“Aren’t military spouses Veterans, too?”
That is what the headline reads. This made my hair stand on end, considering the fact that I AM a Veteran AND a Veteran’s spouse.
To answer the author’s question, no, no you are not a Veteran also. Unless, like me (and several other spouses that I know.) you actually signed a contract, went to Basic and AIT (or the equivalent thereof.), served your time and either ETSd or retired. To try to compare your experiences being married to a service member as equal to the experience of the Veteran is a stretch, at best. I get that military/veteran/wounded warrior spouses endure a lot being married to a service member. The frequent absences, frequent moves due to PCS, long hours, etc, etc, ad nauseum are rough. My Dad traveled extensively for work and belonged to many organizations, both of which took him away from my Mum (and us kids) frequently. That does not make my Mum a busy Public Affairs Director for a national firm. See what I did there?
I’m sure I will get the bashing of my life for this but I feel VERY strongly that if you want the title of Veteran or a Purple Heart (or any of the OTHER crazy things I have heard in the spouse community) then you should go see a recruiter and join your service of choice. You do not, however, get to call yourself a Veteran. Period. (End of rant)
The above post was what I wrote in regards to the article linked above. I read the article (and my response) to my husband and he agreed with all I’d said. He went on to say that he wished we’d been married his entire military career since his ex wife was THE world’s worst dependent wife EVER. That’s a huge compliment in the military/veteran world since clingy/helpless/entitled spouses are becoming the norm.
In fact, I’ve had wounded warrior’s wives tell me that, “we deserve Purple Hearts for all we do.” WHAT?!?! If our husbands were civilians and developed cancer we would be doing the same thing we currently are doing minus the crazy ladies thinking they deserve metals. It’s called for “better or worse, in sickness and in health”.
So, I stay because my husband appreciates my strengths as a spouse and a Veteran. He appreciates that when he was in need of full time care that I left my career to provide that care. He appreciates that I don’t believe I deserve recognition or medals or praise for doing what I vowed to do on the day I married him. He’s a great catch.