If you are looking for me to tell you about the butterflies and rainbows seen every day as an Army Spouse... you might as well stop reading this blog right now. I am not going to paint a picture that simply does not exist. However, I am not going to paint a picture that is solely negative either. Actually, the picture I am going to paint is the one that I see and read and hear about every day. The rants and raves of other Army Wives.
You might question my grounds for writing this blog, which is within your right. But I will not remove it or change anything I am putting into it. These are my viewpoints. Mine alone. You don't have to agree. You don't have to disagree. As I said, you have the right to close this blog right now.
Choosing to read on? Sweet.
My personal viewpoint? I love my life as an Army Spouse. Of course it isn't always pretty. We have seen our share of ups and downs, as anyone does I am sure. However, I knew who my husband was before I married him. I knew he was a Soldier before I married him. And I knew what that meant... before I married him! All of that was a pretty easy task to accomplish before getting married. I asked questions. He either had the answers or didn't. If he couldn't answer them, he found someone who could. He loved me enough to make sure that I had all the information before agreeing to become his wife and thus, an Army Spouse.
It isn't the easiest thing to do. Army Spouses, IMO, have to have that certain something in order for them to remain steadfast and strong. Our Soldiers are gone anywhere from a month (for training) to 12 months or more (for deployments). On top of that they travel for school, they train in the field, sometimes they even have to deploy at home for Disaster Help. Furthermore, they may be late for dinner or you might miss out on that BBQ you wanted to go to, because your Soldier has to go to work in order to help other Soldiers. If our Country needs them, our Soldiers go. That is what they signed up to do. Army Spouses are some of the strongest Spouses I have ever met!!!
Our Soldiers have to do certain things for the Army in order to stay in and keep their positions such as: 1) stay out of trouble; 2) pass their physical training tests; 3) maintain their weight; and 4) progress in their MOS (specific area of expertise) accordingly. Not really too much to ask since the Army pretty much covers everything for the Soldier. Health Coverage, Dental Coverage, Basic Allowance for Housing... these are just a few things provided by the Army for the Soldier and their dependents.So, to me, it isn't too much to ask of the Soldier to meet the specific guidelines set out for them.
Knowing this, I strive to help my Soldier husband maintain what he has to in order to remain in the Army. My husband is a Soldier for life. I knew this before I married him. I accepted this and so it is now my duty to reflect my husband. That's right. My Soldier husband is a direct reflection of me, as I am a direct reflection of him. Anything I say or do can directly affect him. What I put out for everyone else to see may affect what others think about him - even though it isn't him saying or doing it.
So now, having been an Army Spouse for as long as I have, I have witnessed some of the most intolerable acts of other Spouses. I have heard the outrageous tales of other Spouses. I have read the ridiculous statements of other Spouses. I feel sad for the Soldiers of these Spouses, because the actions of these Spouses changes how others look at them and their Soldiers.
*Start rant* If your Soldier is being put out of the Army because of RCP and failure to progress - don't blame the Army! The Soldier knows what they have to do in order to rank up or in order to maintain their position. This isn't Kindergarten for them. No one is going to hold their hand and guide them through like a free ride. All Soldiers have to meet certain guidelines and if yours isn't or refuses to then perhaps they shouldn't be in the Army. If your Soldier is being put out because they are overweight and have had ample opportunities to get their weight under control but didn't, don't blame the Army or pretend that they chose to get out. Other Soldiers meet their height and weight requirements every single day. It isn't something new! If you do not know what an FRG is, or have never been contacted by your FRG, that is most likely because your Soldier has put you on the Do Not Call list or they have put their cell number and their email address as your contact information. The FRG is there but can only reach you through the information provided. It is NOT the FRG's fault that your Soldier chose to fill out your information form for you. Furthermore - FRG meetings CAN BE MANDATORY! As long as the meeting is on the training schedule, the Soldier must be there. It is part of their training. If you are always in the dark, not knowing what is going on with the Unit or why your Soldier is late getting home, and when you ask your Soldier they barely know what to answer... ask for a Training Schedule. They are created roughly a month in advance and should be able to tell you what is going on and when. Keep in mind though, that nothing is ever set in stone. The training schedule is simply a guideline for what might/could/will happen. No two Soldiers are the same. Saying "Well so-and-so did this" or "why did he get to do that and you didn't" doesn't help your Soldier any. Your Soldier is informed daily. You not being kept informed is their failure and yours. You are your best source of information. If you choose not to ask, not to understand or not to help your Soldier, that's your choice. But do not for one second blame everything on the Army. And of course, always remember, if the Army wanted your Soldier to have a family - they would have ISSUED them one. *end rant*
I could, of course, go on and on all night, but I am sure at some point I have already ticked people off. I guess I just get tired of reading and hearing how horrible the Army is, when in fact it is others failure to understand or ask questions that leaves them complaining or sitting in the dark.
But then again, I get myself in enough trouble asking questions. Apparently, I ask too many! LOL But it is better to be informed than know nothing at all.