To My Soldier: Why didn’t you tell me I’d become addicted? Why didn’t you tell me that this life–this physically and emotionally exhausting military life–is like a drug I can’t stop taking.
It’s not because I enjoy the pain. I’m addicted because I know it’s right. What you do is honorable and humble and selfless. Despite the struggles I must face as your wife, I have pride. I have pride for you and the weight you must bear when you are away from us. I have pride for our country and how hard it has worked to maintain freedom for its citizens. I have pride for the multitude of men and women who have died heroically so that I can feel safe at home.
No, I can’t walk away. I can’t say no to you or to the military. I can’t turn away from the sacrifices we must make no matter how badly I want to. I am addicted to this life you have led me into.
Your plan used to be different. You used to say you would only be in for one tour. You used to say that once your contract was up, you would get out. Early on, I planned on this. I thought if I just stuck it out through a few hard years, it would be smooth sailing afterwards. I would be able to go back to the life I knew, a life I was familiar with, and we would move on as regular people with regular jobs.
Plans change. You chose to stay in. I chose to support you. There was part of me that didn’t want to give my support, but instead wanted to tell you it’s either me or the military. But that is the irrational part of me. The sensible part of me knew it was the right thing to do. I had quit things in the past, but I couldn’t quit this. I knew there was a reason for me to stay even if it was still very unclear.
I struggle in this life more than I ever thought I would. If anyone had asked me when I was a little girl, I would have given them a clearly defined picture of my happily ever after. It wound not have included any of the struggles I have faced thus far.
But this life is not just about me. It is about you and our children and our country and our freedom. It is about doing what is right, even if that means experiencing pain along the way. It is about patience and perseverance and doing things which are honorable. It is about making commitments and sticking to them. It is about doing what we can to keep a country great.
Without you, I would have never known this. I would have never discovered that the only way to truly get stronger is by facing the things we don’t want to, I would have never had the opportunity to expand my boundaries beyond what is comfortable, and I would have never known what it was like to be truly addicted.
Lisa is the wife of a USMC Cobra pilot and stay-home mother of two. She has been through three deployments and four moves throughout her eight years as a military spouse. Lisa loves to write and she uses what she has learned through her experiences to inspire and encourage other military wives in her blog, A Chance to Bloom. In her free time, Lisa enjoy reading, cooking, shopping, and spending time with family and friends.
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