X

The False Safety of Training

Each morning when my husband leaves for work at o-dark-thirty and kisses my head, I mutter “mmhmmm” from my pillow. There is no emotional farewell embrace. There is no fighting back the tears. Heck, I don’t even open my eyes.

Because this isn’t deployment – and there’s no uncertainty in my mind. I’ll definitely see him later. He’s just off to work – just training – for 14 or so hours.

Just training.

Over the last few weeks the military community has been reminded of a painful truth so easy to forget: training does not mean safety.

When I learned earlier this week of the mortar accident in Nevada that killed eight Marines  I envisioned a spouse opening her front door to the uniformed men carrying the horrible news.

“I’m sorry, you must have the wrong person,” I can hear her saying before they have a chance to speak. “My husband is only away at a training. Just a training.”

We are reminded by that accident that the field can be just as dangerous as the ‘Stan. Last week we ran a post here on SpouseBuzz about the important of field time – and the important of spouses treating it like a practice deployment.  But she didn’t note that we need to remember field time may come with the similar dangers as a deployment. Live rounds are being used. Real helicopters are being flown. Actual lives hang in the balance.

It’s not just for their deployments that military members deserve respect. Sure, volunteering to leave your family to purposefully go where people want to kill you is laudable – no question about that. But servicemembers also put themselves in harm’s way every single day.

This week has been a reminder on just how precious and how truly fragile life can be. And while we don’t want to expect disaster at every turn, we should use these moments as a reminder to enjoy life to the fullest – deployment in the forecast or not.

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.