Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Do ya feel lucky?

Well do ya? I'm sorry, I can't help but hear Clint Eastwood in my head...or for the younger set...ya'll probably heard Jim Carrey. Anyway, that is so not my point!! I was over at Seven Inches of Sense and Joan has the most awesome post today. She perfectly captures the uncertainty and confusion and well, downright risk that is involved in military relationships.

Even the "good" ones are scary. Being a girlfriend sucks! Not all the time, mind you, but when it comes to getting support or even basic information...well you've got a better chance watching CNN than asking the FRG (Family Readiness Group) for help.

I will admit, I lucked out having TG, and the awesome girls with the FRG for Clark's unit. I made some great friends and a couple of them have actually continued to keep in contact with me even after all the drama. I really love you guys (for the record, thank you!)

Most girlfriends aren't so lucky...and honestly, had my big sissy not been a part of the group, they probably wouldn't have welcomed me with open arms either. See, as a girlfriend, I lacked a crucial piece of paper that apparently is the only way to prove loyalty. It appears that the ring on my finger meant nothing. ;-) I asked one of the wives about the seeming hatred that most girlfriends experience...her response: "Well, most wives see you all as transitory...girlfriends are here one week, gone the next. It's not worth the effort to get to know them...most of the time."

So what about those of us who do choose to stick it out during the rough times? Will we be forever relagated to second class citizenship just because we didn't rush into a marriage? I'm not knocking the people who decide to push their weddings up because of a deployment, after Clark's deployment, the contrary is true. I understand completely, at least once you possess a piece of paper, the military is required to share information with you. Otherwise, you are left to the kindness of others and your own resourcefulness...

Once I claimed to be Clark's sister-in-law in order to accomplish what he needed me to do. I had all of his security information and his express permission, but that wasn't enough to get anything of I called back with the exact same information but I identified myself as his brother's wife. That was apparently all the information they needed to help me out. It was absolutely ridiculous! Believe me, I am not advocating lying to the military...I will readily admit it was a risky plan...but it goes to illustrate my a committed girlfriend I was stonewalled at every turn...but wave a faux piece of paper around...and I was golden. Does this make sense to anyone?? It sure didn't to me, and it still doesn't.

I do realize that it is incredibly difficult to tell at first whether a girlfriend is going to be in it for the long haul...but at the same time, I think that it would be easier for scared, insecure, worried girlfriends to stick around if they weren't having to prove their loyalty at every turn. (And for the record, I know of many, many wives who were far less loyal than most girlfriends...but casting blame doesn't get us anywhere and the point here is to bridge the gap.) That's why it's such a blessing to so many of us to find online support groups to help us get through the deployment time.

Go visit Judy and see what she has to say about this topic.
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