February 9, 2011

It's not a straight path: Grasping the complexities of war

The Kitchen Dispatch: It's not a straight path: Grasping the complexities of war -
"What do you think about Afghanistan?"

It's no different for me than it is for probably most other milspouses. Civilians always ask when I'm minding my own business. They see the blue star pin, or the Army pin, and they want a sound bite about war. Some do it as a lead in so they can offload their own opinions. But our answers aren't that quick.

A lot of military spouses --both men and women, have read large amounts of material about politics, history, culture and war. They figure if they have someone over there, maybe they'd better get some background. One book turns into two, and eventually there are shelves of books. They don't know everything, but they know a lot. They're not experts and they don't pretend to be. They take it very seriously, and for them --even a simple statement like "Support the troops" has a different nuance and depth. They have to balance it with not being too consumed with war and what's on TV, with raising kids, having a career, going to school, making financial decisions, running the house, and creating some peace of mind for themselves.

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