The angst doesn't change ...


Much is said about our memories of where we were and what we were doing9 years ago ... and the apprehension about "what's next?" and how our lives would change. Nine years and twenty-four days ago, I remember wellmy ownTDY orders saying, "Destination: Data Masked", "Duration of TDY: Indefinite." And even though The Boss and I had weathered two previous desert tour separationsthis one was different.Iwas the one going; but, she was the one staying behind with the anguish over the unknown unknowns.

As time passed and expeditionary conflicts turned into full-blown operations, many of you learned to shift the heavy ruck from one shoulder to the other, from one hip to the other, ... distribute the load of kids, and house, and schools, and keep moving forward. Our jobs as military spouses began to take on a very unique and for what many of us thought, lonely pattern. Until we started talking. Spouse Blogs.Mil Spouses.Putting it on the table. And as we talked we realized we could shift weight not just from shoulder to shoulder, but from friend to friend and together the load we collectively could carry became totally surmountable. We were doing it, together, and you could see it in all of our eyes. The eyes ...

I readily accept every forum possible to speak about you the mil spouse. And SpouseBUZZ. And was doing that a couple days back when I started talking to a young woman whose eyes didn'tmatch what her lips were saying. With a hard shock to my system I realized what I was looking at ...

Fear of the unknown and being alone. She was a brand new wife ofa brand new US Army lieutenant. And moments before I met her, the message had just reached her cell phone: "I'm in country and safe. I love you."

After all of these years of aggressive and hostile combat, and we mil spouses learning to shift the load to keep going, I realized it was still very new and very real, and very personal to someone new. And most don't know we're here. So we sat. And we talked. I told her about each of you. I told her about the unique abilities of her family of Army spouses, and her family of Marine, AF, and Navyspouses. I talked to her until the tear welled-up in the corner of her eye -- for then she realized she really wasn't alone and the relief of having her personal ruck shifted to our collective shoulders was unbelievable.

I invited her in to SpouseBUZZ. I invited her to bring a friend. I hope she's on the other side of this monitor and reading about how you have been there and are ready to help. For those of youdrawn to our pages for the first time,this is notsimply another collection of stories; youneed to look deeper. For hidden in our words are stories of joy and of anguish and how we deal with it each day ... see with your eyes, through our eyes, how we know the angst doesn't change -- we've just learned how to collectively make it easier to bear. Over & Out, MaintenanceToadOne

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