A few days ago, I came across this video on my internet homepage and it really struck a cord. Steve has been saying this for years--that only a tiny portion, less than one percent, bear the burden of war.
It's so different than it was back in WWI & WWII, when the entire nation was asked to pay part of the price, either by serving or supporting the war effort back at home. When Steve and I got married 19 years ago today, in fact, I was in graduate school and he was only six months away from getting his commission as a Army officer. It was 1994, and the thought of a war, actually two, and multiple year-plus deployments being in our not so distance future had never occurred to me. I guess I was niave. I guess I didn't quite know what I was getting myself into. I can look back on the past 19 sometimes long years and realize that now. I am a relatively small town girl, you see. The child of two people who had almost no connection to the military. They supported it, but no one in our family has really served, with the exception of my uncle who served in Vietnam. And then I married Steve, and that all changed.
It's hard to explain the burden of being a military family to someone who isn't. And it's equally hard to understand it if you aren't one.
It's not what you see on the news or on Army Wives. There is a bond between military families that cannot be explain. I frequently wonder how being a "military brat" impacts my children and I honestly think, though it can be difficult at times, they are better for it in the end. I know that I am. Looking back over all that our family has gone through over the past 19 years, I wouldn't change any of it, even knowing what I know now.