Military Life

We Don’t Have to Support the War to Support Our Servicemembers

“U.S. soldiers are not over there killing and dying to defend our country or protect our freedoms here at home.”

The rage that burned within me as I read these words was enough to set the world on fire. I’m thinking you may be feeling the same way right about now.

Usually I try to keep an open mind when it comes to reading the viewpoints of others…especially where politics are concerned. If I don’t think I can keep my emotions in check, I just click the little red “X” button at the top of my computer screen or scroll on past whatever garbage on social media I just can’t deal with that day. With as polarized as our country is these days, I tend to pick and choose my battles wisely.

But THIS? Yea….HELL-to-the-NO.

A few weeks ago, I came across a blog post titled “Military Spouses: Lead Us Out of the QUAGMIRE”. You’ll have to read it for yourself to fully appreciate the rage-inducing mind-screw that I experienced, but I’ll sum it up for you.

It starts off with the author seemingly confused as to why our country isn’t “rising up en masse” against our nation’s longest war. Look, I know tons of people who aren’t happy with the fact we’re still in Afghanistan, especially now after President Trump’s recent decision to send more troops there. That doesn’t make the author’s opinion invalid. Everyone’s entitled to their constitutional right to free speech… I mean, that’s what our service members are protecting, right? Our freedom?

Not according to this guy.

In a nutshell, the author states his belief that our troops are not in Afghanistan fighting and dying to protect our freedoms and goes on to state “the real reasons” we’re over there. His solution? The entire country should band together to protest this war. His assumption is that if we protest, the government would bring ALL of our troops back home. The best part? He wants MILITARY SPOUSES to lead the charge.

He paints this picture:

“Imagine if 100 (military) spouses were to show up in Washington with signs saying: “It’s time to bring my husband home.” “It’s time to bring my wife home.” “Enough is enough.” “Not one more death of a U.S. soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan.” “No casket for my Bill.” “No body bag for my Mary.””

Is this guy SERIOUS??? I guess so, because then he has the audacity to pose this question to us:

“What’s more important to you: Your spouse’s military career or that they come home to your family alive and intact?”

The short answer? BOTH. They are equally important and not mutually exclusive. The long answer? My response to him:

“Dear Sir,

The American military today is an ALL VOLUNTEER FORCE. Not ONE service member was forced to join the military, and to my knowledge, not ONE military spouse was forced to marry them. Many of us married our service member because of their character behind that calling. We could no more choose their mission than we can choose whether or not to love them. We aren’t in the business of protesting their missions (as much as we would love to for our own reasons).

What we can protest is the B.S. rhetoric you’re trying to include us in. Your view is your view, and that’s fine. But do not put out a call to action for military spouses to support a view that goes against everything our service members stand for. YOU may believe that they are fighting and dying for causes other than our freedom and security. YOU may believe they are deployed for no ‘good’ reason. But what about what THEY believe?

Because THEY believe they are fighting and dying to protect YOU. They are over there for YOU. Does their service, wounds or deaths mean nothing to you? Because THEY believe they have fought and died for YOU. On the most fundamental level of the human condition, THAT is what motivates them to execute their missions.

So before you try and turn military spouses into your political sounding-board, you need to understand that the support we have for our service member is NOT conditional.

We don’t have to love what they do in order to love why they do it. We don’t have to believe in the mission…we CHOOSE to believe in THEM. Maybe you should think about doing that too.”

Signed,

Every Military Spouse

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