the other side with our personal lives intact. Who knows someone up there might start to appreciate the sacrifices we make and give us a raise!

No comments: