This week, SpouseBUZZ received an email from a military spouse which read, in part:
Okay, I'm new to the spouse blog, so I'm still learning about the site. I think it's a great idea, since military wives (or husbands) have similar worries and problems. One thing I would like to hear about from other spouses is their take on all those irriating people who run down our military.
I'm so frustrated by these types of people. Instead of " thank you for making the world safe" we hear , "your husband's a child-killer or a murder". If they can't say anything nice or disagree why can't they just be quiet. This is a topic that I'm sure most wives (or husbands) have had to deal with. So maybe someone has some good advice on how to deal with this. I'd appreciate it if you would make it a topic for further discussion.
I've had two such run-ins with these types of people, and it's difficult to remain composed, especially when your husband is deployed and in harm's way. However, as fired up as I may be internally, I've found that external composure and mild temperament when addressing this type of incident works best for me.
First, let me say that I strongly dislike the term "anti-war." Nobody is more anti-war than a military spouse. We do, after all, have the most to lose. Like the phrase or not, that's how the lines have been drawn.
While my husband was deployed, I happened to be somewhere where I was carrying a non-controversial sign which read, "Proud Army Wife." An anti-war type noticed my sign, came over and said, "I hope your husband is safe." Knowing this individual's history and his beliefs, I wasn't convinced at all that he cared about my husband's safety. I looked at him and simply said, "he's keeping you safe" and walked off.
On another occasion, I was attending a non-political "Support Our Troops" event. An event which hosted about fifty Gold-Star family members. Some anarchists tried to crash the event. Once again, I was holding my non-political "Proud Army Wife" sign and wearing my "Our Family Supports Our Soldier" button. The anarchists began shouting at me.
Your husband is brainwashed, your husband is fighting for a lie.
They also chanted:
Thou shalt not kill.
We love our country too.
It's not easy to deal with these people when you know how much is at stake for your spouse and your family. Some of these people are downright cruel.
I feel the need to point out something that you've probably noticed, SpouseBUZZ does not address politics. Military spouses come from all ends of the political spectrum. SpouseBUZZ is here to support ALL military spouses regardless of political affiliation. Although the so-called anti-war crowd is generally thought to be leftist, I'm quite sure that military spouses who lean left would be the first to knock down those who denigrade our servicemembers and their families.
People who spew hateful rhetoric and label our troops as "killers" have no idea what they are talking about, and they have no idea how hurtful their ignorance can be to military families.
Back to the original email, have you had any encounters with people who "run down our military?" If so, how did you handle it?
Lastly, thanks for all the email and suggestions. If there's a topic you would like us to address, let us know. This blog belongs to you, and we want to hear what's on your mind.