People with stupid questions about the military. listen up!
What not to say or ask a military wife/girlfriend/ fiance while they have a loved one that is deployed or has been deployed.
1. "Aren't you afraid that he'll be killed?"
Of course we are terrified. The thought always lingers at the backs of our minds-- but thanks, you just brought it back to the front. Maybe next you can go ask someone with cancer if they're scared of dying..
2. "I don't know how you manage. I don't think I could do it."
It's not like all of us military wives have been dreaming since childhood of the day we'd get to be anxious single moms who carry cell phones with us to the bathrooms. We're not made of some mysterious matter that makes us more capable, we just got asked told to take on a challenging job and we rose to the challenge.
3. "At least he's not in Iraq."
What do you think is happening in Afghanistan? A huge game of golf? Guys are fighting and dying over there too.
4. "Do you think he'll get to come home for Christmas/ Anniversary/ Birthday/ Birth of child/ Wedding/ Family reunion, Etc?"
Don't you watch the news? No. They don't get to come home for any of these things. Please Don't ask again.
5. "What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he's gone?"
Try to keep my sanity. Maybe there's a military wife out there who gets bored when her husband leaves, but I have yet to meet her. For the rest of us, those with and without kids we find ourselves having to be two people. That keeps us plenty busy. We do get lonely, but we don't get bored.
6. "How much longer does he have until he can get out?"
Many of our husbands aren't counting down the days until they "can" get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because (Gasps!) they love what they do.
7. "This deployment shouldn't be so bad, now that you're used to it."
Sure we learn coping skills and we figure out ways to make life go smoother while the guys are gone. But it never gets easier and the bullets and the bombs don't skip over our guys just because they've been there before. The worry never goes away.
8. "My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you're going through."
Do not equate your husband's three week trip to where ever with a one year or more deployment to a war zone. Besides the obvious trip length difference, one nobody shot at your husband or two tried to blow him up with an I.E.D. or any other explosive. Your husband could call home pretty much any time he wanted to, he flew comfortably on a commercial plane, slept between crisp white sheets and ate well, paying for everything with an expense account. There is no comparison. We do not feel bonded to you in the slightest because of this comment and if anything we probably resent you a bit for comparing a combat deployment to a business trip.
9. "Don't you miss him?"
No we like being single parents for the length of a deployment. Are you nuts?! Of course we miss them. If we didn't we'd get divorced.
10. "Where is that?"
This is almost like asking a Jewish person from Germany in the 40's who Hitler was. By now all you non military folks should be able to at least know the basics of the war. Anbar Province is in Iraq, and Kabul and Kandahar are in Afghanistan. Muqtada al Sadar is the insurgent leader of the Mahdi Army in Iraq and that Sadr City is his home area. Know that Iran is a major threat to our country and that it is located between Afghanistan and Iraq. We have been at war in Afghanistan for six and a half years and at war with Iraq for four years. These are not Government secrets they are on the news every night and they still make some headlines in the morning papers.
11. "Well he signed up for it, so it's his own fault what ever happens over there."
Yeah well your parents made you so what ever happened in your life they dealt with. Does that seem fair if you had uncontrollable sickness or handicap? Our guys did sign up for it he signed up to protect you and your right to make stupid remarks about his choice. He didn't ask to be blown up, hit with bullets, or see decomposing bodies. Yes it's possible he will but he is doing it not just for a pay check or his family but for everyone.
12. "Don't you miss the sex?! I couldn't do it!"
Well that'd be why you aren't a military wife/ girlfriend/fiancé. We know that sex is not the basis of a strong marriage/ relationship but self control and being able to be self reliable. If sex holds your relationship together how sad. Love holds ours together.
13. "Just call him. Just call him back. Etc.."
Oh sure do you happen to have the number to Iraq on you I Left my phone book at home. I didn't think about it they had to have had installed American outlets in their foxholes to plug their phones in! How could I be so stupid to not think he's a phone call away. Enjoy that you can call yours as for us we will continue to hold on to our cell phones for dear life because it might be the only time we get to talk to him for months
14. (I added this one!) Don't you worry he will be different when he comes home?
Of course i worry he will be diffierent when he comes home, you dumbass. how could he not be, he's in a bloody war zone not on a vacation. he will be different, we will be different, but b/c we love eachother everything will be just fine. now please shut up you've given me a headache.