My husband was an Army brat, and like his father, decided to answer the call of duty. My two sons idolize their father and want to be just like him. For now, the military is their life, their security, and their reality – and my boys are not alone.
On base, I see little guys with high and tight haircuts, dressed in camo and playing with plastic guns on the playgrounds. They are used to frequent moves, TDYs, deployments, and strong mothers — it’s their world and it’s their norm.
Upon meeting other Army wives, I’ve learned that their many of their husbands were also Army brats and followed their fathers’ lead.
Is there a pattern here?
I’ll admit, as a mother, the thought slightly terrifies me. Yes, I know, I shouldn’t jump to the worst-case scenario, but these are my babies we’re talking about. Even when my husband initially mentioned joining the Army in our first years of marriage, I fought it tooth and nail. After many honest discussions, we agreed that he would enlist, I would finally become a stay at home mom, and that we’d support each other in our new venture.
When looking at this logically, we’ve had a positive experience. We love our opportunities and benefits such as travel, rent-free housing, reliable healthcare and our tight-knit community. I am proud of my soldier and love being an Army wife.
When looking at this emotionally, that’s another story. How can we happily live this military life and then tell our sons to find a “safer” career? The short answer is that we can’t. We won’t. It is their choice to make.
Although the cautious mother in me anticipates the hypothetical day my son joins the military, the strong woman within me will support and love him, no matter what. If he chooses to follow in my husband’s footsteps and sign up for this selfless, honorable and respectable profession, I will proudly be behind him every step of the way.
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