Friday, March 19, 2010

Somewhat Controversial

I'm sure what I write in this post might be a bit controversial, so in advance, if you don't agree with me, that's fine. However, please keep your comments civil.

In light of recent events, both in the blogging world and in my world, I've been thinking a lot about our military and the war we are involved in.

I have to admit that a good portion of the time I wonder what exactly it is our husband, boyfriends, friends and family members are doing. I wonder if it is worth it for us to keep losing people. I'm not saying that I think these people are dying in vain or sacrificing for nothing, but sometimes I wonder if it's worth it. How much longer are we going to be there? How long before there is some other country and situation that we feel the need to step in? I think sometimes we take the world police role too far.

Maybe I'm being selfish about it because I fear for my husband and his friends everyday. Maybe it's because I've seen friends of ours and the mental and physical effects this war has had on them. I've cried at times watching how painful it is for these young men to continue on with their life and blame themselves for friends they could not save. Everytime we are notified that someone in one of our battalions has been killed or injured I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and feel selfish when I think, "Thank God it wasn't my husband"



I don't question the devotion our soldiers have to our country, but sometimes I do really question why we continue to fight the wars we are fighting at the high cost it has on our soldiers and their families.

28 comments:

allissa said...

I COMPLETELY agree with you, I have been thinking a lot about the war after recent events, too. I honestly don't know exactly how I feel about it all, but I do know that the toll it is taking on soldiers and their families is incredible and I'm not sure it's worth it..

PS. Love your blog!

Sara said...

You're not alone in this at all.

JG said...

I don't think it's controversial. These are necessary questions. Heck, even in WWII there were LOTS of people who thought the Nazis and the "War in Europe" were none of our business. So I don't know if we can ever accurately say whether or not a conflict is "worth it" at the time.

And it probably also depends on which side of the coin you're on. I would imagine that there are many women in Afghanistan now able to own businesses and vote and go to school without having acid thrown on their faces who would say, to them, it is worth it. But then, there are also many women here who are now single mothers, like our friend, who might say it's not.

How do we measure the worth of the loss of life?

Jessica Lynn said...

You're not the only one thinking about that. I don't know exactly where I stand on this, because one one hand the war is giving my husband a stable job, and it's a job he enjoys. But on the other hand, the things they and we have to go through aren't always worth the stable career.

Expat Girl said...

You are definitely not alone in these thoughts. I often think about this esepcially now with my husband deployed and experiencing the war first hand. He is very disillusioned now that he is over there and really didnt join the army to do what hes doing. He often feels that the Iraqis really don't want him and his men there so why risk their lives for them?

Jessica said...

I'm with you 100%

With all these promises floating around that we'll be taking our soldiers out of there at one point and it doesn't happen, I have a hard time having faith that they will come out any time soon. I feel like we can only and should only do so much, ya know?

Noel said...

You are totally not alone in your thoughts.

I wonder about exactly what you've just posted about ALL THE TIME.

On one side, I love that Kent has a steady, stable job, that he LOVES, and I love that he gets paid a little extra for being deployed. I love that we are helping out other countries. I also wonder if it's worth it. If it's worth the losses of lives that happen daily that, in my opinion, didn't need to happen.

Jeannette said...

You are definitely not alone in your thinking. As for your "selfish" thought that it isn't your husband. I think we all struggle with that feeling selfish to us. I've been struggling with a prayer I have. I want to share it with my Bible study but I know they don't want their husbands to deploy next year either so I feel selfish in asking for it. If every Army wife/fiance/gf got her wish we would no longer have an Army...

Mary Teresa said...

I would say that while I understand your point I disagree with it. There are days that I feel the same way as you do, but if I choose to remove my support from the war, then in my opinion I remove my support from my husband. He has made the choice to stand at the ready for his country. His country needs him to fight a war in a country far away. He will do it and do it with pride. I am not going to second guess his decision and willingness to stand for what he believes is right and fight for all of us safe at home. Does that make sense? I'm sure I explained it clearly enough, but in essence I choose to support the war because I support my husband.

Caitlin said...

I feel the same way. As proud as I am of my dude, I don't quite 'get it'. I feel dumb though, because shouldn't I understand as the girlfriend of an Airman?

As supportive as I am, the miltary has sure been breaking my heart lately.

Sarah Ann said...

I can agree with so much that you say. I think the war is on everyone's minds right now.

Embracing love with an American Salute said...

Well said girl! 100% Agree!

Riding the Roller Coaster said...

These are thoughts that run through my mind all the time, especially as I prepare my family for my husband's upcoming deployment. With the recent events in our blogging community, I can't help but wish that my husband could just get a "regular" job. I have no idea what he'll be doing or even exactly where he's going to be. I think about my 2 children who will spend months missing their daddy, my in-laws who wonder what will happen to their son, and of course myself, who silently falls apart while outwardly supporting my brave service member. I honestly don't know what to think. I'm a well-educated, though politically indecisive woman married to a man with a strong sense of service to his country. I support him, I support our troops, but I'm so saddened by the news of more and more Americans dying.

Lisa said...

I'm with you too.

I don't think you're being selfish, either. I struggled with this yesterday, when P's roommate and I chatted about his potential job option.

Leah said...

I can see where you're coming from and I agree.
Not too long ago I had a boyfriend who was in the service, and when he came back home from his deployment, some things started coming to light that really showed me how much it had affected him & changed him (I know that's vague, but I really can't go into details). Going to war really screws up a person's mind. At one point he was doing things that he would have never ever done prior to his deployment. To say the least, it was heartbreaking. No one, not even your worst enemy, should have to go through that kind of shit. After having seen a small side of (what I believe was) PTSD, a part of my heart I think will always hurt for our soldiers and what I now know about their experiences and the crap they go through (though I still don't know much). I don't mean to say all this to scare you, or anything about your husband, I just wanted to share so you know you're not alone in wondering if it's all worth it. I also think the armed services need to step up their counseling/PTSD services a bit more. It's also hard for someone to seek out counseling when they won't acknowledge that they do have PTSD or they think they can deal with it on their own.
Whether this war is productive or not, we still have to keep on supporting the soldiers. I hope they all come home safely.

Tania said...

Agreed 100%. Selfishly, I think that it's about time for some other country to step in and give our guys a break.

HellcatBetty said...

I couldn't agree more. I mean, when is enough enough? It's terrifying to hear news of women just like me losing their husbands. And you're certainly not the first one to have said "thank goodness it wasn't my husband," and then felt horrible about thinking it. It's a crazy life we lead.

Annie said...

I think the question is one that crosses a lot of minds, especially those of military spouses. However, I don't think it's one to be dwelled on.

A few years ago I was in Seattle when a protest was going on against the war. I was with two other military spouses and no one else knew who we were, that our husbands were serving in the military in part to protect their freedom to march and yell and carry signs. Before that march I'd heard people say "I support the military but not the war" and I'm said "ok," not really giving it much thought. Honestly I didn't think much about politics at that time and I didn't wonder whether the war was a just one or not...we were in it. Period. Well, during that protest I saw someone carrying a sign that said the same thing. I didn't feel supported. I didn't feel like my husband was supported.

After that, I didn't just say "ok" when a friend tried to draw the line between the war and the military. I acknowledged that I didn't know if the war was just, but felt like acting out against it was, indeed, acting out against the military.

So, as a mil spouse, I think it's normal and even perfectly ok to question, but at the end of the day I think it's also our responsibility to stand up and let some questions go. I think it's important to focus, instead, on what can we do to make transitions better, how can we support our spouses during deployements, how can we support our children when they send their daddies off for a few months or more? There are so many questions in this direction...I choose to focus on them and not spend my time getting bogged down in why he's doing what he's doing. The bottom line for that (in our marriage) is that he serves in the military because he believes in God, Country, Family. And I love that about him.

Thanks for the post, sorry for the long comment!

Aimee said...

I totally agree with you, and the other ladies. As military spouses, we have a right to ask these questions. We love our significant others and don't ever want to be the person seeing those suits walk up to the door to give us the worst news of our lives. It runs through all of our minds when they leave until they return. And yes, we all wonder when this is going to be over. It's not questioning the military or their loyalty, we all support them, but we want them safe, and don't want to see any more of our brave men and women die.

We've done a lot of good in both countries, anyone who has a loved one who has been deployed knows that.

I don't think it's controversial at all, and commend you for writing about it. :)

Sara said...

I was raised in a VERY liberal home. This very thought is a daily struggle for me. How can I be so proud of my husband, when I so strongly disagree with the war he's just been sent to? It may be hypocritical, but I truely believe one can support the troops and completely disagree with any wars they are sent to.

But I'm just a spouse. I'm not in the military for MANY different reasons. So what happens when the soldier himself disagrees with the "conflict" he's being sent to and potentially dying for?

You think you're being selfish. I think you're being realistic. NO ONE hears about a death and wishes it was their loved one. Of course not!

Tori and Chad said...

My stomach is absolutely aching with the same thoughts. I've asked that question so many times. When this war started, I was in high school and I had a completely different set of beliefs then. The older I get, the more people I know, the more I question the necessity of this war. I don't believe anyone has died in vain but I do believe it's time to re-evaluate this decision.

Full of Heart said...

I wonder that too.

Winnie said...

There's a piece of a song that says it all. "Do you know what's worth fighting for?...when is not worth dying for?"

It's not that they have died for nothing but rather that nothing is worth dying for...unless it is love of course.

Christina said...

I think every military wife has these thoughts at some point, although, I do not agree with that "thought" that comes up in my head every now and then. Our men chose the military, and when we marry them or get in a relationship with them.. We choose it too, no matter what your beliefs.
I feel that if we don't support the war, we don't support our men & women in uniform, that's just my opinion. War is part of their job. And I support my husband's job no matter where it takes him. He chose this life for us and I agreed to it. So negative thoughts about his career in the military and not not supporting his job at hand.. would be selfish on my part.

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I think a lot of people think about this. I try to seperate my support. I don't support the war at all at this point but I do support our troops. I worry about the boy all the time and fear the big D. BUT I know it's what he loves to do.

A Lady in Waiting said...

I'm getting to this a little later than everyone else because it's been a crazy weekend but felt the need to comment. First off...you are not selfish for thinking "I'm glad it's not me". That's normal and to be expected. However, along with that thought (for me at least is)...I wonder what I can do to support those who are going through this and then I say a prayer (that's the LEAST I can do).


As for supporting the war, etc. I believe that we can support our men and women in uniform without completely supporting the war. That is only to an extent though. I have been affected by this war from the start. (7 years ago yesterday it all really began!) My brother had left for Iraq 2 moonths prior to us entered Iraq, was there for 7 months then, returned a year or so later, and then I've supported a Navy boyfriend through a deployment and am now supporting my wonderful Army boyfriend through a deployment. I feel like I have to support them, and in order to do that I support what they are doing. Therefore, I in a sense support the war. Maybe not the reason for the war, but the war in general. I don't know if that makes sense, but I hope it does. I support my friends and parents and that includes supporting their job. Therefore, it's no different when the individual is in the military. It just happens to be that they don't have total control over their job. But I will support A through his deployment, and when he returns will support him whether he decides to stay in the Army or get out and find another job. But supporting their job is a part of supporting them!

Very good question though...and of course this is just my opinion on it. For those of you who might read this now on here...I am planning to post about PTSD tomorrow after reading Leah's comments about it. So please read if interested.

Austin Army Wife said...

I have to say that I am on both sides of this issue and I can agree with everyone that has posted a comment. Partially because I struggle every day with my hubby over "there" and the fear that creeps up when you least expect it to scare you straight. I am thankful that in this economy that my husband has a job. Many of our service men and women are coming home to no jobs, particularly our Reserve and Guard components that are shipping as regularly as any other active unit in the nation. Only, when my husband comes home, he has no job. Do I want him to have an extension, NO, do I want to pay our mortgage and all other bills, yes, and we can't do it alone on just my salary (well, we could, but it would be one heck of a diet).
I have to trust the training that our gov't have given my hubby and have faith that he will come home safe and sound.
As for "why we bother"... when I met my husband, two weeks after he came home from his 2nd tour, I made a comment to the effect of "they" don't want us there. He informed me, that out on patrols and when encountering (most) civilians, they were thanked profusely for reasons that were translated to him as making their country that much "free-er", helping them attain rights they never had before, giving them more of a sense of safety. We are there just like we helped out in WWII and as a nation, we will always help out.

As for the PTSD & counseling part that someone mentioned, there is so much help out there, so much free help, waiting to be tapped. If your service member comes home, or a friend or whomever, encourage them to seek counseling, even if they don't believe they need it. It will manifest itself someway, better to head it off.
Is it selfish to think better them than me, yes and no, but it's natural and the other person would think the same thing.

Paula said...

Wow, this is a sensitive subject. I think all of us who support a Service Member (especially a family member or spouse) really can have deep feelings about this. I'm not sure, that as an Army wife, I can say "I support the troops but not the war" I just can't say that. I do think good things come from what they are doing, and in the long run, we have to fight terrorism there and not here.
However, as a more senior wife, helping FRG leaders and family members through this last deployment I saw first hand what these deployments are doing to families. It's tearing families apart.
Why are they going so often? Why are some going so much and others haven't gone at all. I want to scream at military leadership and say hey...some of these doofuses have been in the army 20 years and don't have a combat patch! What in the world????
Anyway, that's my ramble. I have to say I support it, because I support my husband and what he does. He would not feel supported if I didn't support the effort..does that make sense?