Women in Combat

 Lifting the ban on women in combat

HUGE ISSUE!

This issue has been causing an uproar online!  People are battling over whether this is a good decision or not.  Some say it is a great idea and that women should be allowed to do the job they want.  Some say women can’t do the job as well as the men do.  You got a lot of men and women saying that women are not physically strong enough to do the requirements demanded in combat.  I have seen several people state that a woman‘s emotions would cause issues in combat as well.

Well….I’m pretty sure I’m about to make some people really upset!  My opinion is that it is a bad idea.  I don’t agree with lifting this ban.  Yes, I know there are and have been women in infantry units and such…I still don’t agree with it.

I know several woman are proposing the “equal opportunity” side for this argument, but that gets blown out of proportion.  They set standards and tests that have to be passed in order to be able to serve in combat, but just as soon as one misses the mark and is turned down it becomes a huge battle!  It has happened in the past and it will happen again.  “They were too strict, they weren’t fair, they were too judgemental, they intentionally failed me due to my gender.”  Not all, but a lot of women would “milk” those excuses when in fact, they just weren’t physically fit enough or whatever to pass the tests or the standards put in place.  Bottom line…A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE TO PASS THE SAME PT TESTS AND SUCH AS THE MEN IN ORDER TO FIGHT IN COMBAT.  If a man has to do 70 push ups within a two-minute period…so does the woman!

The physically fit part bothers me too.  I have to admit, I agree with the women that have stated most women just aren’t strong enough to be dependable in combat.  You got a 200lb man needing to be pulled to safety…a 120lb (for example) woman probably wouldn’t be able to handle that situation.  I would think the men would feel better knowing their guys have their back and would have no problems physically pulling them out of harm’s way.  Just my opinion…so don’t take offense please.

Next on the list…emotion.  Yea, I know some are probably rolling their eyes right now.  But the truth is, women are more emotional.  I’m not saying men are all stone cold or anything, but men tend to be more “act now, think later”.  I think that is a good quality in combat.  I would think most women would be more likely to freeze up or hesitate.  Those two reactions are definitely not good in combat zones.  Stress levels run high during a deployment and being in combat raising that stress way above the bar.  Here again, I think men handle high levels of stress a little better.  I know several people are probably thinking about PTSD right now.  And yes, PTSD is a huge problem resulting from deployments, but I still side with men handling their stress and emotions better.

I’m gonna catch hell for this next one!  But here goes!  CNN just published an article called “Unplanned pregnancy on rise in military.”  This is a problem folks.  A unit trains together and prepares for deployment together.  It’s damaging to a unit when women have to stay behind, after training and preparing together, due to unplanned pregnancy.  It is irresponsible.  Yes, I know it takes “two to tango”, but being responsible for your part within the unit is necessary.  Also, this is an issue during deployments.  Here again, completely irresponsible.  It costs the military, as stated in the CNN article, around $10,000 to send a servicewoman home from overseas due to pregnancy.  You get sent home, your unit is down a soldier due to this issue.

So, there you have it!  I know lots of people will disagree with me and that’s ok.  I stand firm on my opinion.  I am more old-fashioned and I was raised that way.  I’m proud of that.  Women can do lots of things that men can…combat just isn’t one of them.

P.S.  I just have to add in this little funny tid bit!  I just ran a spell check and “servicewoman” was underlined in red.  When I clicked on it, the word that popped up (since red means misspelled) was serviceman!  LOL  Damn!!!

Advertisements

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!