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Don’t tread on me

September 13, 2009

Oh boy. Where to begin? I’m hoping some of you will be able to identify with what I’m going to write about right now. It’s enough to make me write a second blog this evening and stay up way past my bedtime.

The one thing I’ve found SO frustrating in dating a man in uniform is that people JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND. Period. How can I expect them to? They’ve never cried when they’ve missed a phone call that you know you only get once a week. They’ve never wondered if their boyfriend was going to make it back from mission or not. They’ve never felt time standing still for the entire 24 hours he’s gone, and when that phone call finally comes that he’s okay…they’ve never felt that incredible sense of joy and relief. They don’t know what it’s like to be seperated from the man you love for a year at a time. They don’t know what it’s like to have the love of your life fighting for his every single day. They don’t know how it feels when you’re on the phone or video chatting and a mortar explodes right outside his room. They don’t know how it feels to have endless countdowns of when you’re going to see each other again that constantly get changed and pushed back. They don’t know how it feels to try to make plans but knowing in the back of your mind it never quite works out the way you want it to. They don’t know how it feels to see a man or woman in uniform and cry because you miss yours so much and for that one moment, you wish you could run up to them and hold onto them because it’s the closest thing you’ve got. They don’t understand why your love for them is so immense and so strong. They don’t understand why you’re pride is so huge it’s almost boastful. The bottom line is they just don’t understand.

You are DAMN right I am proud of my PFC. I will make no apologies for that ever. I love him for the guy I met 10 years ago in high school. I love him for the man he is in his ACU’s. I love him for who he is outside of that uniform too. His uniform DOES NOT define my love for him or our relationship, but let me tell you…those ACU’s sure as hell play a big role in it right now. This Army life is a part of OUR life TOGETHER. I have every right to be proud as hell and to make sure everyone knows it. I make no apologies.

Where does this come from? Tonight one of my civi friends (who in fairness has dated military) questioned some of the reasons behind our wanting to tie the knot next year. I understand it’s coming from a place of concern as a friend…that part was fine…but then when she got into the part about me being “consumed” by this Army life…that’s where stuff turned sour. She mentioned how on my FB profile it says in the little box on the left that I’m proud of my “PFC (his name here)” and she questioned why I felt the need to put his rank in front of his name. Well, because that’s a part of his life! It’s a part of our life right now. He’s PFC (his name here)! He isn’t just (his name here)! His life and our life together revolves around the Army!!! He is not a “normal” citizen of the United States of America. He chose to make a sacrifice. To put on a uniform and risk his life every single day so we can enjoy the freedoms we have back home. He goes without so others may have. She also didn’t understand how his job being in danger was any different than people stateside who put their lives in danger. WHAT!?! I couldn’t even touch that one. The things they go through physically and emotionally and psychologically are completely unlike anything back home. They are deprived of the things we take for granted while risking their lives. Sure, firefighters, police officers, etc all risk their lives on a daily basis and I’m not taking away from their sacrifice either (my family are deputies) but to me (and maybe I’m wrong) it’s VERY different. I’m not saying that my boyfriend is better than anyone else’s or more important. That’s not it. But let’s face it…it takes SOME KIND OF MAN to do what our guys do. Yes it’s his job and yes he chose to do it…but that doesn’t mean everyone can. She also said I posted a lot of videos and tributes and such on my FB which made it overall just seem I was consumed by this notion and perhaps would be basing a marital decision on the fact he wore a uniform. Do some people do this? Yes. But my soldier isn’t a “lifer.” We’ll have an amazing, happy, loving life together long after his uniform is retired and he is no longer known as PFC (insert name here). But until then, you can bet your ass I’m going to be one proud future wife of a PFC in the United States Army. I won’t stop being full of pride. And long after he’s out of the Army, I will STILL be so prideful of all of the men and women in uniform…just as I was before we were dating.

UGH! I’m so mad. I’m so thankful to have a group of people on Twitter and in life who understand everything I’ve just mentioned. It’s so crazy to me how “civis” just don’t get it but you talk to a complete stranger whose boyfriend/fiancee/husband is in the service and they COMPLETELY understand every word you say before you even say it.

THANK YOU to all of you who hear me, who listen to me, who support me, and who share my pride for our guys in uniform.

No apologies! I love my soldier. I am proud of my soldier. I love this life and I love the life we will have in the future.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2009 11:52 PM

    Right on! I totally know how you feel!

    I was beginning to think her concern for putting his rank was based on OPSEC, but it just sounds like this civi friend is either jealous or really just not getting it. You’d think having dated someone in the military she’d be more understanding. People are just ridiculous. I’m glad you’ve found others that understand. I need more of those in my actual life than just online, but I’ll take what I can get 🙂

    -Megan
    (On Twitter as MeganWrites1)

  2. Hannah(on twitter as MadameMirage) permalink
    September 14, 2009 9:42 AM

    Shannon, I could not possibly agree any more with this. I am currently working on my own blog because I just found myself in a similar situation last night with a friend when we were discussing the show “Army Wives”. I’m fairly new to this whole military girlfriend thing and it is a whole nother world compared to just dating someone who has never and will never serve. Some people just like to hear themselves talk and like to put their input without even really knowing what we are going thru. I honestly think your friend just has some weird insecurities or jealousy and she’s taking it out on you. She’s probably jealous because she’s realizes that being a military girlfriend means being a stronger woman than she will ever be

  3. Reina permalink
    September 14, 2009 9:43 AM

    Girl, I hear ya. They don’t get it, and they don’t want to hear your joy and pride.

    NEVER APOLOGIZE and NEVER BACK DOWN. MM.

  4. Alison permalink
    September 14, 2009 5:19 PM

    Shannon-

    I love reading what you write!!!! I don’t mean to sound corny, but your words feel like my words. I kept reading and nodding my head to myself lol!!
    It’s hard for anyone to understand the feelings of being a military girlfriend. You could try to explain til you are blue in the face, but the only way someone else could possibly understand it, is to experience it! There is absolutely nothing wrong with being PROUD of your soldier!! I know I wouldn’t want to date any other kind of man…we have the best of the best!!! Keep your head up :)!!

    -Alison (@alilou131)

  5. September 14, 2009 5:38 PM

    Hey lady,
    Just wanted to say that I dealt with a lot of that when I first started dating my husband… still do sometimes. People just don’t get it, and in all fairness we can’t expect them to. I certainly didn’t before I was thrown into it head first. But none of that really matters. All that matters is how you feel and if you wanna scream from the rooftops, screw anyone who questions that. I know for myself that I am proud of my husband all day every day, but that when he’s deployed I am much more vocal about it because it helps me get through the days. It gives me a reason to talk about him with pride instead of just with longing and sadness wishing he were here. You may lose some friends along the way, but if they aren’t willing to listen, they weren’t friends to begin with.

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