Eight years ago, I joined the Army. Eight years ago, I stood up and decided to support and defend the Constitiution, to defend America from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Did you picture a mother? A sister? A daughter? Nine times out of 10, you did not. Most of the time people think I am just the spouse. And I am not knocking spouses. I am proud to be an Army wife. I’m proud of my husband and all he has done for this country.
No, they get ticker tape parades sponsored by Budwiser. We couldn’t even get a one hour special.
Another reason why women get forgotten is because like me, we have had to make the difficult decision to have kids and a family or deploy. True story, I have never been to combat. I’m what they like to call a “slick sleeve.” Does that make me any less of a veteran? No it does not. I have still served this country and I never once have claimed to be a combat vet. When I got pregnant with Piglet, the unit I was assigned to was getting ready to deploy. I had 7 months left on my active duty contract and they wanted to send me to Afghanistan for 5 of those months. Cool, no problem. Until I got pregnant. No deployment for me. Many women face the same challenge. Do you want your kids to be close in age? Well then someone, somewhere will accuse you of dodging a deployment. A man will never have to worry about that. He can literally get his wife pregnant one day and leave the next. Is it hard for Dad? Of course. But he gets that deployment experience. Something I still have to explain to new coworkers. And for some reason, people don’t think Servicemembers who didn’t deploy are veterans.