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Anorak | The wife of a soldier’s story

The wife of a soldier’s story

by | 4th, September 2012

WHEN a soldier dies we hear their name and see their faces on the news. We see the Wootton Bassett funeral on the telly. The enemy’s foreign victims are realled only in numbers. The enemy is invisible. Have you seen an Afghan or Iraqi on the news recently? Have you seen the political debate on the news – the debate about the wars’ objectives? We could see anything on the TV – we could see what the enemy sees, the proganda and news thay tell their suporters. But we don’t. We get brave soldiers, damaged soldiers and dead soldiers. The grief is unbearable.

One woman tells the account of life after her husband – a British soldier – was killed on duty:

The army has actually created a Powerpoint slide to illustrate the highs and lows of the soldier’s return, from, ahem, the first moments of joyful reunion to the inevitable and explosive fight that comes between thirty-six and forty-eight hours later…

We don’t have children, but I’m told by other wives that while they long for their husband’s leave, it is horribly upsetting for the kids. Daddy is home, and then he’s not, and the smallest ones have no concept of the time till he returns for good. Many wives find it much more harrowing when he leaves for the second time. There’s endless discussion on message boards about whether leave during a tour is good or bad for the family.

But after five solid months of eighteen hour days and seven day weeks, my husband was tired, thin, borderline ill and running on long-since-empty. My job was to give him food and sleep, take him somewhere cool and green, boost him up and send him back…

[I’ve noticed that] … after about four months, I forget what he looks, sounds and smells like, and it becomes easier to get along without him. That home-made flapjacks and gingernuts keep the best for the two weeks it takes to get there. But not chocolate – it melts, and messily! That – irrationally – the closer his return date comes, the more frightened I am of unexpected rings at the doorbell. That no one understands it quite like another army wife, and their friendships are what I’ll miss the most, when we leave. That I now truly agree with E. when he writes that if it’s only ever just the two of us, that’ll be alright. Not brilliant, I think to myself, but a bit more than ok. That it’s not actually disloyal to wear mascara or a skirt while he’s away, even if it feels it. That I’m not the only one whose life is on hold till his return; his mum’s is, too. And that I’m still so ridiculously, unexpectedly, gratefully lucky to be with him.

The lot of the soldier’s wife is hard and emotionally draining.

If you see a story written from the enemy’s side, please tell us…



Posted: 4th, September 2012 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink