You know all those military recruiting campaigns that portray military life as a great adventure? You get to see the world, experience new things, meet interesting people, do interesting things and on and on... This morning, I was thinking about how true it really is, but not always in the conventional sense, the way the commercials play it.
Okay, hang with me a bit here.
My husband and I are heading out to a heavy-metal concert. My husband is not a heavy-metal kind of guy, but his wife is a heavy-metal kind of gal, which apparently leaves some people shocked, shocked I tell you. My husband has never been to a heavy-metal concert, his wife has. That should lay the groundwork pretty well.
So, I bop down the stairs in my black jeans, black top, black heels and I have my rock n' roll game face on. There is my husband, looking uber-handsome, but not exactly rockable in his bright yellow Tommy Bahama shirt and khakis. I smile and think to myself, "he's gonna stick out like a sore thumb."
We hop in the car and I put in the CD and tell my husband that he needs to get in the right frame of mind. We arrive at the venue, surrounded by twenty-somethings in their rockable gear. It's clear that we're the oldest people there and I begin to have tattoo-envy. Not only do I have uninteresting body art, I have no body art at all. "Maybe I should have bought one of those removable tattoos," I think to myself. I wonder if they make one for military spouses. Something like, "I love my solder," and maybe a pair of combat boots. I make a mental note to check into that later. My husband pulls a lighter out of his pocket and I am forced to remind him that they don't do that any longer at concerts. Now you bang your fists in the air. I give him a demonstration and he looks at me as if my head had just spun around. Three times.
Or, I say, "you can display the "hook em' horns" sign." The sports analogy would make more sense.
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Beer arrives and I see my husband looking around. "Ah ha," he says. "I'm not the oldest dude in here, look over there." Sure enough, there sat a fifty-something across the way, but I think he was there for the drinks, not the concert. You see, one of us is grazing 40 and the other has been there, done that. Which is which? Well, I'll just say that I married an older man.
Cell phone rings and we're summoned to meet the band. We're chatting all-things-soldiers with C.J. Pierce and Ryan McCombs, whom airforcewife and I interviewed a while back. It was amazing. Ryan told us that their trip to Baghdad "changed him forever." I suppose it did because I doubt there is a rock band that does more on behalf of our troops than this one. Ryan and C.J. were incredibly gracious to us. I cannot stress how nice and affable these guys are. Ryan and the husband were as chit-chatty as two old ladies. When I told Ryan that my husband was afraid he might be the oldest person there, the husband said, "yeah, but I'm not the oldest dude in the house, I saw an older dude in there." Too bad oldie didn't stay for the concert. In the end, I think my husband was the oldest "dude" there, but certainly the most handsome.
So, we talk a bit more, I gave the band some small gifts from the SpouseBUZZ crew to thank them for supporting our troops, and my husband and I went back inside to wait for the show. Finally Drowning Pool was up and the show began. After about three songs, Ryan launched into a speech about the need to support our troops. It went something like this:
How many of you out there know someone, or are related to someone who is now serving in defense of "the red, white and blue?" These men and women put their lives on the line so that we can have the freedom to come here tonight and listen to some music. We have the easy job, they have the tough job. Next time you see a soldier on the street, next time you see one in the airport lugging his bags around, next time you see them anywhere, it only takes three seconds to extend your hand and thank them for what they do for us. It's not that hard and it's the least we can do.
Then, the band played "Soldiers," the song they wrote for our troops when they returned from Iraq, and they rocked the house. It.was.awesome. How many rock concerts feature a speech in support of our troops? Not many, I'll bet.
On the way home, I told my husband that the concert was a big adventure, and I was reminded of why we were there in the first place. It's because I'm a military spouse and my husband is a soldier. Otherwise, we might not have known about Drowning Pool's This is for the Soldiers campaign, and frankly, we might not have even cared. Otherwise, my husband would have never experienced his first heavy-metal concert. Otherwise, the two of us would never have gone through a unique experience together, one that doesn't happen everyday, if ever. We made a memory that will last forever, and one I'm sure we'll be talking about, and laughing about, for a long time.
The beer was cold, the language was atrocious, the crowd was energetic and wonderful, the music was gritty and you know what? I loved every minute of it. So did my husband. Thank you, Drowning Pool.
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My husband is such a good sport....
So, you see, military life really is an adventure. Every day we live in places that we might never have even visited. We do meet people that we otherwise would never have met. Sometimes we are given opportunities that wouldn't have come along if we were not a part of the military community. We are living an adventure, and I wouldn't have it any other way.