My friend Renee had this posted on her blog http://www.myspecialks.com/
This is a letter that was sent into the Army Times and can be found here: http://www.armytimes.com/community/opinion/army_opinion_letters_120709/ Dai H. Salerno, you rock!
Here’s what stress is
Stress? President Obama suggests Maj. Nidal Hasan cracked under stress. That’s a slap in the face to the men and women who have deployed countless times and have yet to pick up a gun and start shooting their own. I don’t buy the stress defense.
Want to know what stress is? I will take it from the point of view of an Army wife:
• Knowing your husband leaves in a few weeks and making sure you have all legal documents in order in case he doesn’t come back, he’s taken POW or you need his signature to proceed with any number of legal, bank or personal dealings while he is deployed.
• Sitting in a gymnasium for a few hours knowing those are the final moments you will spend with him for 12 to 15 months.
• Keeping your chin up and telling him, “Goodbye” and “stay safe” and holding your tears back because he whispered, “Don’t cry, babe” in your ear.
• Watching the man you love march out with his unit and wave back at you one last time.
• Not hearing from your husband for a week or two until his unit is finally settled in whatever God-forsaken location they are assigned to.
• Coming home and continuing with your everyday life, work, school, children, family, home, pets, vehicles and any other daily activity by yourself and not having the luxury of being able to talk to your spouse about it.
• Living for the brief 10- to 15-minute phone call from him that may come once a week.
• Watching the news every day and seeing the politicians back home tie soldiers’ hands by bringing political correctness into the battlefield.
• Getting a phone call mid-tour telling you your husband is OK but being medevac’d to Germany.
• Calling your husband’s rear detachment and having them give you no further information about where your husband is or how badly he is hurt.
• Quitting the best job you ever had to pack up your stuff and move 18 hours back to the post he’s assigned to so you can have a place before he gets there.
• Having to feed, bathe and care for your husband because he cannot use his arms.
• Listening to his guilt for not being able to come back with his unit.
• Knowing another deployment is just another year and a half away.
• Repeating this cycle two or three or four more times.
I’ve yet to see an Army wife “crack” and go on an “act of violence that is inexplicable.”
— Dai H. Salerno, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.