Ever since I started interviewing for this new job as Editor of SpouseBuzz, I have been fielding the same muttered question from everyone I know: what are all those military blogs for anyway? People ask me that question as if everything you need to know about military life is on the nightly news. They ask as if the solutions to our problems are held by civilians who have never spent more than a week away from their husbands or wives. They don’t seem to know that we military spouses blog because we actually NEED blogs.
First, we need spouse blogs because the mainstream news about the military sometimes seems so strange. It is strange to read about a Navy commander who raped two sailors when the guy you married is out helping one of his sailors store his car so it won’t get towed. It is strange to see Marines accused of desecrating Taliban corpses when those same guys worked a car wash for your kid’s school two months ago. It is strange to know that the SEALs who located Osama Bin Laden are probably the same guys who wander around the new commissary unable to locate the Velveeta (Is it a cheese like a cheddar? Is it a spread like Nutella? Is it a dip near the chips? Depends on where you are stationed…).
Second, we need spouse blogs because we military families don’t live lives full of news items. Yes, we have the highest highs—look at any picture of a Homecoming and know that is true. We have the lowest lows—that is what coverage of a military funeral is for. But the majority of our lives are full of a lot of complicated normals. We do best when we adopt tried and true coping strategies from other military families.
Third, today’s military family lives that complicated normal largely alone—a modern day Swiss Family Robinson cast adrift in a sea of civilian suburbs. This is true if your spouse is in the National Guard or on Active Duty. The majority of us don’t live our lives on base.
No wonder we blog. No wonder we read blogs to try to figure out how these normal-looking people manage to serve in the military and cope with deployments and raise a couple of decent kids and live a million miles away from anyone that could possibly be expected to babysit and still manage to sit in the backyard together and crack each other up. We read to find out if these coping people are like us. We read to see if we can be happy like them. We write to discover that the answers are here to be found in the stories we tell and the comments we share in a community created by blogs.