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.

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!

 

Counting down his return…

Ahhh…nearing the end of another deployment!  I am sooo ready for this deployment to be over!  I am in that “hurry up and wait” stage…

I think a lot of the wives go through the “nesting” phase.  That’s where I am…once again!  I have spent the last few weeks getting all the things he likes.  I’ve made sure to get all his favorite foods and drinks.  I’ve gotten new shirts and jeans for him too.  Carpets have been cleaned and the house has been put back in that “OCD order”!  Everything has its place!  Haha  I have all his presents from Christmas laid out…yes, he will still have a Christmas!  I sent gifts to him and made sure he has tons to open at home too.  Our daughter is getting so excited!  She can’t wait to rip into presents with Daddy!  Our daughter has already found her “welcome home Daddy” dress and keeps it hanging on her bedroom door.

I can’t wait to have him home and have our lil’ family back together.  It’s the little things I miss the most…Saturday nights, breakfast together, boots in the floor, washing ACU’s (yes, I have actually missed seeing them in the laundry!), the sound of the front door opening in the evening knowing it’s him home from work, doing the “guy” stuff like camping and fishing, watching movies together…WAKING UP NEXT TO HIM!

Army wife do’s and don’ts!

Time and time again you hear about military couples having problems.  Yes, I know that is a very broad term…problems!  But you see it over and over again.  Some of the problems I’m referring to consists of communication issues or simply not understanding the way things work.  Army wives, as do the other military spouses, go through a ton of stress!  Whether its dealing with deployments, husband’s chain of command, plans being smashed into pieces or any of the other numerous issues associated with being a military spouse…keep your chin up!  Here are a few tips to help get you through some of it!

The stress will definitely be a factor!  DO learn to deal with it and take each day as it comes.  DON’T whine and complain about it all the time though.  Letting as much as you can roll off your shoulders will pay off….I promise!

DO enjoy and make the most of your time together.  DON’T  take any of that time for granted!  Far too many times there will be things that come up or sudden events (earthquake in Haiti) that cause your husband to have to leave quickly.  And don’t use “lack of money” as an excuse not to do things to spend time together.  There are tons of things to do as a couple for little to no cost at all!  Think simple ladies!!!

DO have pride for your husband’s courage, accomplishments, service, etc.  DON’T  wear his rank!  Spouses hold no rank whatsoever.  Your husband’s rank is his and his alone.  He earned that rank with time served, courage, dedication, dependability and many other accomplishments.  Pretending that you wear that rank is not only wrong but tacky, in my opinion of course!  🙂

DO get used to being around and meeting new, different people.  Having an open mind and not judging others based on their looks, accent, age or religion will be very beneficial!  Accept the fact that everyone is different, yet a friend can come in many shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds.  DON’T get caught up in the drama of any groups or cliques.  You will already have enough on your plate without having to deal with the issues that reflect typical highschool behavior.  Now, am I saying that all military spouses participate or reflect this highschool clique issue?  NOPE…JUST SAYING THAT IT IS BEST TO STAY AWAY FROM IT WHEN YOU SEE IT!

DO support and stand by your husband.  No matter what…be there for him and keep in mind he goes through a great deal of shit!  DON’T try to do his job for him.  You are not active duty and therefore, the job is his and not yours.  There is a difference in being supportive and being controlling.

DO look forward to time together.  DON’T make plans too far in advance!  Trust me, write it all in pencil!  Dates and times will change very often!

DO respect his chain of command.  Understand that orders are orders…you don’t have to agree with them or like them, but he has to follow orders regardless.  DON’T go to his chain of command for every little thing that goes on with your life.  An emergency situation is one thing… wanting time off for a beach trip or family reunion has zero impact on orders.

DO take advantage of the nice privileges and benefits offered to active duty and dependents.  Be grateful for them too!  DON’T act like you are special or entitled to anything just because your husband serves in the military.  Here again, his career and rank are his!  Assuming and expecting things in return for his service is wrong!

DO form your own opinions about the FRGs.  Being involved with the FRG of your husband’s unit could turn out to be a great experience for you.  You will hear several different points of view on this subject.  My best advice, make up your own mind!  DON’T expect a FRG to cater to your every need.  I know that sounds harsh, but please understand that FRGs work best when you all work together.  The ol’ “Give and Get” idea comes into play here.  All spouses working together will make a strong group.

DO give your husband some free time to unwind.  Before you freak out and do the eye roll thing, let me explain!  LOL  I know some wives work and some don’t.  Obviously, if you both work full schedules, you both need some “down-time” to unwind and relax.  If that is the case, talk it out with your hubby and work out a schedule of taking turns sleeping late or whatever.  If you stay home, give him a little free time so his stress level doesn’t exceed the limit.  Playing the Call of Duty and Halo games seem to be the most common form of down-time when they get home from work.  DON’T whine or complain when he does this.  Remember, he has been up since sometime around 0500 maybe and may not get home until 1730 or after.  He’s had a long day…give him a break.  LOL  I can just see the eye rolls ladies!

DO keep in mind that whatever post you are stationed at has several resources available for your husband and your family.  There are support centers that can offer tons of assistance with all kinds of issues ranging from financial planning to PTSD.  There are also several websites that will point you in the right direction as well.  The FRG should have all this information readily available for you too.  DON’T  assume you are alone or not accept help.  Before and after deployment packets are also available to help you cope and plan for the changes associated with them.

I hope this helps you adjust and/or maintain your stress level as well as keep your relationship happy and healthy!  Let me know if you have any questions!

Adjusting to new routine after deployment

The adjustment can be smooth and easy or difficult and stressful.  Try to keep in mind, even though you have been dealing with the ups and downs back home, that your soldier has been deployed for a year or more.  Understand that the things we tend to take for granted are the very “luxuries” he has been completely without.  You have been able to get up and walk ten feet to the bathroom…he has had to make sure he was in full uniform and I can’t imagine how far some had to walk to get to a porta potty.  You could fix something to drink, anything you want, with ice!  He hasn’t been able to have a glass of coca-cola with ice in a really long time!  Those simple things make a big difference.  And on top of not having those things, he has been in a war zone…aka HELL!  Please, please try not to expect so much!

Here are a few tid bits of advice for the soldiers via Military.com

Make time for your family. Hold off on visits to relatives and limit time with friends until you’ve settled into a comfortable routine at home.  Take time to talk with your spouse or partner. After a long absence, you need to get to know each other again. You’ve both had new experiences that may have changed your priorities and your ideas about roles in the marriage and the family. Talking now can help you lay the foundation for a newly strengthened relationship.  Take time to understand how the family has changed while you’ve been gone. Don’t charge in with your own way of getting things done. Notice how your spouse is dealing with your children’s discipline, for example, and restrain yourself from taking over with a tougher or looser approach.  Spend time alone with each member of your family. Think of things to do with your children that you each enjoy and that will give you time to talk and have fun together in a relaxed way.

Don’t leave to visit relatives right away.  You, as a family, need to spend alone time together.  It is good for the soldier to be able to spend time with his kid(s).  This alone time means so much to both.  Your husband will need this time to adjust, to get to know his child(ren)’s new interests, to talk with you, and to sit back and relax.  Visiting relatives and friends should come at a later date.  Taking time to talk with your husband is very important.  My advice…do not ask so many questions.  He will tell you whatever he needs to when he is comfortable.  Overwhelming him with questions may seem more like an interrogation.

Allow time for rest and relaxation.  Plans and vacation time will come!  Making immediate plans is very stressful and doesn’t allow for any “down-time”.  Now I know you may be saying to yourself, “Where the hell is my down-time?”.  But we are the wives and our job is to be the glue that holds it all together.  Your relaxing time will come soon.  Before you and your husband plan to visit relatives, try to take a night or two for yourselves, if you can.

Continue doing your normal routine when it comes to household work.  Don’t expect him to immediately take out the trash, deal with the upkeep of the pets, household projects, etc.  Some husbands want to immediately do these things and some don’t.  Pay attention to him and talk.  Patience and good communication are the key!

His sleep pattern and schedule may be totally off also.  Let him sleep late, go to bed early, or both.

I want to mention PTSD as well.  PTSD can be easy to spot or very well camouflaged.  Pay attention to his temperament.  Watch his moods and see how he handles the new routine.  If you feel there is an issue, discuss it with him.  Like I said earlier, communication is the key.  There are also people you can call for help.  Visiting your soldier support center on post is a good place to start.  They have several informational packets that can help you as well as numbers to call for assistance.

With all that said, try to enjoy your time once he comes home!!!  Relax, have fun, cook together, have a drink or two, dance in the kitchen, etc!!! Decorate the house with lots of ribbon, flags and a banner.  Let the kids make “daddy signs” and hang them on the walls!