Something I’ve noticed since joining Pinups for Patriots is how many of our members have some sort of relationship with the military. They are either veterans themselves or have family members who have served or are currently serving. There is an unspoken bond between people who have been involved in the military lifestyle. If you are a military family member, you understand how frustrating it can be to hear someone talk about how they haven’t seen their boyfriend or girlfriend all weekend and you are thinking to yourself “awwww, try a YEAR!!”
If you are a veteran, you bond with stories of your deployments; the insane things you saw, the places you’ve been, and usually the best dining facility at each of those places. And then there are the things that they don’t talk about; the things that brought pain and the things that will stay with them forever.
During my time in the military, I was a Mental Health Specialist. I have always enjoyed listening to people and trying to understand why they acted a certain way; determine what in their lives had brought them to this point. I knew that being in Mental Health was perfect for me. I was not fully prepared at just how much I would learn about life in a war zone. I worked in the Army Substance Abuse Program and Inpatient and Outpatient Psychiatry at Fort Carson, Colo. and Fort Hood, Texas. I cannot begin to tell you the anxiety that prevails itself when you have a husband who is deployed to the very place that your patients are telling you horror stories about. But that’s a story for a different time. The point is, we have so many wonderful veterans that we owe so much to. We owe them our gratitude. We owe them support. Their stories and experiences may be tough to hear, but they need to be heard and I know many of them who are grateful for people willing to listen.
Q1: Please tell me about the veteran in your life.
A1: Joshua, SPC, Spouse of almost 9 years
Q2: Your husband was a Specialist in the military. What branch did he serve in?
Q3: What was his job (MOS) in the military?
A3: 13B/ Field Artillery
Q4: Does he have any memorable items that he held on to? (uniform, photographs, ID tags, etc)
A4: He has held on to his Woobie (poncho liner), dog tags, and uniforms
Q5: Does he openly talk about their time in the military?
A5: Sometimes, it depends on the situation and the “who” it involves.
Q6: What moment had the biggest impact during their time in service?
A6: His deployment in 2007
Q7: How has having a veteran in your life influenced you?
A7: He has made me step up and become an advocate for him, he has made me stronger as a person, he has made me open my eyes to something new, and realize that even on a really bad day only good can come from it.
Q8: What would you like to say to that veteran?
A8: Thank you for sticking it out all these years, and loving me unconditionally. You are an amazing and inspirational guy. Thank you.
Thank you Ashley for your contribution to this article and to your husband for his service. If you are a veteran or family member and would like to share your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org.