I'm so tired of this war. I know you are too. A deep malaise – sometimes cynical, sometimes maddening – hits me deep in the gut.
I wish I could give our military spouses some reprieve. As the so-called "end" nears in terms of political agreements and drawdowns and military advisors sent abroad, global leaders are negotiating for their countries. Numbers of personnel. Quantities of gear. Enduring promises.
If I were at the table, here's what I'd negotiate for you, military spouse friend:
FOR YOU: A life-sized stuffed pillow, preferably the size and shape of a crocodile, for you to snuggle with until this war is over. Or at least until your loved one comes home. Afterwards, you can stuff it into the closet and drag it with you during the infinite PCSs of your military life.
A monthly one-hour healing massage to relieve all the tension in your pressure areas with a Very Handsome (or beautiful!) Masseuse to offset the chronic shoulder ache you have, the nervous tummy you carry around, or that awful nighttime jaw clenching your dentists has been onto you about. You know that Tricare covers bite guards, right?
An unlimited lifetime supply of your favorite nighttime munchy and a brand new couch to eat it on. After over a decade of war, your couch and TV have substituted for those things we need to distract ourselves from the uncertainties and stress of the world. Time for an upgrade.
FOR YOUR KIDS: Everything. I would give them everything. A two-week trip to overnight summer camp (like the kind in the movies!) complete with mad libs, s'mores, pony rides, swimming in the lake and friendship bracelets.
A secret preview of the latest round of The Disney Store's stock of "Frozen" merchandise with a $200 gift card.
A magic wand to conjure up their special service member to read them unlimited bedtime stories anytime, any day, anywhere.
A lifetime supply of exclusive red, white and blue sparklers to wave every Fourth of July, so that everyone, everywhere knows they're a military kid who's earned them.
FOR YOUR SERVICE MEMBER: Ah, this is the tricky one.
I would give them a sense of peace in their souls and minds. I would give them healing for their bodies. I would give them the gratitude of a nation and hometown.
So just in case you thought no one cared about your family's endless sacrifice for this nation, I do. So please, accept these imaginary gifts of my behalf with my eternal thanks for all you've done.
Sarah writes about life in the US Air Force, raising a Jewish family and interfaith marraige. She lives in Tucson with her husband, son and daughter. Her idea of perfection is walking her dog, reading in a hammock and eating breakfast tacos. She has a BA in Political Science and Chinese and a Masters in Public Affairs.