We call them Days of Casseroles and Roses. Anytime someone around here harkens back to a time in which military wives volunteered, attended events, put together parties, brought flowers to their neighbors, or went for drinks at the Chief’s Mess or Officer’s Club, we cue the music.
A little Jimmy Buffet goes well with raw nostalgia. So does a little Chablis. After 11 years of war, it is pretty tempting to look back at the military culture of the past and feel like we are doing it all wrong.
Surely, past generations didn’t agonize so much. Surely, they did not feel so isolated. Surely they pulled up their pantyhose and exchanged babysitting every now and again. No wonder so many military wife bloggers WWII pinup art on their sites. Is it a sign we really have a touch of nostalgia for military life long past?
To be perfectly honest, we don’t expect that anyone will be missing the month that could easily slide by between letters back in the day. No one will be agonizing over the two-minute phone call from the Med that cost $300. And even though 16.1 million people served during WWII, we doubt that anyone would feel nostalgic about not seeing their husband for four straight years.
Personally, I like the times we live in. When it comes to my military life, I will take SpouseBuzz and Facebook and Oovoo and daily free phone calls from my mother in Ohio every time. Sit me next to a male spouse or a same sex partner just for conversational relish, I beg you.
Yet, as much as I love the fact that my husband is not judged on my ability to bake cupcakes or match my shoes to my skirt, I still feel disconnected. I feel alone out here. I feel like if something happened the only person I could actually call would be the Ombudsman.
Part of me is OK with that. I like my privacy. Another part of me worries because we military families have so much privacy from each other that I’m afraid people will slip through the cracks. Like so many of our readers, I felt terrible about the Air Force toddler who died of malnutrition and neglect during deployment.
I feel just as bad for the professionals who wrote about the many resources they offer for military families, but can’t get the families to come to classes or workshops or even to call for help.
You SpouseBuzz readers so often have insights to military life that we never see. So we are asking you: are we connecting often enough with our military family? Or are we slipping too far away from each other?