Most of you ladies are milspouses, and I'm sure that some (if not all) of you have had this issue in the past.
One of my family members just does. not. get it. At all. Every time I mention something about Joe being gone or in the desert or whatever, he compares it to one of his previous jobs. Working in the oil fields. *sigh*
I know that guys who work in oil fields are gone a lot, but it's not the same thing. I know that their job can be dangerous from time to time. It's a long, hot, tiring job. I get it. Like deployment, it can suck.
But working in oil fields does not involve:
- Sleeping in a bunk/tent
- Carrying a weapon
- A group of people wanting you dead because of what you stand for
- Withstanding the heat of a 140 degree afternoon
- Wearing a uniform 24/7
- Getting pictures from home, because you're halfway around the world
- Getting food/snacks in the mail because you can't go to the store and get it yourself
- Going on a convoy to get places instead of hopping in your own car
- Missing holidays/birthdays because you can't just take off work
- Leaving your family halfway across the world to go fight for a stranger's freedom
- Making phone calls from a military phone because you can't pick up your cell phone
- Using Skype just to get a short glimpse of your loved one(s)
The life of an oil field worker and the life of a military service member are completely different.
When things happen on an oil field/rig, they're accidents. Something that no one expected to happen and everyone tried to prevent. When something happens on the battlefield, it was because the enemy was trying to hurt them. It wasn't an accident, it was a casualty of war. Oil field workers don't sign up to fight for freedom or give their lives for something bigger or greater than they are. This is not to say that it isn't sad or tragic when something happens on either front. The two jobs are just not comparable.
How do I make someone who isn't familiar with the military understand? He has friends who are in the Army, but apparently he still doesn't "get it." I want him to fully understand that this isn't just a job. It's a calling; it's a sacrifice. One that not all men make. While I feel for women whose husbands work on oil fields... Their husbands are safe. No one group of people try to kill them because of what they do and what they stand for. Their husbands sleep in hotel rooms or trailers. They don't fight for their lives every day. And, unless they're contracted by the government to work overseas, they're safe in the States.
I suppose I'm finally getting the clash of the two lifestyles: civilian and military. Looking back, I'm not sure that I fully understood the sacrifice either. As a student of history, I recognized the significance and the loss. I recognized the men and women who gave their lives so that we could enjoy the freedoms we have. But it wasn't until my husband became a member of the military that I fully understood it all. The sacrifice, the honor, the pride and the love that comes with the military lifestyle.
Do I attempt to get him to understand? Or do I set it off to the side knowing that he will probably not make the effort to understand (or sympathize) anyway? *sigh* Family members. Love 'em. Hate 'em. Can't live without 'em.
**I'm giving a shout out to my bestie, Melissa! She's had 2 separate blogs in the past - one for her crafts and one for her random life thoughts - and is now merging the two into one! It's super cute and has a *fantastic* name: Mr. Magnificent & Company. Apparently, her hubby is often referred to as Mr. Magnificent (probably because he's so handy around the house!) and with the addition of a baby to their house, she thought the name fitting for her new, improved blog! So please stop by, read a bit, laugh a bit, comment [and maybe even follow]! I know she'd love to have you. =D**