For about twenty five years now, I always hear “Thank You” everywhere I go especially when I’m in uniform. I know that the appreciation is for my service to our country so my fellow Americans can sleep in peace, worship who they please, say what they want and enjoy the freedom of being a citizen of the United States of America - the land of the free. But the real recipient of this gratitude should be the Navy wives; they have the toughest job in the Navy.
I do not consider myself a great American hero, but the real hero is my wife. A Navy wife like her is who sets America free. You will have to wear the uniform and experience the way of life we live in to understand what I’m trying to say. We are not a “traditional family, headed by a breadwinner-father and a housewife-mother” (Colombo 18). A Navy wife has to be totally independent, heal herself when sick, has the patience of a saint when waiting for her husband to come back, and have a pair of eight hands to keep the flame at home burning when her Sailor is away. She must always be ready to move around the world in a moments notice just to be left alone again. And most of all, she needs a strong heart to sustain the ache of separation, disappointment, joy, sadness and pride. A heart that is large enough to say, I understand when she really does not and to say I love you even when she’s mad.
Imagine what goes through inside the minds of the thousands of Sailors wives stationed in Yokosuka, just right after the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011 in Japan. The feeling of being left behind so their husbands can get underway to protect their warship from being damage. The uncertainty of what can happen to them in an event the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station gets out of control. To find an answer to question why their Sailors left them behind to protect a warship or evacuate other families. And yet, they all said “Take care honey, I love you…”
Some of us in the submarine community go under water for months without seeing sunlight, some in the Special Forces live in the mountains like hermits hunting Al-Qaeda, and some on individual augmentee (IA) duty live in tents in the desert only to be targeted by improvise explosive devices and mortars. And still back home where our families need us, our wives play the role of the father and…