It’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday and as military spouses, we have to pay a little homage to the man who wrote what could be our collective manifesto. Did you know the same guy who cranked out over 40 books for kids with such well known titles as Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat, was also a captain in the Army? Additionally, Theodor Geisel, more commonly known as “Dr. Seuss” penned more than 400 political cartoons in the height of World War II, oft depicting Hitler as a villain and Mussolini as a moron. Not long after, according to the History Channel, Dr. Seuss went to work alongside famed director Frank Capra and Warner Brothers to produce animated training materials – films, booklets and even documentaries, featuring “Private SNAFU” (Situation Normal, All Fouled Up), a soldier whose mistakes were meant to be a warning lesson for the young, enlisted troops during the war. So there's that.
While lesser known for his military work, the globally beloved author is renowned for his rhyming, singsongy-like cadence that’s accompanied by brightly colored pictures that kids adore and parents long remember.
Whether you’re diehard Lorax fan or more of a Grinch, as military spouses there’s one Dr. Seuss book we should all buy, read and commit to memory. It’s pretty much written for us, and if you’re a Seuss fan, you already know what I’m talking about. It’s Oh the Places You’ll Go.
So today we give you Oh the Places You'll Go, Military Spouse Style.
Congratulations! Today is your day. Time to choose your next duty station. You'll be off and away!
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. Just kidding. It’s the detailer who will decide where you go.
You'll look at all the options and housing with care. Some places you will say, please God, don't let us move there. With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, You know wherever you end up, new friends you will meet.
Maybe you'll get Bahrain and you'll bask in the sun. Oooh perhaps you'll get Spain – that sounds like fun! But odds are better you'll end up at Fort Riley, At least you've heard that Kansans are smiley.
So it's looking like Benning or Drum or McNair? Couldn’t it just be Azores? You really want to go there. But your job won't transfer so that's off the table. You were in school for decades, you'd like to work if you're able!
Maybe you'll have babies and you'll choose to stay home. So you’ll look at hospitals and schools in Rome. Italy sounds lovely, Trevi fountain, coliseum! But that's not actually an option, didn't you read ‘em?
It's Twentynine Palms, Ft. Hood or Minot. “Why not Europe,” you'll ask, “Can you please tell me why not? What about a beach? How about Norfolk? Or at least somewhere warm?” You could handle Ft. Polk.
A coast would be nice, how about Whidbey? If someone's getting Hawaii, couldn't it be me? You want Omaha, you say? Then they’ll send you to Guam. They're sorry -- you said Nevada, but they need you in Osan.
Turns out the military can’t really care how you’re feeling. And I know it's hard, I know you are reeling. But you will land on your feet, wherever you go. And just like a seed, where you're planted, you'll grow!
You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact, and remember that life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
So... be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, You're off to great places, Today is your day! Your mountain (or desert, or island, or plain…) is waiting. So...get on your way!