Sunday, June 24, 2012

Broken Relationships... The Unspoken Casualty of war


 its been awhile since I have made a post.. Usually when I take these long breaks from posting anything significant about the Garden... its because im deployed somewhere. For the past few years I have largely kept my military life seperate from all my posts. I use the garden as away for me to escape the reality of what my life really is all about; which involves a lot of pain, grief, regrets, sorrow, mourning and personal reflection. Over the past decade I have lost so many friends.. I have been extremely lucky.. Just today my helicopter almost ran into a mountain. Death is always looking for a way to creep in and take over.

Sadly enough there are bigger things on the horizon. My wife told me over the phone last week that she is done with the marriage. I could hear the whistle of artillery shells falling down all around me. I was truly broken. The conviction of which she spoke so clearly. I can hear it in her voice she was done. Battle worn and tired of the constant deployments. Its tough being in this situation.

I have taken on the full brunt of this decades old war.. Spending over 4 total years in a combat zone. Many of us often joke.. we go to America for vacation because our real home is in the mountains of Afghanistan or the Slums of Iraq. I have been to both and I have done an outstanding Job in both theaters of Operation. But I'm no fool to think my success is all because of me. Men like myself do very well overseas because our wives do very well taking care of the home. So we don't have to worry about home and we can concentrate on the mission. The military for all its worth is just not a recruitment of soldiers its ultimately the recruitment of families. Gone are the days of pimple face Joe snuffy being the only green horn in the platoon.. This war has pulled so many different people from all different back grounds from the depths of which never was thought possible. I remember working with a chief who actually saw combat in Vietnam!!

For the past three days I couldn't eat.. I literally shut down. Hurt to hear her say the things she said. But all I could do is listen. She was right to feel the way that she felt. Military wives endure so much. I told my command that I expected way to much from my wife. They quickly retorted by saying.. NO.... We expected way to much from you!! I just literally broke down. The fact is.. my wife, friends and family will never ever know what I do for my country. But the realities of what I do continue to etch itself within my core.. And at the end of the day only my wife sees those changes as apparent or less visible they may be.

We expect our women to deal with us, "to suck it up and drive on" as if they lace up their boots every morning and hit the pavement. The facts are.. although our women are tough.. they are still women.. they have a certain vulnerability and fragileness that we don't share. Our women need more than financial and physical support. They need us emotionally when it counts. They need us to make whats important to them.. important to us. We forget so much in our neanthrtal way of thinking that our women need our support. I look back and realize that when my wife needed me most I wasn't there for her. I let the silt of the military stick to me and cause me to be lazy, too tired to address her concerns. We ask for second chances but if we look back there were many chances.

War is tough on men. We fight in foreign countries and when our homes are unstable we fight to keep it together. The "never give up" spirit is great in the combat zone but when your wife has given up there is really nothing more you can do. Broken Relationships are the Unspoken casualty of war. I don't know if there is anything salvageable when I get back home. But if there is I will try to hold on to it as tightly as I can. I'm number 9 from this deployment. The 9th guy who's wife told him that they are finished with their marriage.
Men we have alot of work to do.