You Could Tell Me, But You’ll Have To Kill Me


I could never be a politician. I’d spend my entire day pulling my own foot out of my mouth. I spend most of my day doing that anyway, but it’s usually only broadcast to the 6 people who read my personal blog. My family sometimes suggests that I have a bit of a sharing problem, and I’m sure they’re right. No one really needs to hear about my latest breakthrough in therapy, but I find that writing about it is actually more therapeutic than anything. (One SpouseBUZZ blog under my belt and I’m already talking about therapy. Excellent start.)

I mention my inability to stay tight-lipped because I have a REALLY hard time with this whole OPSEC (Operational Security) thing. How much information is enough to help those who wish to do us harm? If I write about my husband’s deployment/TDY/day-to-day activities, will I jeopardize the overall mission? And then there’s the fact that my husband’s boss happens to be the President of the United States. If I express my very strong political views here, on our blog, or on Facebook, will that damage his career? For these reasons should I come up with a pen name? Like Motor-Mouth Military Mom? Wait, that actually has quite a nice ring to it.

I started to really consider my words after our military recently got involved in the Libyan mess. Obviously, since we are stationed in Europe, our life has been exceedingly hectic these past several weeks. There is so much information, misinformation, rumor, speculation, and uncertainty that it produces a huge amount of anxiety for those of us who don’t have a clue what’s happening.

On the one hand, I’d like to know where are lives are headed. What can I expect? When can I have my husband back? Why does everyone keep saying, “I don’t know” when I know they really do? But then I think about my tendencies (remember, you already know about therapy), and I realize that it’s for the best. It would surely be me who leaked some random information on Facebook and blew the whole operation. And let’s not even consider how my strong opinions might warrant a call from my husband’s commander telling me to cool it.

So, dear husband, since I’m sure you’re reading (screening) this, I thank you for your ability to stay tight-lipped. It’s best that I stay blissfully ignorant for the sake of national security. And it’s also best that you continue to screen my craziness for any shred of career-damaging nonsense.

(If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of my CIA application going up in flames.)

Am I the only one who finds it horribly difficult to NOT talk publicly about something that is so much a part of our daily lives?

About the Author

Katy Morgan

Katy currently resides in England with her Air Force hottie, their baby boy and a manic depressive dog they threaten to give away on a weekly basis. If he eats one more dirty diaper, she may just do it. In their first five years of marriage, she and her husband moved seven times. Seven times. Katy is proud to say she has changed locations more times than the majority of America's Most Wanted. And equally proud that she has not yet found herself on such quality American programming.

Speaking of programming, Katy has a journalism degree and loves all aspects of film, TV, radio, Internet, and live production. However, she has found her niche as a stay-at-home mom and a self-employed executive communications coach. Katy's passion is to teach business professionals how to confidently deliver effective presentations, and she does that with her corporate seminars and one-on-one coaching.

In her spare time, Katy blogs about everyday life as a military spouse and mom living in a foreign country. She is trilingual and speaks fluent English, British English, and Air Forceese. She seamlessly composes sentences like these: "Honey, since we're on the VML, could you talk to TMO about our PCS – and ask them why it's taking donkey's years for them to give us a bell? I'm about to go off my trolley!"

She hopes to one day turn her love for writing into enough money to support her decorating habit. But for now she constrains her caviar taste to their Spam budget. For now.

9 Comments on "You Could Tell Me, But You’ll Have To Kill Me"

  1. I remember not correcting someone who said "her husband is currently in Iraq" although he was in Afghanistan because I was terrified of revealing his location to anyone. It is hard sometimes….

  2. I have an extremely hard time with this. I vent through writing, and have several unpublished blog posts or random snippets of frustration left on the desktop of my computer since I'm never sure if it's something I can say. My husband deployed on short notice over the holidays and I couldn't tell a single person (I live across the country from my friends and family…we communicate a lot via FB). Then, when I did say something very vague ("missing my husband") a "friend" asked me to take it down because I was "breaking OPSEC" and "revealing too much information." I know now—as I did then—that I didn't say too much with "missing my husband," but I let her win and took it down. Had I said, "I'm missing my husband who is in BLAH BLAH, that would've been a completely different story. It was terrible and I hate that people have become "OPSEC Police" and will call you out for the smallest thing. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • SemperSteen | April 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm |

      I hear you on the OPSEC Police thing. Some people just want to feel important.

  3. Having lived this life with a spouse who is extremely uptight about who knows what (with good reason). I have learned to keep my mouth shut for the most part. I do find it difficult but having extended family and friend know exactly what is going on does not help them cope with his deployments. General information only to most people. However, that said, I do have a handful of close friends who've known us since the beginning of his career and know what what he does, so I feel completely free to vent to them. As far as what's happening currently with Libya, I think we have the right as spouses who's husbands are deployed way more than we'd like them to be, to shout to the rooftops about our displeasure of yet another front.

  4. My husband is very secretive about his job in the Army, so much so that when we travel he grows his hair out to avoid having a "military haircut" and he wears a designated "civilian watch." He would never wear a backpack or carry any accessories with ACU patterns or the word "Army" on them. He's that careful. So when people ask me what my husband does, I always panic, because I can't remember what he told me I'm supposed to say. And I can totally sympathize with Jessica Lynn. Before our last PCS, I posted on Facebook that we were scheduled to fly home on X day, because we were overseas and Facebook was my main method of communication with friends and family back home. Another wife in the unit commented, "OPSEC dear," and I let her have it. We were two people, flying on a commercial airline, moving from one place to another. It had nothing to do with any missions. It was simply our personal travel plans. While it's important to know what falls under OPSEC, you should also know what doesn't before you lecture people about it.

  5. With most people I am rather generic when it comes to information, especially when he's deployed. Close friends, most of whom I have either known longer than him or who are/were fellow MilSpouses will get a little more detail…I do abhor the self-proclaimed OPSEC watchdogs though…

    On another note: Happy MilSpouse Appreciation Day all!!! I appreciate each and every one of you who knows just what those shoes feel like ;)

  6. Just a question if someone could email me back. Isn’t it against opsec to say 25 days till my lover is home?

    • In my opinion it is, but to be quite honest, Facebook is still considered so 'new' that the military hasn't quite caught up yet and set enough OPSEC rules regulating what can be put on there. I've been in league with my A&FRC to try and remedy this, but so far no luck. Right now all OPSEC says in regards to fb is to put nothing that deals directly with the mission like saying the location and specific dates. If someone just writes a vague "21 Days to Go" then the rules get a little hazy since it's not saying 21 days to what (though it doesn't take a genius to figure it out). I was told to just use my head and if I was unsure than don't post it. I was unfortunately one of those spouses that knew nothing about OPSEC and put a countdown on fb, but as soon as I found out I made sure to educate myself as much as possible. I hope this helps you a bit.

  7. Erika, Military are considered "essential personnel" – I highly doubt we have to worry.

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