June 26, 2004

V is for Vent

Vent - v. tr.
To express (one's thoughts or feelings, for example), especially forcefully.

...and just like that, the magnificent plans that I had created are gone.

So imagine that for months you are told that your husband will be home on/around a specific date, give or take a day. Imagine that you spend close to a thousand dollars in airfare trying to make sure that everything he wants to do while he is home gets done.

Imagine calling your sister-in-law and crafting a plan to surprise your daughter and mother-in-law the day after their birthday with a visit from John. Imagine dreaming about their faces when he would walk through the door to see them. Imagine what a perfect birthday present that will be for the two of them.

Imagine making plans to go to your 20 year reunion with your husband on your arm. Imagine getting to spend time with family and friends on that trip, being proud that your husband was going to be with you, meeting so many people for the first time.

Imagine being thrilled that you would have a little less than a week at home with him...alone.

Well keep on imagining it because it isn't going to fucking happen now.

Happy fucking birthday to me.

Posted by rowEn at 02:24 PM | Comments (2)

U is for Uniform

Uniform - n.
A distinctive outfit intended to identify those who wear it as members of a specific group.
One set of such an outfit.

special note to John - Oh hush and let me win this one, OK?

So I've had this discussion with my husband. A discussion about his coming home on his two-week leave.

For a few months, while the R&R flights were curtailed heavily, the units were sending troops home in much smaller groups. Because of that the troops were told to bring "civvies" with them when leaving their unit so that they could change into them in Kuwait.

As you might have heard (if you follow that sort of thing), R&R flights are back on track and much larger groups of troops are coming home together. I've seen a bunch of pictures in the past week or so showing troops arriving at various airports. One thing is always the same...they are wearing their uniforms.

I asked John if he was wearing his home. He said no. I explained about all the new pictures and new flights and such. He said no, he hoped he would be wearing civvies. I had made the mistake of pasting part of a post to him, one talking about how someone's soldier was bought drinks or something at an airport. John pointed that out and said that was exactly the reason he didn't want to wear his. He didn't want to be singled out. Those were his exact words.

I want to understand why he feels that way. I know it isn't shame. You don't spend 22 years doing something you are ashamed of. I want to know why he would feel weird about being treated special. Hell, I don't even know if he will be treated differently or not. People could ignore him all the way home for all I know. I'd be highly disappointed if that happened, but maybe that is just me.

He is doing something that the majority of the people in this country are not doing. He's living somewhere that is being mortared on a regular basis. He's living away from his family for a year because that is just his job right now. That is what he will tell you. He's just doing his job right now. Nothing more, nothing special and, honestly, he'd really just rather be at home.

Is it that thought that makes him think that for some reason he doesn't deserve a free drink or an airline upgrade? Because he'd rather be someplace else, he doesn't deserve any of the good that comes with people admiring what he's doing right now?

Honey, I love you more than anyone could ever know. I miss you horribly some days. When you come walking off that plane I want everyone around me to know why I'm standing there in the airport...what made me special enough to meet you at the gate. I know that the Army doesn't teach Miss Manners in their training, but please know that there is nothing wrong with graciously accepting something nice and saying thank you. I am incredibly proud of you and what you are doing. Of you. Not the whole war...you. I want to walk with you from the gate to the car, holding your hand and reveling in that pride while you are in your uniform. You ARE special. You're my soldier.

Posted by rowEn at 11:09 AM | Comments (1)