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Military life is not an episode of "Army Wives"

As many of you know, my significant other is recently home from a 15-month deployment in Iraq. Going through a deployment is difficult for us here left behind; obviously, it doesn't compare to what our men and women are experiencing, but it isn't exactly a cakewalk. It's not an episode of "Army Wives" either, a ridiculous excuse for a poorly performed soap opera. It does not even slightly resemble real life.

The inspiration for this blog came from Rachel Lucas, whose other half is being called to service to go to Iraq. She made a very good point today:

I want to know about it for myself but also for others, because although I know people mean well, I've noticed something about their reactions when they find out Rupert's being deployed: they look at him as though he's just been diagnosed with cancer or has just been given the death penalty.

Man, is that the truth.

Whenever I would tell people Michael was in Iraq, they would suddenly get this expression on their face usually only reserved for funerals. They'll put what I guess they feel is a sympathetic arm around me, or give me a hug, or whatever, and say, "Oh, I'm so sorry," or, "Oh, honey, I'm sure he'll be fine." It. Drove. Me. Crazy. Michael knew what he was getting into when he enlisted; it was after 9-11, and we were at war. I knew what I was getting into when I started dating him. It's part of the package. Do I like him being away for excessively long periods of time, or knowing that he may not come home? Not in the least. It's difficult and scary and lonely and stressful. But I am unbelievably proud of him, of his strength and his willingness to step up and do what needs to be done. And I'm grateful to him, as I am to all our men and women serving, for being willing to protect the freedoms we so take for granted here. I'd rather hear people say, "Tell him thank you," because there's no need to be sorry or offer reassurance.

That said, here's a few things you should never, ever say to someone whose loved one is currently deployed overseas.

  • Aren't you afraid that he'll be killed?
    This kind of goes under the "duh!" category. And yes, people ask that. All. The. Time. Yes, of course we're afraid that he'll be killed. It's a fear that you never completely forget about; at best, you can push it to the back of your mind. And of course, being reminded of that fear is often the highlight of my day! (Sarcasm off.)

  • OH, that's horrible...I'm so sorry!
    Don't. Be. Sorry. He's doing his job. Be appreciative. Take a minute to realize that everything you have in your comfortable little life is possible thanks to those men and women who are doing that "horrible" job.

  • Wow, you must really miss him.
    No, I don't miss him at all! I'm a mindless robot who can automatically turn love on and off! The second he boards that plane to go to war, I can flip that switch and not worry about it until he comes back! Seriously... of course we miss them. I missed Michael every day and for the most random reasons. I missed being able to go to the movies with him, I missed waking up next to him in the morning, I missed holidays with him... there are a million different reasons you find to miss them every single day, but each day you find a way to keep on trucking.

  • How much longer until he gets done with all of this?
    This is annoying in its condescension. For Michael, and a lot of soldiers like him, there is no "getting done with all of this". He, like many soldiers, loves his job and, like many of them, keep signing up. It's a lifestyle, not just a job.

  • I don't know how you manage. I don't think I could do it.
    This, again, is annoying in its condescension. I know, it's intended to be a compliment. It isn't. No one dreams of doing this job. No one wanted to be alone for significant portions of their relationship, keeping their cell phones with them always, even in the bathroom and shower, just in case he calls. We aren't any different than anyone else; we just happened to fall for a man (or woman) who is a soldier. You put all your efforts into being a good support system for them while they're gone. You find a way to cope.

  • This deployment shouldn't be so bad, now that you're used to it.
    News flash: it never gets easy. Yes, you can learn how to cope. Yes, you can find ways of distracting yourself for a little while so you aren't constantly worrying every minute of the day. But it never gets to be "easy", no matter how many deployments you go through, and just because our guys may have been there more than once, it doesn't mean they're miraculously invincible.

  • Oh, I know exactly what you're going through. My husband/wife had to go on a business trip to _________ for a month, and it was awful!
    While I can appreciate that being away from your significant other for any period of time is not fun, it is not the same thing as what our guys are going through. The only way it would compare is if while on this "business trip" they were away for 12 - 18 months, while dodging bullets, mortars, RPGs, IEDs, and God knows what else, living in cramped quarters with 2 - 3 other people, working 20 hour days in 120 degree heat while wearing body armor and gear that can weigh up to 75 lbs, and having no idea when the next time you'll talk to your loved ones is. It is not the same thing as being at war in Iraq or Afghanistan. Saying you know what we're going through because of some measly business trip where you husband or wife gets to stay in a comfortable hotel room with clean sheets and hot showers, three meals a day, eight hours of sleep a night, and reliable phone service that lets you talk to your family several times a day is kind of an insult.

    Yes, if you're wondering, every single question listed above is one I have been asked by people fairly regularly. I know people don't mean to be insensitive or thoughtless. I know they just want to to feel like they can relate to us, or they're curious, or whatever the case may be. But so often, people don't think about what they're actually saying.

    By all means, these "trials and tribulations" are nothing compared to what our troops go through in Iraq and Afghanistan. But when you're thinking about and praying for our troops, remember the ones who are left behind as well... the mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. Military life is not an episode of "Army Wives". Conflicts don't get wrapped up in 42 minutes; deployments don't get cut short because the wife wants them to be. Stays in Walter Reed aren't only for a day or two; soldiers do not always come home surly and violent because they're stricked with PTSD. Real life is so much different than that piece-of-crap show.

    Don't feel sorry for us or for our soldiers. Be grateful and appreciative, and remember the families left behind as well.


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    Comments (47)

    Heh. Military wife's kick a... (Below threshold)
    OCSteve:

    Heh. Military wife's kick ass.

    Cassy, here are my suggesti... (Below threshold)
    Diane:

    Cassy, here are my suggestions of what to say to acquaintances whose spouses/sig-others have left or are leaving to serve overseas:

    1) I so much appreciate what your loved one is doing for me and our country.
    2) May I have their overseas address, so I can send them cards and packages?
    (What are their favorite treats, magazines, etc.?
    3) What can we do for your family, while your mate is away? (home repairs, mow lawn, babysit kids, etc.etc.)
    4) We will pray for you and your family.

    I have become great friends with 2 military families because of these questions.

    Simple solution, Cassy: <b... (Below threshold)
    Herman:

    Simple solution, Cassy: quit being a chickenhawk and join your "significant other" in Iraq! Isn't the best way to "support our troops" to be with them so you can help them?

    My husband spent 26 years i... (Below threshold)
    Sara:

    My husband spent 26 years in the Navy. The first 13 years of our marriage, he was gone a total number of days to equal 10 1/2 years. This included 4 combat tours, 2 in-country Vietnam, plus a number of other deployments anywhere from 15 days to 12 months. It is a very lonely time and there is not much glamorous about it. You have to be mother and father to the kids, you have to try and juggle working (a must to survive on military pay) and being there for Little League, Pop Warner, Scouts, cheerleading, church, rides to events, and PTA, teacher's meetings, etc, etc. It is a rule, within 1 mo. of deployment the brakes will go out on the car or the refrig. or washing machine will stop working or a tree will fall over in the yard. You will be shunned, for the most part, by your married friends because no one wants an unattached woman wandering among their husbands. You struggle to find suitable role models for your son while his Dad is gone.

    Of course, we didn't have video, email, computers, cell phones, we had snail mail from the jungle, sometimes delayed 6-12 weeks. We did not have liaisons from the command to help us or inform us. These are improvements. But, the basic problem remains much the same today as it was 20, 30, 50, 90, 200 years ago. You cannot change the fact that when you turn the lights off at night and crawl into that big empty bed, it is hard to turn your mind off from the ever present fear that you'll never see your loved one again.

    Simple solution, C... (Below threshold)
    Simple solution, Cassy: quit being a chickenhawk and join your "significant other" in Iraq! Isn't the best way to "support our troops" to be with them so you can help them? - Herman
    I think that may well be the most insensitive, stupid remark I have ever heard. Who will take care of business if all military spouses signed up to "be with" their spouse at war? Who will take care of their kids, the house, and everything else that needs to be taken care of? Being at war does not mean everything that these soldiers are responsible for ceases to exist, brainiac, and someone's gotta keep things running smoothly. Not to mention that even if I or any military spouse joined the military, I'm 99.9% sure that if you have kids they won't send both of you to war at the same time anyways. And if I did happen to be with him in Iraq, that doesn't mean we'd be put on the same base, in the same unit, or in the same job either. So how exactly would I be "helping him"? That entire line of reasoning makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. It doesn't make me a "chickenhawk" to be standing faithfully behind my soldier while he's off fighting in Iraq. It doesn't make me a hero either, but it certainly doesn't make a "chickenhawk".

    I know it's probably hard for you, but try and think before you speak. Or type.

    Cheap, stupid and juvenile ... (Below threshold)
    SPQR:

    Cheap, stupid and juvenile insults is all we ever see from Herman.

    Herman, Google up Damocles.... (Below threshold)

    Herman, Google up Damocles.

    J.

    Cassy, ignore the jerk. He ... (Below threshold)
    Sara:

    Cassy, ignore the jerk. He probably still lives at home with his Mommie and Daddy, or he is one of those who has to be chased down for child support.

    You are a hero. A hero to your husband, a hero to your kids, a hero to me and all the others who have walked in your shoes and understand, and to many more that haven't, but have common sense and understand duty and honor, something of which obviously Herman is unfamiliar.

    You go girl!

    Just speculation, but maybe... (Below threshold)
    RicardoVerde:

    Just speculation, but maybe he did, and that's the best he could do. I can only hope it's some rare disease, or the weekend at Berkley was just too much.

    Cassy's post, and the comme... (Below threshold)

    Cassy's post, and the comments here (not including those by the predictably moronic imbecile Herman)are another excellent reminder that for every soldier serving our country there is an extended network of family and friends who are shouldering the burden also. God bless them all.

    A BIG hug and smile to conv... (Below threshold)
    Knightbrigade:

    A BIG hug and smile to convey how PROUD and THANKFUL we are of those who serve our country and their loved ones who hold the forte here at home.

    No sympathies, no bs, just supportive, THANKFUL and DAMN PROUD!!. Thank your Micheal for serving Cassy, and thank you for all you endure being part of his team.

    Along with being a proud American, keep up the great threads.

    Side note** We all can't leave the country to serve, some of us "chickenhawks" have to stay home and slap around the enemy here right in the USA....
    Herman, you don't live in Berkley by chance?

    Cassy, Please tell Michael ... (Below threshold)
    Burt:

    Cassy, Please tell Michael "thank you" from an Army vet. And, and thank you, Cassy, for supporting him in his endeavors. Do you know if his unit will be registered with anysoldier dot com? I really love that site to keep track of people I know in theater.

    My neighbor spent a year in... (Below threshold)
    SPQR:

    My neighbor spent a year in Iraq a couple of years ago with a mech infantry unit, and is returning in two weeks as a contractor doing base construction work. We will miss him during that year but obviously not as much as his wife and two daughters.

    Herman, Google up Damocl... (Below threshold)
    James Cloninger:

    Herman, Google up Damocles.

    Or Thor.

    I always figured it was mor... (Below threshold)

    I always figured it was more like The Unit anyway.

    Thanks for that post, Cassy. I've never met ya and coulnd't pic you out of a crowd if they pointed ya out, but I was still trying to imagine your face as you fielded those questions and comments for the umpteenth time. The fact that you still have a sense of humor reminds me of one more reason why I so respect those who make such sacrifices for us all. Thanks, to both of you.

    Cheap, stupid and juvenile ... (Below threshold)
    Love America, Immigrant:

    Cheap, stupid and juvenile insults is all we ever see from Herman.
    ----------------------------
    When will true chickenhawks like Herman will be on the front line as human shields for our trơps? We can send them to clear up the terrorists' nest with their superior skill. Maybe they can get Obama 's magic to turn these terrorists into peacemakers. So predictable and so despicable. No wonder people like Herman can support the modern dem party.

    Cassy, you and your husband... (Below threshold)

    Cassy, you and your husband (and Rupert too) represent what is best in this great nation. God bless you all. You married a very good man, and he would say he still got the better end of the bargain. You all have my deepest appreciation and respect for your service and sacrifice.

    BTW, I've seen my brother off to Kosovo, and the Gulf twice. My sister in law has always been a tower of strength in his absence.

    http://hearlandpatriot.blogtownhall.com

    I once stepped in it by say... (Below threshold)

    I once stepped in it by saying (about deployment to Afghanistan), "Oh, how exciting."

    Since that was at the end of a long story about how the young woman had volunteered for a series of things (starting with the Air Force) and ending with volunteering for Afghanistan I figured it was fairly safe to assume that the service member in question was where she wanted to be, which was out there where history was happening.

    Problem was, I was talking to her mother.

    Bravo Cassie and Diane. Is... (Below threshold)
    epador:

    Bravo Cassie and Diane. Isn't it a shame so many people are so uninformed and unaccustomed to dealing with the military family that such comments are so common? It speaks for a poor quality of understanding and awareness. On the other hand, it speaks to the quality of our military that such a minority of our population can do so much for the rest. If one quarter of the energy and hope that's wasted on Obama could be channeled towards supporting our uniformed services and their families, we'd have a lot stronger nation.

    Barack Obama: ... (Below threshold)
    Adrian Browne:

    Barack Obama:

    *applause*

    Great for the military . . . great for America.

    And that's why military families have donated more to future-President of America BARACK OBAMA 's campaign than that of any other candidate

    *applause*

    Casey, i know the drill, my... (Below threshold)
    Davidg:

    Casey, i know the drill, my dad was US Navy and his job was taking pictures. We got stationed to Guam in 1963, guess where he ended up taking lots of pictures. Even there on Guam in 64 it was different, most dads worked on base only a very small few flew over Vietnam (more from Anderson AFB where they flew the 52's). After Guam we ended up in San Diego where my dad did two cruises. I will never forget the week we spent at the Skipper's house waiting for word of where the skipper was, after a week search called off and the one oil slick was determined to be him.

    Casey your question list is good, but i think the one missing is given that your Dad/Husband is deployed do you support the political position of "...". Well that is just a crock, your political position has nothing to do if you want your dad to come home.

    Anyway to those who are supporting a serviceman or women in the field, you have my hope that they will return at the end of their deployment back to their families, ready and able to fullfill their responsibilities as parents and spouses.

    Adrian, my dad calls that s... (Below threshold)

    Adrian, my dad calls that sort of religion "happy clappy".

    Cassy, My prayers ... (Below threshold)
    Matt:

    Cassy,

    My prayers are with you and yours during this time of separation. I don't know what it's like to be left behind by loved ones, I was always the one being deployed and having to leave wife and children behind. It is never pleasant to say good bye, or see you later as I always preffered.

    I have several friends, co-workers and former students down range at this time and it is tough to help them prepare and I worry about them and their families while they are deployed. All I can offer are prayers and thanks.

    Synova: I would think Clap ... (Below threshold)
    epador:

    Synova: I would think Clap Trap would be more appropriate, and I'm thinking of the type with resistant plasmids.

    Adrian, I guess t... (Below threshold)

    Adrian,

    I guess that 13% of democrats that make up the military (according to the military times)are donating big to Obama because of the way the Clintons gutted the military in the 90's.

    All the military people I know and the military blogs
    Black five,mudville gazette,long war journal,captains journal,and many others are not "applauding " at all when they here Obama make super intelligent statements like:

    "I will pull all the troops out of Iraq and if Al-qaeda tries to set up a base that threatens America,
    then we will re-invade."

    uuooohhhh!! Adrian,....Adrian,
    you might want to let your hero Obama know that we have been fighting Al-qaeda in Iraq for almost 5 years
    and preventing them from starting a civil war and setting up a stronghold there.
    (and don't try that tired liberal line about al-qaeda
    not being in Iraq before we invaded,Zarqawi,an
    al-qaeda leader, was there with Ansar al-islam).

    or how about this great idea from super star Obama:

    "I will take our troops out of Iraq and redeploy them
    to Afghanistan and Pakistan."

    Great, Obama thinks we should abandon Iraq when we have delivered al-qaeda a humiliating defeat in the
    center of their war against the west,and take our
    "broken" army to invade Pakistan(a nuclear powered country with over a 20 million man army in the toughest
    unmapped region in the world)because our intelligence
    "thinks" Osama bin laden is there.

    It would be nice if you liberals would support the wars your liberal heroes in Congress voted for in Iraq and Afghanistan before you try to start new ones.

    I have heard no "applause" from any military people
    or on any military web sites toward your rock star
    obama and his idiotic policies concerning the War on Terror.

    By the way Adrian,if we did invade Pakistan to go get
    Osama and he ends up in Somalia or Iran,Will you and
    Herman and the rest of the sheep you call the democratic party call him a chickenhawk,a liar,a war criminal,Hitler and all the other super intelligent name calling you liberals pass off as "truth to power."

    It does seem that Obama is ... (Below threshold)

    It does seem that Obama is trying to have his cake and eat it too, as they say.

    He wants the pure anti-war creds... he has *always* opposed the war in Iraq.

    He wants the tough guy creds... so he'll send troops into Pakistan or back to Iraq in an *eyeblink*.

    (listens for Adrian's applause)

    Cassy, Thank yo... (Below threshold)

    Cassy,

    Thank you for your insight and please let your Soldier know that we think him and all our men and women in uniform for our freedoms everyday.

    My family and I have marched on Washington with the Gathering of Eagles(March and September) and Melanie Morgan,we give monthly to vets of the 101st airborne(screaming eagle support fund),Christmas cards, gift boxes,and our business gives free service to military families and police officers.

    It is not much and I realize that it is nothing compared to the leadership and bravery that Michael and the rest of our Soldiers are showing on the front lines, and the strength and support you are showing here at home.

    To be honest, no matter what we do, it never seems like it is enough when we think about the sacrifice and
    leadership that our men and women in uniform show everyday.

    The Vietnam/Iraqi vets that I traveled and roomed in
    Washington with,ate at the veterans hall,drank a few and listened to stories with are some of the finest people I have come to know.

    But if you haven't served or have an immediate loved one who is in the military or at war,than you can be in
    the room or stand with them,but you will never be able to fully appreciate or understand where they have been
    because you have not been there.

    Having not served but fully understanding where my freedoms come from,it can be humbling but yet awe inspiring to be around a Soldier and his family.

    Personally I have been around congressmen,senators,un-believably rich business owners,and have eaten dinners with pro-Basketball and Football players.

    These times were great and fun,but nothing like the incredible emotion that came over me
    standing with Vietnam Vets at the wall,seeing these men
    shake and tear up while they rubbed their hands across the names of their lost brothers.Watching these men point at a man across the room and tell you about when
    he pulled one of them to safety with bullets flying and
    the enemy all around.Listening to them talk about praying to God that the copter would make it back to pick them up.

    This is not conversation about stocks,sports,and victoria secret models,this kind of stuff really puts
    life in perspective for me.

    So Cassy,my family and I may very well have made the same mistakes like you point out in your post,but it is
    because we care so much,but have a hard time showing it in the right way because we have not been in your's
    or your husband's shoes.We need to educate ourselves more and spend more time at Walter Reed,bringing pizza to our local recruiting station(instead of chaining ourselves to the door and yelling "war criminals"),and
    getting involved with groups that support our Veterans
    and their families.
    Your post has been very helpful and my family and I
    will find more ways to reach out to the men and women
    that have secured out Freedoms and way of life.


    Well said! Your husband sho... (Below threshold)

    Well said! Your husband should definitely be proud to call you his wife, knowing that, unlike many other Americans these days, you are supportive of his work as a Soldier.

    "obviously, it doesn't comp... (Below threshold)
    Mike:

    "obviously, it doesn't compare to what our men and women are experiencing, but it isn't exactly a cakewalk."

    I don't know that that is necessarily true. I've been deployed 3 times. The last retired me after an unfotunate IED incident.

    I think that in many ways, it's AT LEAST as tough on those left behind. Us over there, for the most part, we're extremely busy. Yes you miss your family and yes you worry about your troops but the pace of operations keeps you from dwelling on it too much. Back home you stay busy sure, but the reason you're so busy is because your partner isn't around to help.

    As far as the comments of those who don't get it, it's a combination of insensitivity and just plain ignorance. Look at the overwhelming number of people who not only aren't in the military or have a family member in, they don't even KNOW anyone personally who's in.

    When I heard of a neighbor ... (Below threshold)
    XMariner:

    When I heard of a neighbor of our being called up the first reaction I had was, "Go over there and kick their asses for me!"

    This was a great read for m... (Below threshold)
    Rick13:

    This was a great read for me. I am in Iraq right now. When my wife and I would tell people that I was being deployed, we would get those same reactions from them. We were at a friends wedding last fall and a friend of my wife asked her if she was worried that I was going to get blown up. Now that I am here, everyone has a better attitude about the whole thing. It's a shock for most people at first, but they get over it.

    A bit off topic, but I'm no... (Below threshold)
    Brian:

    A bit off topic, but I'm not the one who brought it up...

    because of the way the Clintons gutted the military in the 90's.

    Another right-wing myth, easily disproved.

    Oops.

    Cassy,DH sent me t... (Below threshold)

    Cassy,

    DH sent me this today. Wonderful blog! I have never watched Army Wives and have no intention to.

    I too am very proud of my DH and all our service men and women. I admit I don't think I could do what they do, so I do what I can do here at home.

    God bless you and your husband!

    Another right-wing my... (Below threshold)

    Another right-wing myth, easily disproved.....not so fast Brian.

    http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/tables/08s0458.xls


    That it began before Clinto... (Below threshold)

    That it began before Clinton in no way says that Clinton did not continue it, and with gusto.

    Anyone who was there and *stayed*, stayed in the face of... not signing bonuses, but separation bonuses, as trained people were bribed to look else where for a career.

    Another right-wing myth,... (Below threshold)
    Brian:

    Another right-wing myth, easily disproved.....not so fast Brian.

    Thanks for the spreadsheet. What it shows is...

    From 1989-1992 under Bush 41 and Cheney, military spending decreased 2.7%, with a trough in 1991 down 11.2%.

    From 1993-2000 under Clinton, military spending increased 1%, with a trough in 1996 down 9%.

    Did total military spending under Clinton decrease? Sure, by about 6.7% on average over eight years. Much less than the 25% advocated by Cheney. And hardly something to be classified as "gutting".

    From a PBS article in Janua... (Below threshold)

    From a PBS article in January 2004.

    "Currently, there are 499,000 active duty Army troops, backed up by 700,000 National Guard and Army reservists. That's a third less than when the U.S. fought its last big war in the Persian Gulf, in 1991;"

    How, please Brian, did we end up with 1/3 fewer people in the Army between 1991 and 2004 if reductions under Clinton were only 6.7%?

    Did Bush somehow send one in three soldiers home between 2000 and 2004?

    Did total military sp... (Below threshold)

    Did total military spending under Clinton decrease? Sure, by about 6.7% on average over eight years. Much less than the 25% advocated by Cheney. And hardly something to be classified as "gutting". That won't work Brian. Comparing a 6.7% decrease in real spending versus an article from NYT about Cheney's suggestion? Not buying it. This isn't another right wing myth easily disproved.


    A 6.7% decrease in real spending during a period of time when our country was under attack from terrorists is equivalent to gutting the budget....ask your liberal buddies what they would call that sort of real reduction in spending if applied to, say, Social Security or Medicare.

    In 1993 Defense spending accounted for 19.7% of total outlays. In 1999 Defense spending accounted for 15.3% of total outlays. This isn't a myth.

    How, please Brian, did w... (Below threshold)
    Brian:

    How, please Brian, did we end up with 1/3 fewer people in the Army between 1991 and 2004

    Same way it decreased 17% between 1980-1993, and 20% just from 89-93. It followed the trend that began in 1970.

    if reductions under Clinton were only 6.7%?

    "If"??? Are you challenging the numbers that Hugh posted? Talk to the Census Bureau, I guess.

    That won't work Brian. C... (Below threshold)
    Brian:

    That won't work Brian. Comparing a 6.7% decrease in real spending versus an article from NYT about Cheney's suggestion? Not buying it.

    Military personnel decreased an average of 4.1% per year under Bush 41 and Cheney, and an average of 3.25% per year under Clinton. You buying it yet?

    In 1993 Defense spending accounted for 19.7% of total outlays. In 1999 Defense spending accounted for 15.3% of total outlays. This isn't a myth.

    No, it's just a bullshit argument. In 1993 spending was $278B, in 2000 it was $281B. That's an increase in spending, regardless of how big the pie is that it came from. If you get a 5% raise in a year where your company's profits increase 20%, you can't claim that they cut your salary.

    "If"??? Are you challeng... (Below threshold)

    "If"??? Are you challenging the numbers that Hugh posted? Talk to the Census Bureau, I guess.

    Of course that's not the point,Brian. But we get yours. Evade. Dissemble. Distract.

    Serve up a defensible treatise on Clinton administration defense spending and national defense strategy between 1992 and 2000.

    No, it's just a bulls... (Below threshold)

    No, it's just a bullshit argument. In 1993 spending was $278B, in 2000 it was $281B. That's an increase in spending, regardless of how big the pie is that it came from.

    No it is not. The Federal Budget is nothing more than a line item spending spending debate. Liberals have for years championed baseline spending. When they lose that argument, as you now have, they resort to simple math (hard for you I know) and not only guess wrong at that but ignore inflation adjusted dollars. Absent that weak excuse, liberals offer up arguments like this:

    If you get a 5% raise in a year where your company's profits increase 20%, you can't claim that they cut your salary.

    That comment is the highest form of absurdity.


    Of course that's not the... (Below threshold)
    Brian:

    Of course that's not the point,Brian. But we get yours. Evade. Dissemble. Distract.

    Nice try. I'm not the one who challenged your numbers. In fact, I embraced them to make my point.

    That comment is the high... (Below threshold)
    Brian:

    That comment is the highest form of absurdity.

    Evade. Dissemble. Distract.

    My husband and I are both i... (Below threshold)
    Hannah:

    My husband and I are both in the Army, CASSY, and you can bet your bottom dollar the Army will send both spouses to war even if they have children. The Army doesn't give a rip about people's personal lives, and dual military is as hard as it gets. Those stupid little magnets that say "If you think being a soldiers is hard, try being a soldier's wife" drive me NUTS. I do both, and the soldier side of it sucks a lot more. By the way, being a stay at home military wife isn't the hardest thing in the world. Military moms who work and still have to come home, put on a happy face, and start their "second job" as a mommy have it worse than you will ever know. There's nothing as bad as dropping your newborn off at day care at 0600 and picking them up at 1800, only to see them for an hour before you go to sleep.

    The Army will send you both... (Below threshold)

    The Army will send you both, Hannah, but they won't *enlist* you both if you have children. Why not? Because they know how impossible it can be for families. But they can't stop you from getting married and having kids. Your choice. And YOU KNEW that military service requires unaccompanied assignments even in Peacetime. You KNEW you'd have to leave your kids. Just like the guys know it.

    I'd rather be active duty than a DW. Tried both. I'd rather be active duty any day or any moment, than be a DW.

    Don't give me a whiny story and don't dis dependent wives (or husbands). Suck it up or quit.

    It's harder for those who stay behind. That's your dependents, whoever they are. Spouse or just kids. It's easier to go to a new place where you're busy. It's harder to stay home and wait. It's terribly hard on the kids. I'll feel bad for them. But I can respect anyone who feels that their mission is important enough to warrant the personal sacrifice. Even a mom who has to leave her baby.

    Casey, FYI Active duty Army... (Below threshold)
    Debbie:

    Casey, FYI Active duty Army, dual military are deployed at the same time. It's a damn shame, the kids are left with family to be raised. I've seen it happen too many times. That's the reason I got out of the Army so I caould raise my kids not someone else.




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