Pity or Appreciation?


Does the recent increase in attention on the military by Hollywood and other civilians  make you feel appreciated … or pitied?

Military spouses – especially those who frequent our blog – are notorious for their dislike of the "victim" label.  “We CHOOSE to be military spouses,” so many have commented. “We are NOT victims!”

Yes, military life is hard. And yes, we very much appreciate the thoughts and prayers of the American public. But we are proud to serve. We are proud of our servicemembers. And we are proud to be military spouses.

I'll say it again: we are not victims.

The Washington Post published a column this week that hits the nail on the head. Like the column points out, it’s difficult to walk the line between “thank you for remembering us” and “I don’t want your pity – I want your respect.”

Like one Lt. Col. said in the story:

“Don’t thank me for my service, don’t give me 5 percent off my Starbucks, don’t worry about yellow ribbons,” Lt. Col. Michael Jason, a battalion commander at Fort Stewart, Ga., wrote on his Facebook page on Memorial Day. “Do me this one favor: tell your children that there is another calling out there. . . . Talk to your kids about serving their country and their fellow citizens.”
Like I’ve said before, I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth. I’ll take any and all publicity for the military that I can get, thank you very much. But how do you help society understand the balance between respect and pity? Show Full Article

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