This topic has been on my mind for about four years now--almost five. See, sometimes when I meet new military wives, we chit and chat and it's inevitable that some discussion on how long and what does he do will come up. And it's not like some of the crazy wives believe in which there's a rank competition going on. Sometimes it really is just curiosity.
But the truth is, when the women are perfect strangers, and this is the equivalent of small talk, it's easy to wave off the catch phrases, the cliches. And many times, as I've explained that my husband was an accountant--a CPA--turned soldier, a new acquaintance will smile and say, "Ahh, just looking for a little adventure?"
And, I just laugh with a wave of my hand... yeah, yeah.
But no. I think the next time this happens, I will say, "No." I may even frown a little. Because despite the fact that these women mean no harm, at all. It makes me feel like I'm betraying the truth or my husband's trust.
My husband wanted to join the military when he was 17. His parents wouldn't sign the forms and told him, "Go to college." So he did. Which then started a different journey for him, one that included me. And eventually 5 kids. And he definitely kept looking for that opportunity to fulfill a dream. At every turning point in our life, he would take time to see what his options were for the military. But it wasn't until 2010 that he could make that a reality. And it wasn't 'adventure' or the need to 'escape' or find 'fulfillment.' No, let's be honest about an accountant husband, who quit smoking because 'it was too expensive now.' He wanted someone to pay of his substantial college loans. Yup. He might have wanted this at 17, but it was the undergraduate and post graduate loans that really pushed him into making this happen. [sorry, honey, if I'm revealing your secrets]
My husband has found adventure at every point in his life. He has made new friends. Learned new things. Answered 'The Call of the Wild'. Taken setbacks. And grown in leaps and bounds.
And let's talk about what adventure means anyway.
Kay. We'll do it a very simple compare and contrast kind of way so everyone understands. Ready? Here we go...
1. Travelling to distant countries to stand between your loved ones and enemy fire?
2. An African Safari?
3. Separation from your loved ones for months at a time?
4. Hiking the Denali with your lover?
5. 14 hour days of dealing with training, classes, people?
6. 14 hours on a lake in Lavonia, Georgia with your family?
See what I'm doing there?
Let's not forget why our soldiers fight.
Duty. Honor. Loyalty.
Love of country.
Love of family.
Love of Freedom.
To be very clear. I am not and have never been offended by the assumption that my husband was "looking for adventure". If you've ever said this to me, I'm not calling you out or want to stomp on your goodwill. :) The last woman who did it just happened to be the one that caught my attention and turned the tides--no hard feelings at all. And I never would have thought anything of her response if half of a dozen people before her hadn't said the very same thing.
But this time...I stand true to my soldier instead of letting his sacrifice seem menial.
Let's be honest!!
If he'd joined at 17, I would have accused him of giving in to the proverbial "Call to Adventure!"