As an Army Wife, I have very specific memories from the different posts we’ve been to; certain mental triggers that bring a great deal of happiness to mind.
At Scott AFB, I remember removing his sergeant rank and pinning my husband’s LT bar while I was massively and uncomfortably pregnant. At Fort Sam Houston, I remember my friend Wendy showing me how positive and uplifting an FRG can be in stressful times. Eugenia’s cooking and loving home, Minda’s creativity and humor…Fort Sam was a bit of alright.
And now, while at Ft Bragg, I think back to Ft Benning, and all the wonderful friends I made there. I got a card from Jennifer T. today…just a little piece of colorful paper that made me smile and cry happy tears. At Benning there was Jennifer T., Christina, Jeanette, Sherry, Beth, Kara, and Jennifer C. … and they all taught me something.
From Jeanette, I learned that being an Army wife can be a classy, tradition-filled experience. She taught me that “coffee” is not only a drink, but a necessary event. I think of her every time I put on my lady’s pin and head to a Coffee which will contain absolutely no coffee whatsoever. I also remember to smile and nod at the Colonel’s wife. 😉
From Sherry, I learned that smiling can fix a great many things. Sherry’s smile made me feel safe, at home, and full of hope. Her cheerfulness warmed my whole house, and I decided then to never be a Bitter Army Wife because I wanted to be like her: happy and beautiful.
From Kara, I learned what an Army Wife can accomplish with kids. She’s a great mom to her girls and she demonstrated to me that I can be calm and loving for my kids…even and especially when I don’t feel like it. Kara gives me hope in my Army Motherhood.
Beth taught us all how to really laugh. She’d come walking up Perkins Street, beer and tote bag in hand, and she’d call us all to Jennifer’s backyard, like some tiny, loud, profane Pied Piper. Beth said everything we were afraid to admit we thought. She was also really good at sharing her drinks. 🙂 Beth washed her face with bleach while slinging some of the dirtiest words I’ve ever heard; everyone loves Beth.
Jennifer C. reminded me to be pretty. This may sound ridiculous, but in a life dominated by green, dirt, noises, and blood, feeling pretty is important. Taking time to run and get your hair cut can leave a person feeling much more prepared to cook another meal or wash another uniform or drive to another Girl Scout meeting.
Jennifer T. taught me to be normal. She reminded me that while there may be artillery across the street, we are still just who we are: cowgirls and students and moms and wives and real. Jennifer made Crack Dip and always had a welcoming laugh. We’d sit by the street in our camping chairs like Down Home and watch the kids ride bikes and swat bugs in the heat and it was, quite possibly, the happiest of my Army Times laughing with her. Jennifer was Real People and she’s lovely.
Christina taught me something that I think if every single day during a deployment: A wife should THRIVE during a deployment. We are not only capable but almost bound to be productive and positive creatures while our spouses are down range. That we owe it to our spouses, our kids, and ourselves to Do Good and Get Stuff Done and Accomplish Goals in that purgatory of waiting. Wining and self pity are okay…for a minute. And then life goes on with gusto.
The sun is shining and I’m smiling today. Army life isn’t perfect, but no life is. I like This Life. It’s mine. I’m proud of my husband and the job he does. I hope to be proud of me, too, when it’s all said and done.
When we get to our next duty station, I know I’ll have a litany of friends to remember from here at Bragg. That’s the great and powerful joy of This Army Life: wherever we go, there we are…us and all of our friends. 🙂