I have what my mom refers to as an understanding that I’m “privileged.” My father calls it “a personal problem.” I am special. Rules, guidelines, policies, and procedures are meant for them, not me. If I’m doing something -- be it illegal, questionable, or otherwise -- it’s because I have a reason. And, if you’ll give me a second to explain, you’ll understand.
From birth, I was blessed (cursed?) with the ability to persuade others toward my way of thinking. I had yet to encounter a problem I couldn’t talk my way out of, nor a wish I couldn’t talk my way into; until I married into the Army. The Army doesn’t get it. If they’d listen to me, they would see the light. Given the opportunity, I’d be more than happy to explain to my husband’s command that I totally get their rules and rigid enforcement, but for us, it’s not necessary. My husband has made it clear that even if I think I’ve found the perfect moment to tactfully inform the powers that be of my “privilege:" DON'T.
Now this may all seem like the righteous indignation of an over-indulged princess, and it is. But instead of digging my heels in, throwing a fit, blaming my husband, or the myriad other negative outcomes of my reality check, I find I’m humbled. Marriage inside the Army means I know I’m not the most important person on the planet. That realization has made me a better human being. Every spouse I’ve talked to has a struggle; mine are far from unique and far from the worst. In lieu of focusing on the negative, I’m beyond grateful that I have a husband that I love more than I knew was possible and that he truly is worth missing.
I’m writing this because today the Army has vetoed another plan, one that I thought for sure would outweigh whatever his job wanted from him. I quickly cycled through my list of reactions from bargaining to feeling like a victim to respect. I respect my husband and thus respect his duty to the contract he signed before he signed our marriage license. I’m also proud; proud of my husband for honoring his commitments without so much as a sigh and proud of his accomplishments, in the few short years he’s been a soldier, that have made him so indispensable. I need him, and I can see why others do too.
So ... you’re welcome, America! My only prayer is that he always comes back in one piece.