Tonight Ashlyn and I went to our weekly dinner club. The women in the dinner club all have husbands deployed in Iraq. We talked about how we are dealing with the extension tonight. (My current issue was the homecoming signs up around town and on post. They aren't coming home now. Take the signs down!) One of the girls in the group is a writer. She writes a column in the Friday paper about dealing with the deployment, so she has said a lot about this subject. Michelle is also the same person who wrote the Top Ten and organized Prom. In last Friday's article, she wrote about Prom. This week, two different people in our community have written letters to the editor about her article. One of them complained that as an officer's wife, she is flaunting her life of leisure. The other letter complained that she didn't treat the war with enough seriousness. Of course, we were all outraged for her.
Now that I'm home, I've been thinking more about her articles. From the articles I remember in the past year, Michelle has written about the importance of memorial day, a wounded soldier, how the community can support soldiers as they come home, and how one wife has handled the death of her husband with grace. She also wrote about prom at the pumphouse, cleaning her house before her husband came home, and breastfeeding her new baby in public. Yes, there is a war in Iraq. Not a single military member or their spouse needs to be reminded of that. For those of us whose husbands are currently deployed or soon to be deployed we can hardly think of anything else. Our empty houses remind us constantly. More than others, we know that all soldiers are not coming back. We've been to their memorial services and cried with their families. We lie awake at night, worrying about our husbands, praying that they will come home safely. And, yes, sometimes Michelle does write about things that are trivial. Because, in order to survive, we can't always think about the war in Iraq. Sometimes, we just miss our husbands. Sometimes, we just want someone else (anyone else) to hold the crying baby. And, sometimes that includes the small trivial things, like a hand to hold while watching tv or another person to help finish off the chocolate chip cookies (otherwise I have to do it myself.)
As we are going on one year and counting in this deployment, thank you, Michelle, for writing your articles. Thank you for reminding everyone how we can help others in the military community. Thank you for making me cry as you wrote about the same things I am going through. But, most of all, thank you for making me laugh. I needed that.