Women in Combat (part 2)

Well, this ban being lifted has ruffled quite a few feathers!  I have been trying to keep up with the opinions being voiced, especially from active duty military and vets.  I don’t care too much about what the politicians think!  The majority of the men’s opinions are against women in combat.  Now, that is the majority of what I have read…I’m not trying to step on toes here, just being honest.

The opposite is the opinion of most women, of course!  Most, not all, of the women are screaming for equality and saying that they have already endured the complications and hardships of combat.  Let me tell ya something…I don’t truly believe that for a second.  Not to say it hasn’t happened, but I haven’t heard of a woman soldier being outside the wire for 72 hours or more on a mission.

th[2](Sorry, but this was funny to me!)

I came across an article called “Five Myths about Women in Combat”.  This article had me shaking my head and rolling my eyes.  I know some won’t agree with me and that’s fine.  But I’m gonna break ’em down and give my opinion…of course!  Haha!

1.  “Women are too emotionally fragile for combat.” –  Women ARE more emotional than men!   I don’t care what the cause, but I really believe women are more emotional.  Hell, blame estrogen!  We all know estrogen makes us a little kooky!  Testosterone at least has the advantage of producing aggression and more muscle mass.  Aggression and strength are needed on the front line.  Being emotional only causes issues.  Putting your emotions to the side is essential.

2.  “Women are too physically weak for the battlefield.” –  This is true as well.  I have yet to meet a woman soldier that has the upper body strength to carry a 180-200lb man or the overall strength to drag a man of that size to safety in the event of injury.

3.  “The presence of women causes sexual tension in training and battle.” –  I don’t even know where to begin with this one.  Look, humans are sexual beings.  Stressful situations heighten sexual tension.  Those are scientific facts.  Now, am I saying that all men cheat?  No.  Am I saying that all women are homewreckers?  No.  I am saying that the stress and hardships of war do cause sexual tension.  Lots of women want to complain and file actions dealing with sexual harassment, yet many of them make sexual comments and actions toward men.  It seems to be ok for them to act that way towards the men but not ok for the men to make comments and such.  That’s bullshit.  You wanna act like one of the guys but can’t handle being treated like one (even though you are screaming EQUALITY!)???  Women, during a deployment, proposition men too.  Don’t be fooled and think the women are all innocent.  Men and women both make those decisions and both have to exercise will power.

4.  “Male troops will become distracted from their missions in order to protect female comrades.” –  I agree with this “myth” too.  Most of the male soldiers have expressed their opinions on this statement.  The majority agree that they would be more focused on protection of female soldiers…kinda like the whole damsel in distress thing.  The mission sort of becomes second on the list due to the fact that they are trying to keep an extra eye on the women and their safety.  If this is how the majority of male soldiers feel…then isn’t it selfish to put them in that position while in a combat zone?  It is risking their lives and the mission at hand… all for that female’s ego.  I know that sounds harsh, but I don’t want my husband’s life to be in even more jeopardy than already present in a combat zone.

5.  “Women can’t lead men in combat effectively.” –  Here again, I agree.  The main reason goes back to emotion.  I also think we should all consider the fear women should realize pertaining to the possibility of being captured during war.  The torture women would endure would be so heinous.  The emotion, stress, and fear of that torture if caught would greatly affect the woman’s ability to lead the men.

th[10](this pic was sent to me a while back…not sure where it came from.  It did make me giggle though!)

Here are a few opinions from a woman veteran that I’ve seen…these were sent to me with no name attached to them.

I saw the male combat units when I was in Iraq. They go outside the wire for days at a time. They eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in front of each other and often while on the move. There’s no potty break on the side of the road outside the wire. They urinate into bottles and defecate into MRE bags. I would like to hear a suggestion as to how a woman is going to urinate successfully into a bottle while cramped into a humvee wearing full body armor. And she gets to accomplish this feat with the male members of her combat unit twenty inches away. Volunteers to do that job? Do the men really want to see it? Should they be forced to?

 The few integrated units in the IDF suffered three times the casualties of the all-male units because the Israeli men, just like almost every other group of men on the planet, try to protect the women even at the expense of the mission. Political correctness doesn’t trump thousands of years of evolution and societal norms. Do we really WANT to deprogram that instinct from men?

When you’re going over a wall in Baghdad that’s ten feet high, you have to be able  to reach the top of it in full gear and haul yourself over. That’s not strength per se, that’s just height and the muscular explosive power to jump and reach the top. Having to get a boost from one of the men so you can get up and over could get that man killed.

I would have loved to be in the infantry. But I would never do that to the men. I would never sacrifice the mission for my own desires. And I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if someone died because of me.

This ban being lifted is going to cause major problems…mark my word!  I know we all have different opinions and I respect that.  Thanks for taking the time to read my opinion.

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Outside the Army Wife Club…

The dreaded Army Wife Club…

We know what that is and what it means, but how many of us have been kicked out and avoided like we are aliens?  For those who aren’t familiar with this “club”…it’s basically the “accepted” status a lot of wives depend on.  For example, your husband just began working in a new unit and you don’t know anyone.  So, you may go to one of the unit’s functions or attend a FRG meeting.  You may begin taking your child to same park that some of the other wives go to.  Plan cookouts and get-togethers to become acquainted with the new bunch.  Whatever.  Once you’re accepted into the group, the game kinda changes.  That’s an entirely different post though!  Haha

Anyway, now you know the club is basically like a clique in highschool.  Not all are bad, trust me.  I know I make it out like that sometimes, but there are a lot of really good women out there.  They are smart, funny, dependable, honest, sympathetic, etc.  The list could go on and on.  Then there are the ones that treat friendships like damn clubs and once you’re out….you’re out!

Deployments tend to bust up these little clubs…which sucks because that’s when you need each other the most.  But I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook and blogs the past week discussing this issue.  Generally, the stories have been the same.  The top two have been…

1.  During the deployment, I have been ignored constantly by the other wives.  They were my friends and now they don’t acknowledge that I’ve walked into the room.  Once the deployment began most of them were going out together on the weekends to bars and stuff.  I chose not to go.  I have a child/children and preferred to be at home.  The moment I didn’t agree with what they were doing, I was basically kicked out of the “club”.

2.  My husband came home from deployment due to an injury.  (I’ve seen this one quite a few times, just within this past week.)  Once he got home, the other wives have completely ignored me.  They refuse to talk to me, hang out, or even answer my phone calls now.  I don’t understand what I did so wrong.  My husband was injured…so why hate me?

Look, these Army wives are not worth a damn!  They will judge you and talk about you till no end.  You will find wives that tend to party and shop like crazy once a deployment starts.  Those women, if you decide, are not worth your time.  Personally, those women are the ones responsible for the crappy reputation we get.  Don’t let it get to you and be glad you don’t associate with them.  Just because you don’t head to bars and party doesn’t mean you are not worthy.  It just means that they can’t handle someone pointing out what they do wrong and choosing to be a better person.  (And before anyone goes nuts…by partying I mean partying hard!  That could be every single weekend, all weekend long and/or drinking it up during the week at bars and such.)   As for the husband being injured and sent home early issue…those women are just jealous.  They still have months to go before their husband comes home and just wanna find a way to distance themselves from you.  They look for an excuse to hate you…and most tend to make shit up.  You’ll find that a lot of them even go as far to say that your husband faked his injury!  Who would want to be a part of that damn club anyway???

Yesterday was a prime example…I was skimming through a Facebook page and came across an active post.  The post made it clear that this was from an anonymous woman who had emailed the page admin.  It simply stated that the woman had fertility issues and that her doctor had offered the suggestion of an Army wife being a surrogate.  Now, remaining open-minded, there are several reasons why the doctor could have suggested this.  The woman was simply asking if anyone would be interested.  Anyway, there was this one woman who went on a hate spree…aiming hateful remarks toward Ms. Anonymous.  Hater woman was claiming that she was just trying to misuse Tricare blah blah blah.  Several other women pointed out that Tricare, or any type of health insurance, was never even mentioned.  This woman was only doing what her doctor had suggested.  Not once did Ms. Anonymous talk about using Tricare for the surrogate.  Hater woman got a lot of comments from people wanting to know why she was creating drama and being so judgemental.  See???  Prime example of how some women just create drama out of nothing just to create problems and cause issues.  Some of these women will simply look for any reason/excuse to hate you.  They live for drama and will go as far to make shit up just to keep right on talking.

If you find yourself in these situations, sit back and think for a second.  Do you really wanna stress and worry about what these women say and do?  Nope!  Find friends outside the unit if you need to.  Find friends that aren’t tied to the military too.  There is nothing wrong with going outside the “norm” and just finding good people.  And keep in mind…there are some really awesome Army wives out there.  I know it seems like an endless search sometimes, but trust me, they are there.

People always leave…

Finding friends in the Army can be very difficult for spouses.  There is so much gossip, drama, and other crap among Army wives these days.  I have figured out, over the last several years, that many people you meet will become acquaintances and a select few will become actual friends.  Those friends will become so special and the bond will be unbreakable.  Between the deployments, struggles, and stress, you learn to lean on each other in hard times.  You each share the good times and precious memories.

But…you soon learn the bitter part of Army life and friends.  We all have to move away.

A very dear friend of mine is moving at the beginning of the year.  We both knew it was coming, but being prepared for it is another thing.  It happens to all of us, but it never gets easier I guess.  We keep in touch with the friends we’ve made and dread having to start over making new ones.  I know I dread it.

I have a few tips on keeping in touch and making the distance fun though.

1. Phone calls.  Keep in touch on a regular basis and continue to share each other’s struggles and good times.

2. Set aside a coffee date.  For example, Tuesday mornings at 0800 you pick up the phone, fill your coffee cup, and settle in for your weekly date/catch up phone call.

3. Face time/Video calls.  You get to see each other and the kids can also “visit” with each other.

4. Depending on distance, plan a get-together once a year or so.  Renting a cabin or something is a great weekend getaway to relax and catch up.

5. Penpal journal.  One journal shared between the two of you that you mail back and forth.

6. Crazy competitions.  Include your husbands and kids in little competitions throughout the year with Halloween contests and such.  It’s a good way to swap photos and the kids will have fun dressing up.  Each month could be a different theme too.

Anyway, those are just a few little ways to keep in touch and keep it fun.  Friends don’t let a little distance get in their way.  Be creative and take the time for one another.  It’s really worth it in the end!

The Twinkie Drama…

I was just informed that Hostess is having to shut down…

My first thought was….You gotta be kidding me?  The legalization of marijuana happens and then America takes away Twinkies!  LOL  The timing is just hilarious.  I see, on Facebook, that a lot of people are saying the same as me.  What shocked me on Facebook is even more hilarious though.

The Facebook group, Overly Sensitive Military Wives (OSMW), is at it again.  Those dummies are THE ONLY IDIOTS going nuts about the Twinkie drama.  Nowhere on Facebook did I see people complaining about it…But click on their page and the roller coaster ride of idiocy begins.  These women judge, annoy, harass, and bully any and all women who don’t look perfect.  They love to say that overweight women live on twinkies…but let Hostess shut down and these women get all retarded!  It is amazing to watch bullies make themselves look like fools.  Even some of their members are getting aggravated.  Hahaha!

Bullies always end up flat on their faces.  They end up being in the spotlight (just like they always wanted!) with everyone around them getting a good giggle!

Ahh Army Life…

Well, my little family is complete once again!  My hubby was out-of-town for two weeks for a class and just got back in last night.  It’s nice to have things back to normal again.  Although I’m sure it will just be a matter of a few months or so before something else comes up and he has to leave again.  Ahh, Army life…

I know there are a lot of new Army wives out there that feel lost and worried.  You feel overwhelmed and wonder if your life will ever feel normal.  You look at other couples and wonder how they do it or you watch them fall apart.  You hear the gossip and the horror stories.  Perhaps you are facing your first deployment and the idea of him leaving is tearing you apart.  Maybe you are a few months into the deployment and each day feels longer than the last.  Whatever the case, I am here to help with any questions or concerns you have.  Remember you have tons of support on post and within your FRG (hopefully).

I won’t pretend to have all the answers and I won’t preach that my advice is the best.  What I can tell you is…don’t sweat the small stuff.  Don’t get bogged down with the things you can’t change.  If he is deploying, come to terms with the fact that he is going to deploy.  If he has already deployed, take it one day at a time.  I know that sounds impossible to do sometimes.  You can’t change those orders, so just accept ’em.  Take the time to talk with friends and family.  Keep your friends around ya.  Have a girl’s night or a girl’s spa day.  Get the kids together for playdates.

Don’t listen to the gossip and drama!  It’s pointless and just weighs you down.  It doesn’t matter what wife did what or which husband said this and that.  People are gonna talk and they are gonna talk to anyone who will listen.  I have met countless chicks who gossip like crazy and will make stuff up just because they are bored as hell.  Simply don’t talk to them….or about them.

Oh!  I forgot to talk about the holidays!  Look, your soldier is gonna miss holidays…the trick is in how you adjust to it.  I’ll give ya a few examples…

Halloween~~If he will be home anytime in the month of October, dress up!  If ya’ll have children, talk to a few friends and/or family about having a little trick or treating!  If that’s not an option, talk to people in your neighborhood.  We have done that before!  We trick or treated a couple of weeks before the actual holiday.

Christmas~~You can send his gifts to him and maybe get in a video chat.  You can have Christmas whenever he gets home.  This year we Christmas again in April!  He got home that first week of April and we did Christmas all over again.

Valentine’s Day~~This can be done the same as Christmas.  Send stuff if you can and then celebrate it when he gets back.

Anyway, you get the idea.  Make due with what you can.  Take lots of pictures and make scrap books!  You will be so glad you did!  You will never forget these experiences and will love to look back on the memories of doing Christmas in July!

Hope some of this helps!

 

Deployment…what to say to and/or do for your soldier

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about deployments lately.  What to say or do for the soldier before he leaves seems to be two most asked questions.  So here goes…

What to do for your soldier before he deploys?….Look, the best way to approach this is to try to put yourself in his shoes.  Look at where he is headed, how his life will change, the “normal” things he won’t have access to anymore, the environment, not seeing you or any other family members for a long time…..the list goes on and on.  He won’t be able to come home and take his boots off.  He doesn’t get a cold beer in the evenings.  He may have a can of coca cola but no ice.  He probably has to walk a little ways to get to the bathroom, not to mention in complete uniform no matter what time of day it is.  No comforts that we take for granted…no heating and air control, no comfy bed, lousy food, no long hot showers, etc.  So, what do you do for him before he deploys???  Make him as comfortable as possible.  If he wants to spend the weekend kicked back watching movies and taking naps, tell him to go for it!  Eat out at his favorite places.  Go on little weekend trips.  Take tons of pictures!  Have cookouts on the weekends too so him and his buddies can sit back and relax.  Keep in mind that this is no time to be selfish.  He won’t have all these freedoms for a year.  You will.

What to say to him?…My best advice to is to reassure him that you love him.  Tell him that you will be thinking of him each and everyday.  Make plans to send him care packages full of goodies.  Let him know you will be right here when he gets back.  Don’t talk about the dangers he will face.  Don’t dwell on the time apart.  He probably won’t want to talk about those things.  If he wants to talk about that stuff he will, but don’t force it.  Write a letter and sneak it in his bag too.  And make sure to write letters during the deployment too.  A handwritten letter holds a lot more than a phone call.  Reassure him that you and the family will be ok.  It’s important that he not worry about his home and family while he’s gone.  He’s gonna have so much on his mind and will need to stay focused.

All in all, just live in the moment.  Have fun.  Don’t stress too much (I know that’s hard as hell to do).  This is his job.  Deployments are rough but they do end.  Tell him how you feel and let him know how important he is.  Take the time to send him things that remind him of home.  Don’t bog him down with drama from home.  He calls or gets online to escape the deployment.  Those few minutes of a phone call or online chat are his little vacations.  Make him laugh and reassure him that things are alright.

Drama among Military Wives…housing inspections

Ok, last week I saw a post concerning housing inspections on and off post.  The woman said that her husband had informed her that there was an incident within his unit that required a housing inspection due to health and welfare reasons.  So, basically, instead of inspecting that one soldier’s home, the entire unit was to prepare for inspections.  She was a bit upset about this.  She said she didn’t want them coming in and looking through their stuff and claimed it is an invasion of privacy.  Now…there were SEVERAL responses to this post.  Some said that inspections off post could take place.  Some said the off post inspections weren’t legal without a search warrant.  And some said it really doesn’t matter either way.  The official regulation was brought into the matter and still there was a thickness in the air about this subject.

Now you know I’m gonna throw in my two cents worth on this one!!!

First… an active duty soldier gives up certain rights when he joins the Army.  That is a fact.  You don’t have to like it and you don’t have to agree with it.  But as the spouse, you DO have to grit your teeth on some things and just realize it’s the way things are.  Like it or not you married into this type of lifestyle and you have the choice to get out of it.  I do not care one way or the other what the regulation says on this particular matter.  I would just roll with it!  It’s not that huge of a deal!  They just take a look around, from what I have been told, to be sure the living conditions are suitable.

Second thing… one of the responsibilities when leading a unit is the health and welfare of the soldiers.  The Commander of a unit does not just tend to one soldier when there is a complaint or a situation that is brought to light.  He/She looks out for the unit as a whole.  Every soldier’s health and welfare should be a priority.  I’m not saying everything is as it should be or that everything is perfect…believe me.  But this one incident involving the welfare of a soldier could lead to 4 more incidents.  Upon doing the inspections 4 more homes may be found that should be addressed.  And think about the possible children in those homes.  Had the inspections not been done, those children would have suffered longer do to improper living conditions.  At least that’s the way I look at it.

Third thing… keep your damn house cleaned!!!  If you are raising hell about chain of command doing searches you either live in filth or have something to hide.  JUST MY OPINION!  And I don’t wanna hear the excuses either.  You may work a full-time job and have three kids, but your house can still stay in decent enough order.  You could have a friend help out.  You could give your children a chore list so that their toys and dirty clothes stay picked up.  Hell, there are several cleaning services offered around that have affordable prices.  There is really no excuse for your home to be in such bad condition that you fear inspection.

Last but not least…a lot of spouses need to keep in mind that they are SPOUSES…You are NOT a soldier, you are a spouse.  You don’t get a say in the matter.  You didn’t raise your hand and take the oath.  You don’t wear the uniform.  You don’t serve in the Army.  His chain of command is not yours!  They don’t care if you agree or disagree with rules and regulations.  The job of an Army wife is difficult, trust me.  You are the glue at home and you deal with so much crap on a daily basis and this life would make most civilians go insane.  But you are not the soldier.  Please keep that in mind.

With all that said…I’m not saying this woman lives in filth or that she has something to hide.  I do, however, think most people who complain about this issue have dirty houses or have things to hide.  She basically stated that the invasion of privacy was her issue.  My advice to her, although she may not want it!, is to just let them take a look around.  It’s really not a big deal.  I highly doubt they will begin going through your things and turning over furniture.