How many of you know a service member? Someone who fought for our country? The person who signed on the dotted line and for the most part knew what they were getting themselves into when they enlisted. They do it for a purpose. Maybe they signed because they need college paid for, they wanted to travel, felt compelled to fight the war or wanted to support a family. No matter the reason they did it and they trained for it. They TRAINED hard for long countless hours, days and months; maybe even years. So they cold do what they were trained for and do it well.
The question I have is how does a spouse or family member train for something like that? They don’t! They simply can’t.
Many times the survivors are not only the ones that fight but the ones that are left behind.
When they are gone the family has to survive still. The mom becomes both the parents. Being the caring loving parent, the disciplinarian, and everything in between. Which is really not the hard part. The hard part comes when the spouse returns and for years we have had to be both and all of a sudden we are not anymore. I know I was relieved to have Mike home and was thrilled but it was not an easy adjustment. I tried to let him step into the role of dad right away and he couldn’t. He didn’t know how and I didn’t understand why it was so hard. He had done it before he left. But now it was like he had forgotten how to be a father and all he knew was how to be a solider. It took my patience, the children being patient and Mike wanting to step back into that role for it to happen. And it did but it took a long time.
I am not saying that the family members see what the soldiers see because thankfully they do not, but the loved ones see the hurt in the eyes of the ones they love. They see the changes that have happened of many years of training, fighting and many times seeing and doing acts that a person can never forget. Our loved ones are never the same. They talk differently, act differently and many times they are simply just not the same person.
The scars that happen can many times not be seen but those that know our loved ones know that they are there. Times come that we hope to be a family again and many times we have to re-learn everything we had together before they left. Fall in love again. Learn to like each other again. Because everything is different. Everything has changed. They do not prepare you for that and it takes love, understanding, patience and a commitment to overcome years of training. It can be done though.. and it is worth the fight.