Letters From Home…Saluting Military Spouses Across The World

If you’re not in love with a soldier, you can’t know adventure. You don’t understand why green & brown camouflage bags & fatigues are better than any designer clothes & mil-wifeaccessories. If you’re not in love with a soldier, you don’t know what it’s like to say that good-bye.  If you’re not in love with a soldier, you won’t know what it means to stay away for years shouldering your share of family responsibility, while he is responsible for protecting the country. If you’re not in love with a soldier, you can’t know the immense joy, the uncontrollable smile, or the butterflies in your stomach when you see your soldier march into an airport lounge, get off on the railway platform and walk towards you with his lopsided smile. If you’re not in love with a soldier, you don’t know what it’s like to wait for a phone call or email or a text message for days. Yes, even in this age of super fast internet connectivity. 

This open letter is for all those who wish to know what a military spouse goes through. We are the “silent ranks” and there is a reason why we are silent. We wait…for  letters, phone calls, emails and most important, homecomings. But, hold on, there’s more. We wait for practice camps, new commanders,  military exercise schedules and dates for field.postings. We also wait for leave approvals and short weekend breaks…which sometimes get cancelled.

We are not perfect wives. The staying away gets to us and sometimes nothing seems to go right. We get tired of taking decisions all by ourselves, at nights the pillows are soaked with our tears when we consistently try to stay strong. We become a single parent in that period of separation and learn to grin & bear it. There are times when I go numb with the loneliness…however, when I think of how much I love my soldier, I am proud to be an army wife.

We are like other wives, yet, different. We clean our homes & mop floors but, are unsure for how long we will do it in the same place. We plant and grow gardens wherever we are, but we can’t grow roots. So, potted plants become as dear a possession as any. Like  other wives we too buy furniture. It can’t really be fancy antique stuff. It has to be sturdy enough to last various postings and moves. We learn to entertain by serving a six course meal wherever possible, and with just bread & eggs too…with the same ease & panache. We make new friends all the time, yet, never discard the old ones. Because we know we will meet somewhere, sometime and that bonds us for life. The same holds good for our children…they learn to network and build lasting relationships.

Sure, I have been frustrated at times and been angry at certain situations in our life. When the exigencies of military life have kept us apart not just for days & months, but, for years, I felt that life is unfair. However, I also realise that it is the same for my man in uniform. I also know that he goes through the same levels of frustration of not being home with me & the children. I pray that he is safe when he is posted at the borders, not just because he is fighting the enemy. He is fighting harsh weather conditions also. I also know that when he is posted to certain operational areas and there are tragedies that take place, I am the only person he will turn to, to share his emotional upheaval. I am his rock, anchor & stronghold…I am the woman he loves. And that, is a feeling I will never exchange for anything in the world.

mil-spouseAs military wives, we take care of our homes & families for months & months, without letting our husbands know some of the challenges. Not because we don’t want to tell them. But, because we want them to focus on protecting you & us. Like someone very correctly said, “He risks his life for people he doesn’t even know, imagine what he’ll do for me.”

There is a universal recipe for being a military wife…3/4th cup patience, 3/4th cup tolerance, 1 pound courage and a dash of adventure (every now & then). Mix all ingredients together with large tablespoons of elbow grease. Marinate frequently with salty tears. Keep aside for a year. Pour of excess fat. Sprinkle lightly with money regularly. Knead the dough until payday. Season with spices from across the country. Bake throughout the soldier’s tenure. Serve with complete pride.

So, the next time you meet a military wife, do look beyond the obvious that is shown to the world. Discover the inner strength & the fortitude the lady hides behind her words & smile…you will get to know a “woman of substance.” 10845816_10153364758294444_3709304054657174943_o

This post is also a tribute to two beautiful ladies, Radha Patil & Shakuntla Malik, both army wives & women of substance who have been responsible for shaping me as an individual…Radha Patil from the day she gave birth to me and Shakuntla Malik in my  formative years. You both continue to influence my life in myriad ways. Thank you!!!

7 thoughts on “Letters From Home…Saluting Military Spouses Across The World

  1. This is a very poignant reflection of what trials and tribulations an Army wife goes through in her life. Not many people outside the Armed Forces can understand the pangs of separation and uncertainty of ever meeting again. The Service wives go through this pain as a matter of routine, never bothering their spouses who are performing an onerous duty to keep the geographical limits and sanctity of the Country safe and secure, and also provide the Countrymen succour from man-made and natural calamities. Fortunately, with the advent of technological advancement, at least, the Armed Forces, today, can keep in touch with their families and loved ones. I belong to an era when we.were dependent on field telephones which had to be cranked to come to life. If one managed to speak to his superior authorities, it was considered an achievement. The pain of separation and not being able to communicate for long duration was commonplace. We can thank God Almighty to have eased this pain and loneliness to some extent. A very good and brief article by someone who has been through this pain of separation and uncertainty of ever meeting again. Must read, if you really care.

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  2. Excelent write up.I loved every bit of it and so true.Beautiful 2 moms picture to compliment d whole thing whome u love some. We both love u even more but cant express it so well as u do.God bless u..

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  3. Excellent write up. This is truly wonderful and points directly at my opinion that we should thank our service men and women for their service but also for the families who support them and the loved ones who know what it is like to be in love with a soldier. The ones who willingly serve with their soldier where ever he/she goes. Thank you for your service as well x

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  4. Pingback: Letters From Home…Saluting Military Spouses Across The World — changingoutlooks | realme1986

  5. I am a Military Spouse too, based in the UK and it’s rare that I read these accounts and cry as, just like every other Military Spouse, I’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt (albeit without children). This account however, is so brutally honest that it made me tear up. Even I forget the strength and support that we have to show without ever actually having anything to call ours. This post made me stop and think and remember all that I’ve done and all that I am still doing. Thank you!

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