Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What Grinds My Gears

Yesterday was Veteran's Day.
Our family started the day with a Veteran's Day 5K (which actually turned out to be 4.5miles according to my RunKeeper app, but who's counting?) Run into the Natick town square and ended in front of the Morse Institute library where they had Veteran's Day festivities. 
Yes, my hubby pushed two kids in the double jogger against the wind with that giant Marine Corps flag....gotta represent!
So what "grinds my gears"?
As an official veteran myself (I have my DD214, baby!), I don't like to flaunt it out in public that I used to be a Marine.
If people ask what I've done, I have no problem stating my past life as a Jarhead, and I'm pretty proud of my accomplishments.
I consider myself pretty humble, and I don't ask for hand outs, discounts, or whatever else is offered to veterans when we go places.
In fact, I have yet to step foot into the VA hospital here because I know the lines and wait times are long, and I think there are vets who need to be seen more than me.
If anything, my husband always gets the attention because of his haircut, or because he is in uniform.
I'm always "just the Marine spouse". 
(BTW, how many of my military spouses ever just feel like "the spouse")
My husband is also more relevant to people because:
 A) He's still active duty 
B) He's recently been to Afghanistan. I am an Iraq vet, and I went on recruiting duty right when Afghanistan deployments started happening, and to the American public, Iraq is already a distant memory...kinda sad if you ask me. 
C) He's a man. Female vets don't get the type of "hoopla" that the guys get.
I've come to accept it, but that doesn't mean I'm OK with it. 

The reason for this blog post is because I had so many people come up to me and tell me in the past few days, "to thank my husband for his service".
I just smile, grit my teeth, and say "thanks".
But in my head, I'm saying, "Oh by the way, I know I may just look like a mom to you who popped out two kids, but I popped out one of these kids while being active duty. Oh yeah, did I mention, I've deployed to the middle east? Let me also add that I also raised my daughter alone for the majority of her life while serving active duty and made countless sacrifices at my job to be the best mom to her...because my husband deployed twice, and then got stationed here for a year before I got out."

For whatever reason, it irritated me more than usual.
I mean, we get it ALL THE TIME.
Maybe because this was my first official Marine Corps Birthday and Veteran's Day as a "former Marine", it just hit a little chord inside of me. 

My sister sent me a text yesterday.
It read:
Sister: Happy Veteran's Day vet!!!
Me: Haha. Thanks!
Sister: Veterans aren't just old homeless men anymore!! Lol

It is SO true!
Veterans are everywhere.
It's the girl that works at your child's school.
It's the cable guy that comes to hook up your cable.
It's your boss.
It's your coworker.
It's the small business owner.
It's the mom of two kids struggling with her new life as a stay at home mom and wife while still trying to feel relevant to others.

Just something to think about.


  1. Thank you for YOUR service, too!
    We were standing at the parade yesterday, and I wanted to cry. I heard a man commenting on how nice of a turnout there was, and how it would have been nice to have something like that when he came home, instead of getting spit on, like he did. I could tell he was in Vietnam by his comment ... and just wanted to hug him! It breaks my heart that some of our vets received anything less than a warm welcome home!

  2. Aww I am sorry that you feel this way. I think it is amazing that you served, and even more amazing that you chose to be a stay at home mom as well. It is hard to take the backseat and just be "the spouse" as we are commonly known as. But I think you are doing a great job as a mama of two, and I thank you and your husband for your service!

  3. No persons service is less worthy than another; male or female. Women are at a disadvantage when it comes to being a veteran. There are less of them, quite a few less and not to discredit the great women serving in the military in any way, but there is not a woman equivalent to John Basilone, Dan Daley, Chesty Puller.  As more and more women serve and times change there will no doubt be many.  Don't take it personal because when the average American addresses a vet, man or woman, the response is the same; thank you for your service. I worked with some great Marines and a lot of them were women.  Thank you for your service Kim Romer

  4. Thank you for being awesome lady!! <3 You are certainly not overlooked by any means! and just become "mom" doesn't come with medals or camo doesn't mean you don't deserve it! now go celebrate your mutual awesomeness w/ the hubs!

  5. You should tell them!
    Them: "Thank your husband for his service."
    You: "No problem! You're welcome, from the both of us."
    Them: "?"
    You: "I was in the service too."

    Boom, done. Easy peasy.

    If it makes you feel better, sometimes I don't even feel like the spouse, but the nanny. *sigh* At least you can jump into the convo with deployment stories. My "deployment" story is "LOL once he signed off gchat saying BRB Base under attack!" Not impressive.

  6. Thank you both for all that you have done! Something that grinds my gears are places that give military discounts to the member only. I took the kids to a museum once and asked about the military discount (that they had listed on the price board). I was told that the active duty member must be present to get the discount. My reply - "Well I'm sorry that my active duty husband isn't here, but he is DEPLOYED right now. But thanks for being so supportive of military families." I then turned around and walked out -dragging two mad kids behind me. But I took them out for ice cream to make up for it!


I appreciate every, single comment! Thanks for the love!