(Necessary back story: Swiss and I have a house in the Upper Midwest, a town of about 100,000 with only two big employers... a hospital and a computer manufacturer. The only military presence is the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in the strip mall down the road from our house. It is a pretty conservative town, but also pretty isolated from the usual trappings of 'city' life. Swiss's unit is based down South, so for the meantime while he is deployed we are keeping our home here and that is where I am currently living.)
I have been asked how long the deployment is countless times. And every time I say a year, I get flabbergasted responses, as if this standard year deployment is something they'd never heard of. I don't mean to be snarky and I certainly can't and don't expect everyone to be all up on Army tours of duty, but hasn't anyone been watching the news? Reading the newspaper? Paying attention? FOR THE LAST 6 YEARS? SIX!!!
And then I got the "Well, now that Obama is in office maybe they will just bring him home?" bit today. I suppose that is just wishful thinking on their part, trying to be helpful, positive. But again, if folks were paying any attention to this war and the politics behind it, they would know better.
Am I being too harsh here? It just seems like no one here has any real understanding of what is going on, what it means to be at war, that we can't just up and leave because we got a new President, etc. And of course I recognize that I am particularly & acutely aware of all of this, because of Swiss's job, because he is deployed. I know that my grasp of what is going on isn't the same as your average citizen who has no stake in this war. But should that matter? Am I being overly sensitive to this? I mean, my husband and so many others are over there risking everything in the name of a country that has practically forgotten (or don't care to know in the first place) that they are even gone.
And what's worse is that when I talk about the military (which I think I should learn not to do), some have such a cavalier attitude about it. Like, what's the big deal? So what, deployments are what they do? To some extent they are right. Yes, deployments are part of the job. But I just doubt that any real thoughts have been put into what a deployment really means. No thought to the emotional issues, the family issues, the health issues, the fear, the worry, the separation from loved ones and friends. Not to mention the living conditions, not being able to see or be with your wife/husband, missing a year of your child's life, living first hand the horrors of combat, the anxiety and fear that you might not come home. It is the "That's what you signed up for" mentality. And I don't know how to react to that.
And of course not everyone is this way. Thankfully I have friends who ask when they don't know, ask because they care and want to know what is going on (presumably because now they know someone in the military, know someone dealing with a deployment, which is fair). But shouldn't everyone be this way? Shouldn't everyone care? Shouldn't everyone want to know?
I guess I just that that regardless of how one feels about the war, about the military even, I would hope that if your country and countrymen are risking life and limb and dying for our country (insert your appropriate political persuasion's comment here), you would at least care to pay attention. Then again, the media isn't helping this situation at all either. If you didn't know any better, an hour watching the news would likely leave you with no inkling that we have nearly 200,000 troops at war in two countries. And that is abominable in my book.
Anyway, that is my rant. I guess this is just a part of being the 1%.