My problem with the term is not only the generalizations that can be made, but the fact that many young women want to use it as a special buzz word, like a secret hand shake for some club. I read something the other day... "I am many things... But most importantly, I am the Girlfriend of a United States Soldier." Well, let me tell you something my friends, I am many things, but "army wife" isn't at the top of my list.
I'm an individual.
I'm a strong independent women.
I'm a wife.
I'm a daughter.
I'm a sister.
I'm a niece.
I'm an aunt.
I'm a friend.
I'm a scholar.
I'm an employee.
I'm a co-worker
I'm Rigel's *person*.
The "I'm an army wife" hat doesn't come on until all of those other commitments are taken care of. I love my husband. It honestly doesn't matter to me if he's a soldier or a teacher or a ph.d physicist. I would love him no matter what. I knew Joe long before he ever touched an Army uniform. I'm incredibly proud of the path he's chosen, but his life doesn't define mine. His job may direct our lives, but it doesn't make me who I am. Honestly, his job doesn't even make him who he is. It might dictate his haircut, but not the kind of person he is inside.
I worry about these young women that fight so hard to be "army wives." I never even thought about the term when I was getting married. I wasn't a "future army wife." I was the future Mrs. Sutliff.
So what happens when being an "army girlfriend" doesn't work out? What happens when you get a divorce? I've seen far too many people still saying they are a "former army wife." I honestly just don't get it. Is it the drama? Is it the romance that most think our lives consist of? And of course I've seen far to many young girls chase those ACUs. That confuses me the most. So you're dating him just because he's a soldier? Just because he wears a uniform? Let me tell you, I know LOTS of soldiers. And many of them are just scumbags and losers!! Just because he is sporting the uniform and the haircut doesn't make him a stand-up guy. But that's a whole different blog. My point is, be with the guy because you love him and he loves you, not because you want to get on Twitter and label yourself as an Army wife or girlfriend.
Yes, when in conversation, the term speaks volumes. I can say to another army wife or to an army wife in a generation or two ahead of me (someone like my grandmother), yes, I'm an army wife. And they can imagine the PCS moves and the deployment worries and the shitty FRGs and the lonely nights and even the perks of military life and the amazing friendships we make. But they still know nothing about ME.
And so I struggle with labeling myself that. Even struggled naming my blog that. But I have two blogs. Did you know that? I have another blog just for ME and my non-army wife life. Because I need somewhere to forget about all the stupid Army jargon that's been thrown at me for the last 4 years. I need a place where I can be a daughter and a sister and a dog lover without the weird overtones and connotations of being labeled an Army wife.
I really dont mean to offend anyone. It's just an observation that I've made over the last few months. I want these young women to take value in their lives outside of their husband's career and haircut.