Photo Credit, U.S. Army, SPC Aristide Lavey

The Navy is just the water taxi to the Marines.

Marine stands for Muscles Are Required Intelligence Not Essential.

Soldiers in the Army just Aren’t Ready to be Marines Yet.

Coast Guard isn’t really even military.

And the Chair Force…well I think the name speaks for itself.

I grew up in an area that had 10 military bases within an hour drive of my house.  I heard every stereotype and joke about every branch.  Since I am a Navy brat, the jokes just increased when I went and married a Marine.  And you should have heard the comments that came when I talked to an Army recruiter!

We always knew it was a joke though.  My father always expressed the utmost respect for anyone who was willing to put on the uniform and put their life on the line in the name of the country.  I have a cousin in the Army, a cousin in the Navy and one in the Air Force.  We are all proud of each others successes and celebrate every advancement because we know that it takes hard work to get where each of us is right now.

What I saw on my first deployment and often hear, with all seriousness, from military members or spouses is that one branch really isn’t as good as the other.  We sit here and compete about who has it worse and which spouse is in a harder job.  People compare a 9 month ship deployment and say it wasn’t a real deployment because it wasn’t 6 months in Iraq.

I think we are missing the point.

A deployment is a deployment.  It’s stressful no matter where you are sent or how you get there.  My 9 month carrier deployment was just as disruptive to my life and my family as my husbands 6 month deployment to Japan.  We were still apart, still in an unfamiliar situation where we had to learn to adapt and regroup.  We worked at an optempo that was faster than it is at home.  We didn’t know when we’d be home because world events and natural disasters threatened to extend our deployments.  We missed holidays and special events because the military had to come before our marriage.  It didn’t matter where we were, it was still hard.

A uniform is a uniform.  It doesn’t matter which branch you or your spouse serve in, the person is still serving.  We all say the same oath when we enlist.  We are all put on notice to go anywhere in the world.  We work together in joint task forces.  We are stuck on the same boats.

We defend the same country.  We are proud of our branch, but more proud to be a part of something bigger than us.

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