I took our oldest daughter, LoveBug, to a birthday party a couple weeks ago. She is in preschool and this was her first birthday party for a school friend. It was actually her first birthday party of a friend that wasn't family. Earlier that day I was thinking about how NG (National Guard) wives and families are like a secret society. How we live among the civilians, not others of our kind. I think most Americans who do not have a tie to the military forget there is a war going on right now, forget that servicemen are dying for our country right now, and thousands of kids are missing their daddys tonight. How hard it is to live among the real world, when you feel like no one understands your daily fear and pride.
Anyway, back to the party, I was making small talk with the other moms like you do at these not so entertaining events. I don't really know these moms except who their kid is and what they drive from the many afternoons sitting in the pick up line. As I was talking to this one mom, I discovered they are an NG family. They just left the service within the last 6 months, her husband severed 10 years and 2 tours to Iraq. I was in shock that my daughter went to school with another military kid. And although they are out now, that little girl will always be a military kid. And that is when it hit me, being a NG family is like a secret society. We walk among civilians, we look like civilians, but we serve our country with everything we have.
We talked the rest of the party, swapping our own war stories of birthing those deployment babies alone, 1 am trips to the ER with one sick kid, one tired kid, and no daddy, and of course the "well my fill in the blank broke the day after he left" stories. As military wives, past and present, we can look back on those and laugh. We share the struggles, tears, and now laughter. It was like an instant connection to her, like we were just old friends. It amazes me how quickly military wives can connect. Its like our souls were made to help each other through this crazy life we chose.
Military wives are like a hidden sisterhood. We can be complete strangers and the instant you find out what you share, it is like your hearts are connected forever. Being a military wive is a feeling of pride, fear, anger, hurt, love, that only other military wives can understand. They get why knocks on the door or 3 am phone calls can scare you, why you are suddenly so computer savvy with a webcam, how you learned to fix that leaky pipe, how your kids know what a true hero is (and nope he doesn't wear a cape). You almost have an unspoken language, a language that comforts all your fears and shares all your stories. I am so thankful for this sisterhood, it has always served me well. I think its part of our duty to our country and I proudly serve.