Just how do you capture a concept?

A net won't work in the material world. A firewall won't work in the cyber world. Or maybe it's that a really good concept or idea, is something that comes into your mind at a time and in a place, where remarkable things are just waiting to happen. Where quiet discussions full of apprehension happen and then, with a deep breath and the push of a key, we understand that capturing this concept is best done by turning it loose on the world.

One year ago, a concept was unleashed that was destined to burn through the minds of hundreds and hundreds of people. It would ignite in many of us, and re-ignite in many more, a passion for the one thing that we had in common, creating a place where we could "celebrate and embrace the tie that binds us all -- military service."

SpouseBUZZ. The goal was to be your "virtual family support group where we could instantly connect" to one another to discuss our problems and laugh at our goofs. And where we at times, could only sit and stare at the words on the monitor -- and ever so carefully move our hands to the keyboard to type some very important words, "I'm here--let's talk."

By way of reintroduction, in the hood of SpouseBUZZ I have a particularly interesting seat. My dad was a career NCO, and he pushed me to college. I was commissioned three years post-Viet Nam and led an active duty life all the way to the borders of Afghanistan ... and then some. Through this, my wife, also an active duty officer walked with me a balance beam of mutual support that continues to this day. Maybe you're seeing why my seat is particularly interesting: #1- I'm a guy. Followed closely by, I'm a retired officer with 26 years of active duty, with almost 600 days of combat (a drop in the bucket these days), and a statistic that is exceptionally personal -- 5 handwritten letters to those we honor as Gold Star Mothers. I chose to retire, because my wife needed my full and undivided support, so now my place is by her side, her Wingman, if you understand the concept. And SpouseBUZZ is my home.

So, just what does a guy say in a female dominated arena (and survives to talk about it the next day). Well he starts with numbers, like a rough ratio is 1 in 9 spouses is male. Hmmm. Or that in the USAF alone, there are 66,000 women in uniform or 19.6%. And that 60% of the AF is married so just considering the AF, there should be about 12,936 males spouses out there -- so WHERE IN THE DARK RECESSES ARE YOU?

SpouseBUZZ has helped me tease-out some of you from those dark spaces where you simply want to read, and you try not to comment. Why is that? Because, how does a guy say, "I don't know how to get a job with my mil-wife moving often." Because, guy's aren't supposed to have down days--we're guys; multi-tasking is supposed to be our forte, so why can't we change a diaper in one hand and prepare meals with the other? Because when our wives join your husbands in theater, and life as we know it could end w/ one phone call, we're taught to have the stiff upper lip. Because guys are well, guys. Besides, just how DO you start the conversation? "Dude 1: so, what's up? Dude 2: Dunno, wife's deployed (again). Dude 1: Bummer. Dude 2: Gotta go. See ya." What their MIND is screaming is, "Why the hell don't I have any idea about my life and what the hell is going on in my head, and Why does my heart feel like it's tearing apart, and what am I supposed to do with the kids, work, the house ...??? AAAAaaaaaah." And then we realize, that we're not alone, and through SpouseBUZZ, we help each other through.

SpouseBUZZ; you know by now that you absolutely will not find anywhere else, authors of such talent, with such depth of knowledge and a grasp of the issues, as you will find in my best friends, the ladies of SpouseBUZZ. I thought I knew what it meant to be a spouse -- nay nay, and again I say, nay. These 10 authors and their friends have taught me more than any of them will ever know, they have allowed me to see their hurt, they have allowed me to laugh with their joys, and I have seen their bravery in life that few others will ever understand or comprehend. They're giants that fear nothing, and they handle fear itself, pretty well, too.

To my 10 compadres here at the BUZZ, thank you; and to the big A -- thanks for taking a chance on a Concept and helping us all to capture it. And as it's still the 19th in my time zone, Happy Anniversary to us all and to SpouseBUZZ!

Over&Out, MaintenanceToadOne

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