October 27, 2011

The Bonds of Sisterhood.

An awful accusation was made against a dear friend of mine this last week. Let me clarify that I have never met this woman in person, but she is truly a sister of my soul. Some of you may ask why I would consider a person I have never met a "dear friend". Let me explain. She lives the same life as I do. Her husband is in the Army. Her husband, like mine has vowed to make the military his career. He has deployed to a combat zone countless times. He leads men into battle, and makes difficult decisions. They have moved from place to place. They have two young children just about the same age as mine. This woman walks in my shoes, and I in hers. Though we have never met in person, we would certainly have a lot to discuss if ever we did. And in the world of the Army, it certainly is possible.

In February of this year, one day after my 30th birthday, which I spent alone, because my husband was out in the field for another stint of training, Megan wrote something that truly resinated with me, brought me to tears because I have spent many birthdays, anniversaries, and countless holidays by myself while the man in my life, my best friend, and my partner was away in a combat zone. Her words resinated with me because my family faces many more holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries while he is away because our family CHOOSES to serve this nation in a way that most citizens of this country will never know or understand. Her words got down the nitty gritty of the relationship between a soldier and their spouse. For it is a complex one. The link to her post that I am referencing is here ---> "Promises"

A young, and inexperienced Navy wife accused Megan of stealing the words of her post from someone else, but has yet to produce evidence of such plagiarism. The truth of the matter is that for the wives of soldiers who have deployed to dangerous places in the world, continue to do so, and will do so again if called upon, Megan's words could be each of our own, if ever so less eloquently put. For only Megan has a way of writing that is wholly her own. It is unmistakably from a place within her, and written with such a raw honesty that it can only be from her. For those of us who've followed Megan's journey and have been inspired by her enduring strength, her love for her husband, her country, and her undying faith in God, we recognize what this young Navy wife has not. These are indeed Megan's words.

Us wives of combat soldiers and Marines have a unique journey, and a unique life. As I said in a response to Megan's post, we live in a world where fear should prevail, but instead hope does. Our reality, our view of this world, and our life in general should be harsh. It should be pessimistic. We have every reason to be sad, and feel sorry for ourselves. We have every reason to be bitter and angry, but instead most of us choose to lead a life of love, service, and hope. We band together in bonds of eternal understanding. We are each other. We are sisters of the soul. We walk through this life together. And despite the fact that at times each of us feels very alone, we never are. A woman who knows the same things, feels the same things, lives the same way, is only a phone call away.

When someone attacks one of our own because notoriety is today's most valuable currency, we all take it very, VERY personally. We all know there are people in the world willing to do anything to gain that 15 minutes of fame. But 15 minutes of fame is not why Megan, nor I, post our stories, and expose our lives to the public sphere. I cannot speak for Megan, but I write because I feel that families of combat soldiers are often misunderstood. This life is one I volunteered for the day I signed my name on the marriage certificate. It is one I signed up for the day I fell in love with a soldier. To me, notoriety only means that I've reached one more reader in a world where the war my husband and my family fights is forgotten. I do not get paid to write. I gain nothing of material value from this blog.

Women like Megan, and like the countless women who blog or read about military life, need not another reason to shed our tears. We don't need another cause to fight for. We have plenty. But do not underestimate the resolve of a combat soldier's wife. We come to each other's aid at a moment's notice. We band together and strengthen our ranks. For those who would rather beat us down, for those who would rather accuse than discover the truth, for those who would rather take something that truly does not belong to them, we will take lessons from our husbands, who fight for us. We will fight for what we believe, and it will not be without honor, for sometimes honor is all that's left.

Megan, you have my support. I am behind you.

1 comment:

  1. Stephanie,
    Thank you.

    I want to say so much more but I just do not have the words. That doesn't happen to me often.

    This past week has been hard and that may be an understatement. Your words means more to me than you could know and every SINGLE one of them is what I believe and hope for and live by.You could not be more right about why we write. For the civilians who choose to read, to pass it on, they gain (I hope) an understanding of this life they could never have before. That is so very precious to me - to have people understand, to have people know how to talk to us, to have people not judge us and our soldier before they place themselves in our shoes and to really have a glimpse into it all. To know that this has helped so many people with that gives the greatest, greatest comfort. I am so very thankful for that.

    I am truly humbled by the women like you have come forward in support. I am blessed by your very, very special words. THAT has been the good. The messages I have received from people I have never heard from who have quietly read our family's journey, from sisters of service-members, strangers, civilians. I am immensely grateful.

    Thank you for supporting me in such a public forum. Thank you for standing with me -with everyone who feels these same words. Thank you, Thank you, Stephanie. You have done a greater good than you can know. You brought me to tears I am so very proud and at the very same time humbled to stand among women like you. Thank you for sharing your strength.