So, first let me start out by saying that I actually had something entirely different planned for today’s post. However, I found a Facebook memory from 8 years ago that really hit me hard, and happen to coincide with what I was feeling today.. So I thought it was only right to go on a mini rant today about what I found in my Facebook memories.
Second, I would like to also add that what I’m about to talk about is a subject that many people have strong opinions about. I would like to ask you to keep those opinions to yourself if they are in any way disrespectful or rude. However, please don’t let that discourage you from commenting. If you have been through this same situation, and would like to add your thoughts, feel free to comment because I would love to hear from you!
That being said, time to start my rant..
Eight years ago today, my family decided to sign the papers that pledge our lives over to the United States Military. Eight years ago today, we went from a short term Military Family, to Lifers..
The Military has been our home for many years. We have traveled the world, we have met so many different people, we have gotten to see sights that some people would only dream about, and it has made us closer as a family. At a young age, I had the chance to climb two story tall rope wall, watch men drop out of airplanes and helicopters, and do an obstacle course 50 feet in the air that would make a grown man wet himself. It truly isn’t a life like any other, and if I could do it all over again, I would in a heart beat!
However.. I would be lying to you if I told you that I loved the Military lifestyle.. I respect the heck out of the Military, don’t get me wrong on that, and I am thankful for all of the things that being in the Military has allowed me to see, do, and learn. But I do not love the Military.
♥ The Military made my father miss Christmases, Birthdays, and Anniversaries. Those are times that we can never get back. It has taught us how special it is when we actually have my father home for those events, and to never take what little time we could spend with him for granite. But that lesson came at a terrible cost to my family.
♥ The Military has caused me to feel uncertain that anyone is ever going to stay in my life for more than 3-4 years. In the Military; we meet friends, and then a year or two later, one of us moves. Even though we always say that we are going to keep in touch with those friends, we make new friends, life moves on, and although those friends are never forgotten, life gets in the way for both of us. I thought that that would change when I became a civilian. But so far, my life seams to follow the same patterns. (I guess only time will tell on this one.)
♥ The Military has taken away my family. You know, those people that you only see once a year during the holidays (only after the Military has allowed you to leave the Base) and whom you don’t recognize the next year because they’ve changed so much.. Those same people who think that you’ve abandoned them, left them to go live some ‘glamoris’ Military life where you get so many perks that it would make their heads spin. Those same people that your family is fighting for. That same family that you want to return home to so badly because you cry every night from how much you miss them. My family. Those people who barely knew me when I came home, and some of whom didn’t even recognize me..
♥ The Military has stolen my idea of safety. The phrase ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ comes into effect here.. Military families aren’t ignorant. And when you teach all of us Military kids to ‘follow in our parents footsteps’, and teach us about terrorists and war, it’s enough to frighten anyone and keep them up at night. People don’t realize that when you’re a kid, your parents are your idols. So when your parents are Military, that Military way of life is obviously going to rub off on us! With so many active shooter situations in America now, it’s a scary place to live (anywhere is for that matter). So even though I’m officially out of the Military, that fear is still with me everyday. It’s something that the Military helped instill in me, especially with so many ‘mock drills’ for terrorist attacks that was made to teach us how to deal with that kind of situation.
The Military has both given, and stolen a lot from my life. It is never something I regret, because I am who I am today because of it. But I do wish that more people realized that it isn’t just the men and women in the Military who suffer, it’s their families as well. ALL of us. The ones who live this life too, and the families we leave behind.. I don’t think that any of us realized what we were truly signing up for when we became Lifers in the Military. Or at least, I didn’t. But one thing I’ve learned is that signing up for life in the Military, truly means for life.
I’ve been out of the Military for almost 3 years now, and the Military is STILL part of who I am. I still cry when I hear a Military song, no matter what it’s about. I’m still a stranger to some of my family, even though I’ve been back ‘home’ for three years now. And although I’m counting down the days for when my parents are out of the Military, I know that they’ll never truly be ‘out’. Our minds will always think like the Military taught us to think. Our bodies will always react how the Military taught them to react. And our memories will always be filled with the Military.
Okay, rant over..
If you’re still with me, thank you for listening to my rant today. I hope that I didn’t offend anyone, and I hope that you remember that this is just my ‘not so simple’ opinion from what my family has gone through together. I will always respect the Military. And it will always sadly be part of my life. But the moral of the story here is that; we honestly didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. And for all of you out there that think that Military families are well taken care of, and live in amazing houses, and party it up all the time. You’re only seeing what the Military wants you to see. It’s never the whole picture, only a small piece of the puzzle.
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