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Are Milspouses Caged Animals?

Last night, I read a very funny and creative expression of what it's like to be a milspouse from the perspective of one Marine wife. Trust me, you don't want to miss this....

I think I've slowly gotten used to it, but it's hit me with exceptional force these last two weeks to where it made me feel like I am an animal at the zoo to be gawked at, poked, prodded and investigated.

I feel that there should be a tour guide standing next to me in kaki shorts, a funny shirt and a clipboard in his hand taking questions.

"Umm, Sir. What is it?"

"Well, ladies and gentlemen, what you are looking at is called 'the Military Spouse.'"

Collective Oooo-ing and ahhh-ing. Hands go up all over the room.

"Ahh, yes," the tour guide says, "you in the back row."

"Yeah.. umm.. How is it made?"

"Very good question. Well, you see, a member of the Armed Forces, in this case, a Marine, marries one of these creatures and they become 'the military spouse.'"

Someone yells, "Is it dangerous?"

A soft chuckle from the guide, "No, no. Only if you irritate it, but generally it is very friendly."

"Has its mate ever been to Iraq?"

"That is a very good question and in this case the answer would be, 'yes.'"

"What does its mate think about the war?"

And so the tour guide goes into the political ideals of this thing called a "Marine" and its "Spouse" while I sit behind glass chomping on doughnuts because zoos always take very good care of their animals and they would know that doughnuts would make me happy enough where I wouldn't mind being gawked at.

"Excuse me," some sweet lady in the front row says, "how does it handle being a 'military spouse?' It must be very hard on it."

"Ma'am, that is a wonderful question. It can be difficult for some but this one doesn't seem to mind so much. See how she keeps her family and friends and interests around her? That helps her cope with whatever her spouse is sent to do. Also, this one works outside the home and spends a lot of time doing things that she enjoys, like reading and watching dumb movies."

Everyone chuckles then someone asks, "Is its mate gone now?"

"As a matter of fact, he is."

Let's all make that collective, pitiful sigh before someone else asks, "And how long will he be gone?"

I might scratch myself here just to give them some entertainment, but it won't be too inappropriate.

"Well, he's already been gone for about three months. It can be anywhere from four to five months before he will return."

Smatterings of "Oh my goodness." "How awful." "The poor thing." and "I could never do that."

Then someone HAS to ask, "Will its mate be faithful to it while its gone?"

"You know, we get that question a lot, and though it is possible, these two seem to be quite monogamous."

Some jerk in the front in the middle must ask, "How much are we (Mr and Mrs tax-payer) paying so that she can just sit there an munch on doughnuts while the rest of us work for a living?"

The guide chuckles and says, "Alright, let's move on then. Next up is a very rare find; a couple who has been monogamous for more than 60 years!"

I don't think I need to say anything else.

Very amusing, and really dead-on in many cases, especially when you live in an area where military culture isn't necessarily understood. I don't mind the "oohs" and "awwws", that's generally a sign of respect for what we endure. But like this wife, I do mind some of the other ridiculous questions and assumptions that are sometimes made by those wacky civilians.

Source: Military.com discussion board (MJ).

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