18 February 2009


So Swiss and his unit are in limbo. And Swiss is aaaaaannoyed. They have been at their in-processing location for almost 3 weeks now and they still don't know where they are going. They are stuck in this current location for at least the next 3 weeks, maybe more. The higher ups have known this unit was coming for months and never bothered to cement a final location for them. So endless weeks of limbo. (Note: This does not bother me in the least because I know he is super safe and there is virtually no threat there. This equals Tucker breathing easier and worrying less. So it’s a good thing in my book.) But I see his frustration… why send all of them over there if you don't even know what do to with them? What were they doing when they should have been planning for this units arrival? And what are they all supposed to do over there with no mission or tasks? It boggles the mind.

Anyway, I realized today, as I was explaining Swiss's situation to a friend that I just shouldn't bother talking about it. At all. Not to anyone except my inner circle and you all. Why? Because her reply to this tale was this: "Well, that's normal so it isn't a big deal." Not to sound snarky, but last I checked she had no military ties or experience so how would she know? And, in fact, this situation is entirely abnormal. I just don't understand the incessant efforts to minimize what ever it is that is going on.

Yesterday some of us at lunch were talking about Swiss and how things are going over there, communications and the like and I mentioned that they need to pay $65 a month to have personal internet access, on top of having to pay to call home. (I think this is shameful, but that is for another post) One of my dear friends agreed that there should be another option, or at least a cheaper one. But another co-worker said that $65 wasn't that big of a deal and that is what she has to pay. I then pointed out that many of these families aren't just paying the $65 a month she is… they are paying whatever their bill at home is PLUS the $65 just to stay in touch with their loved ones, to see their kids growing up in the year that they are gone, etc. All of this ON TOP of a home phone/cell bill and the necessary minutes on the calling card. That kind of ended the discussion.

I know I blogged about this all before. And I know nothing has changed. I guess it still surprises me, catches me off guard. It boggles my mind how some folks don't seem to put 2 and 2 together. They only see one side of the story, they only look at what is on the surface, don't dig deeper to uncover the real issues. Maybe this is the new American way. But I don't understand it.

I don't understand the us vs. them mentality. Sure, I have gotten 'sympathetic' responses from a few (not that I am looking for those... maybe they are better classified as understanding responses or thoughtful responses) but often times these interactions make me feel like what we are apart of Swiss, you, me, your families, your soldiers, marines, sailors, etc. is trivial. That it isn't that big of a deal. That we signed up for it, so suck it up.

I always suspected that the notion of a "Warrior Class" was true... that some people really viewed things this way, whether they realized it or not. But I had never been face to face with it until I sent my husband off to war and came 'home'.

Maybe it isn't fair to expect anything more out of the peripheral people in my life. The people who care about Swiss and me, they ask, they try to understand, they listen, they don't judge or dismiss. They make me feel like what we are going through is a big deal. Because it is. They make me feel like it matters. They make me feel like we matter. That we aren't a disposable commodity, that our sacrifices are real, that while we may have signed up for this it doesn't make the issues any less valid.

Enough. I have learned to keep my mouth shut. Maybe that is the wrong attitude to take, but I don't have it in me to fight this fight right now.


kimba said...

I wish I had a dollar for every time I've thought this, read this, or heard about this. People really just don't get it, and I'll be damned if I know what to do about it.

Anyway, like you said in your post - we're here for you.

Tucker said...

And I am so lucky to have you gals! Yes, I suspect that if we all had a dollar for every time... we'd all be independently wealthy!

liberal army wife said...

trying to educate some of "them"... I used to put it down to not caring, but it's not that. It's that it is so easy to just say -suck it up- you knew what you were doing when you signed up- blah blah blah.

It reminds me of a saying - it's like teaching a pig to sing, it drives you nuts and annoys the pig... It's easy to say you won't fight this fight - but I'll give you even odds that you keep doing it! (or maybe I was just nuts when I did that? or do that now?)


Anchored Away said...

I love the word you use. Minimize. It's spot on.

As for Kimba's comment, how to change it, I think it would help if the only exposure people got to our lives was something other than Army Wives. How many times someone has said to me, "Oh, I watch Army Wives, and I know what you go through. It's rough, but at least you have each other!" :goggle: