This letter, written by Ben Stein, is titled Strength At Home. Altough it is addressed to one particular Army wife, in the text of the letter Mr. Stein makes it clear he is talking to all military spouses. I love the whole letter but there are two passages that I would like to comment on. Please read the whole letter.
Military service members “protect Republicans and Democrats, Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists. They protect white, black, yellow, brown and everyone in between. They protect gays and straights, rich and poor.”
This is significant. We are every one. My unit has whites, blacks, yellows, browns and even a full blood red. I’m not certain about the full religious gambit of my unit but I feel it would be interesting to find out. And that’s just one very small unit. But we are one unit. In this unit there is no white, black, yellow, brown or red. We are one unit.
“They feed the kids, put up with the teenagers’ surliness, the bills that never stop piling up, the desperate hours when the plumbing breaks and there is no husband to fix it, and the even more desperate hours after the kids have gone to bed, the dishes have been done, the bills have been paid, and the wives realize that they will be sleeping alone — again, for the 300th night in a row.”
The unsung heros of this and every war are the spouses and families who sit at home keeping the home fires burning. Mothers who hold the children as they cry because daddy hasn’t been home for a long time. Moms who have to deal with teenagers and fill the role the dad is usually there to handle. Children who are forced to grow up too soon to help others in the family. Wives who some times cry themselves to sleep, alone in a bed that was meant for two. These families get up in the morning and start again.
And you want to know the amazing thing. For many of those families, if you ask them how they feel about their spouse’s chosen profession, they will tell you that they are proud of them.