The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

THE "WHO HAS IT WORSE" GAME |

October 16, 2006

THE "WHO HAS IT WORSE" GAME
Name: C. Maloney
Posting date: 10/16/2006
Husband: deployed on float...somewhere
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Milblog url:
http://corpsdjour.blogspot.com

Between deployed Marines/Soldiers and their spouses it's easy to play the "who has it worse" game. Being the even-keeled person that I am, I am okay with saying we both have it hard...an example:

THE DAY HE LEFT

Him: riding out on his floating steel chariot, heart thumping, adrenalin rushing, the adventure starting.

Me: holding his hand as he prepares to leave, keeping my patience when his superiors come to chat with him, cutting into our last few seconds together. Waving goodbye as he rides away. Driving home to the big empty house, seeing his dirty laundry, the empty Monster can he'd finished off the night before, not quite bringing myself to throw it away, not just yet.

I'd rather be him.

CHRISTMAS DAY

Him: probably stuck in the middle of the desert, maybe out on a mission, receiving stale crushed gingerbread cookies in the mail, waiting for a Christmas gift that hasn't made it yet, singing "Jingle Bells" in his head to drone out the chanting blasted from every loudspeaker on every mosque in town.

Me: sitting at home with my family, opening up gifts by the fire, making butter-ball cookies with my mom, waking up to Santa Claus-stuffed stockings, clinging to my cell-phone hoping for a phone call from my husband.

I'd rather be me.

Yes, we've both had it tough -- we've been separated from each other before our new marriage has even had a chance to solidify, for holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries; if we speak, it's in the middle of the night in 15-minute increments, forcing us to trust that the other is thinking about us, loving us, even if they can't let us know.

But let me also tell you why we have it good. We have a little more perspective. We squander our minutes together a little less, knowing that they are limited. We have an opportunity to write each other love letters. We learn to be proud of one another, and proud of ourselves. And when we say "I love you," the small crack in the voice shows that we really mean it...and, for me at least, the silver lining that I don't have to watch a single football game this whole season.

While I don't always love this life, while I wish that I knew right now where my husband is and what he is doing, while I sometimes feel alone, sacrificing so much for something that most people find an inconvenience to their pocketbook or a nagging annoyance on the evening news, while we both have it hard and it's easy to slip into the "who has it worse" game -- I find it helps to focus on what I have learned, how this has helped us, and how lucky I am to really know it.

Comments

I don't know you or your husband but I am so proud of you both. He is fighting for our country for what he (and I) believe in, so if there were ever heroes, you both top the list. Thank you Sir for protecting our country and Thank you Maam for being there for him. He is there protecting our ass and you are there backing him up. You are his wife and I'm sure you both love each other and miss each other a lot, but rest assured that people like me are supporting the both of you. I love u both and God Bless U Both!!!! and God Bless America!!!!!!

It is so nice that both people involved, husband & wife realize that it is difficult on both of you while he is away at war. I dont have a husband but I have written to the soldiers and sent care packages. And I truly feel for you both. I am pushing 36 yrs old & still no relationship. Hold on tight to what you have together because once he comes home - it will all be worth the pain & heartache. Stay true to one another & all will be great.

All my prayers are with you all.

N Harrison
Brooksville FL

I am glad you are out there fighting for me & my family and all those that say this is stuipd or that say it cost us to much. It cost us life and love ones, but we need to remember your out there for all of us. It's funny how many forget what they did on 9/11 and thats why your standing up for all those who cant. I thank you and all those who are there. I will pray for you and your love ones and all those fighting out there for us. Thank God for people like you. May God bring you home safe.

I believe God made special angels to take care of home and family for our "WARRIORS".I pray he will be home soon and will always be safe.We thank not only him for his sacrifice but we thank you and his family for their sacrifice as well.Without the men and women who are willing to protect and defend this great nation we would all be lost.You are all in our prayers and thoughts daily.
I do mean that--my husband and I read,listen and pray for our soldiers and their families daily. God Bless

You are both beautiful. I feel wholly the same. My husband n I have seen each other 6 times in the past year. Bless you both and all our service men/women.

What a beautiful note. You are indeed very lucky as not many are in this day. Always remember what you have written here and may your marriage and your future be as bright as the brightest star, and thank you and your husband for your sacrafice.

Wow, I have never heard such a poignant comment such as "I don't have to watch football this season". These words really hit home with the reality of having your spouse gone for so long.

What an utterly unabashed descriptive narrative of the ones directly involved in our nation's defense! No one escapes the emotional and physical toll, but it helps to know so we can better sympathasize with soldiers and their families. Thank you!

Thank you for the sacrifices you are making. You are blessed to see the amazing and wonderful during such a time of trial and tribulation. Mundane becomes a positive in a world where the unknown is truly dangerous and heart breaking.

Thanks, to you and your husband.

Wow...Get out of my head!!! I so agree with you there. I couldn't have said it better myself. Being an Army spouse for almost 9 yrs now almost through our second deployment to Iraq in 3 yrs... I feel all of those things you wrote about. And I hear many wives play the who has it harder game. And sometimes I just want to say SHUT UP!!! Yet, I understand how they feel at the same time. For us the having it hard part is what came with the man... we married those combat boots too when we married the man... and we live and breathe the military even though we are not 'soldiers' we are fighting the war with these men and women everyday. As they are fighting for our freedom and those who will follow in our footsteps... we are molding and shaping the future of America here at home everyday as we paly Mom and Dad for little while and try to fit all the pieces together when a big part of us is missing. We all suck it up and drive on not knowing if our heros will ever make it home or not. Trust me when I say this... you are never alone... my heart is with every Soldier and his or her family everyday. So when you have those moments where you feel alone just think for a second that your husband is probably feeling alone too, even though he is living in a tent in the middle of the desert with 20+ soldiers or standing in a line 30 minutes long for chow, meanwhile remembering how good the dinner you always cooked him was. Alone is a state of mind we all find ourselves in from time to time. I try to focus on the good things in my life and yes somedays that is hard... and somedays I think I can't do this anymore.. but, it takes a special person to be a military spouse to understand the need your soldier has for you to be the leaning post to hold him up sometimes too. But, I just had to say that I loved reading this blog and wanted to tell you that you are not alone. From one military spouse to another... HOOAH!!

My husband and I got to spend 2 weeks together after our wedding before he had to deploy. He has been gone for almost 2 months now. Some days are harder than others, but you blog gave me a very positive look on our situation. Thank you.

Ma'am, how wise you are. Blessings to you & your family & I sure hope your husband comes home safe.

Thank you both for your service to our country. I, too, will pray for your husband.

I completely sympathize with what you are going through, both as a wife, but also as a soldier. My husband and I are both military. Only a very few months after our marriage and part way through my pregnancy, he was shipped off to S. Korea. Now that I've had the baby and completed my convalecent leave, I am now "deployable" again. And the Army is certainly wasting no time in taking advantage of this. I will be deploying to Iraq midway through his tour in Korea. So, by the time I see my husband again, it will have been nearly two years (if not more, depending upon how my deployment fairs) since we will have seen one another. I am thankful for VOIP phones and e-mail. We can both set up our webcams so that he can see his baby girl and she can see him. Soon he will be doing the same for me. We'll miss our first anniversary. He's missing her first Thanksgiving and we'll both miss her first Christmas and Easter. I'll miss her first birthday, first teeth, first steps, first words. Those are things that we will never, ever get back. But I look into the eyes of the veterans I meet, or at the graves across the Veterans' Cemetary nearby and I remember why we go, why we sacrifice. It's not for any ideals or concepts presented by politicians. It is for those who have gone before me. It is for the man beside me on guard duty. It's for that NCO that's going to make sure I change my socks and have all of my gear set straight. It is for my daughter's future and for those who will continue the fight after me. It is for that soldier who will NOT return home to his or her spouse and children, parents and other loved ones. It is for those who have lost someone that they dearly love in this war. And it is these thoughts that make the "who has it worse" game so insignificant in my mind.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c5f3053ef00d834bd832153ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference THE "WHO HAS IT WORSE" GAME:

« Previous Article | Main | Next Article »




Search Doonesbury Sandbox Blog

LINKS



About

My Photo

FEATURED BOOK