Monday, August 13, 2012

The Forgotten

Navy Spouses, Navy Kids.... We are the forgotten. No, no, this isn't an "I hate the Navy" post. Grab that cup of coffee and lets chat.

On a very basic level, the Navy wasn't designed for families. The long working hours, deployments, schools, training etc. It's an incredibly demanding profession with relatively little monetary compensation. For many, it is also a job they are proud of, despite that.

Lets throw us families into the mix. We can be a vital support system for our Service Member. They have a family to come home from deployment to, people to lean on when they need it, people that love them, make them happy... so on and so forth. We can also be a load of added stress. When they are going through intensive demanding periods, they also have us at home, that still need them to be our boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/father/mother and meet our needs, whatever they may be. We just have to find the balance.

The Navy has various programs to support the families, so clearly we aren't LITERALLY forgotten, but we are, in a sense. There are family friendly commands also, of course. However, with the Navy as a whole, families are not really thought about when job expectations are made, when hours are set etc. (If they are, then the people thinking about their families, don't like them much lol) This is both a discouraging and comforting thought at the same time. Here's why... When circumstances arise that are not ideal for your family unit, it can be upsetting and you can feel angry. Taking a step back and realizing it's about the bigger picture and not a personal vendetta against your family should calm you a bit, because after all, we are the forgotten.

Wars don't try to make things easier on us as the family. Terrorists don't try to plan attacks around what is convenient for us. The various jobs that are done every day for the security of our country, are just not tailored around our individual families.

We are the forgotten, but not because the Navy doesn't care about us. We are the forgotten because the bigger picture demands so much of our military member and those demands are not always ideal for the family unit. Being a military family isn't an easy thing. It takes a lot of give and take, often more give on the side of the family members at home. We all sacrifice. Some sacrifice a whole lot, others sacrifice less.

So, the next time you say "The Navy doesn't care about the families." try to look at it differently (Yes, it's hard. I agree.)... They care about us, they kind of just have to forget about us when it comes to the bigger picture sometimes. That separation, that missed birth, that second sea duty in a row, those lousy orders.... they aren't personal. They are meeting the needs of the Navy and we as the family behind the sailor are kind of... Forgotten. We make sacrifices.

I couldn't be more proud of my husband and what he does. I would love to have him around more, but I know he is so very dedicated to his job and also very dedicated to our family. It's a tough balancing act sometimes. I'm right by his side every step of the way.

Yes, I totally have my whiny moments about hours and all... We all do.

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