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Why I Don’t Appreciate the Military Today

Do you appreciate the military today? Yeah, me neither.

It’s nothing against any one person, or the brave work that servicemembers around the world are doing right now, or the lives cut short or the daily sacrifices made. I appreciate those things deeply.

It’s the rest of it. The whole military lifestyle – the coming, the going, all the resources, all the help, all the outreach, all the millions spent on military family support, the nice party thrown by our brigade’s leadership over the weekend, the workshop next week on do-it-yourself plumbing and pretty much any concept or program affiliated with the military machine or aimed at any military family.

Today I look at it with scorn. I ridicule you, military programs. I want you to jump in a sink hole. I wish you the fate of the Balrog in Lord of the Rings. Go away. Leave me alone.

You see, my husband is deploying in a few weeks, and I’m feeling very, very cranky with this whole lifestyle. Any other time you won’t hear a peep outta me about military-dislike. Normally I loooooooooove my military lifestyle. Military family appreciation? Lay it on thick, thanks. A workshop on snaking your own toilet? Handy!

Yes, I know it’s my husband’s job to deploy. I know being gone is part of the gig. And 90 percent of the time I’m totally fine with that. I’m grateful for the paycheck. I love that we can serve.

And yet here I am, feeling like a cranky two-year-old. And totally OK with it.

I think it’s normal to be a hater once in a while. Allowing the military dislike to pour forth from my soul for a few days right before deployment is cathartic. I get it out there, let it breathe, admit that this sucks – and then I lock it away and trudge on.

Because if I keep it in a drawer – if I never admit that sometimes, when no one is looking, I secretly hate that the military takes my sons’ Daddy away for months on end – it’ll just kill me. I can slap on my happy face, but meanwhile secret hate is growing and festering in the dark.

But when I let it air a bit, the sunlight makes it shrink. After all the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one, right?

So let’s give it some air. So glad I got that off my chest. Now let’s move on.

About Amy Bushatz

Amy is the managing editor of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is an Associate Editor. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on NPR and in the New York Times. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.

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