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Fri Jan 20, 2017
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The Fourth Generation

The Fourth Generation

Source: Vivian Carrasco

I was in awe the other day as I sat in a room with four generations of military spouses.  These women were wise, and that wisdom was earned. Imagine a room that held the experiences of women who supported their servicemen in Vietnam, wives that were a part of the Cold war and the Persian Gulf War, women like myself who began their journey with the conflict in Somalia in the early 90’s and the most recent generation of spouses, “the fourth generation.”

In spite of what category you fit into as a military spouse I’d venture to say that you share some common experiences with all the generations.  The one I want to reflect on right now is with this new generation.  A generation of spouses that exuded a deep but determined aura.  A generation of spouse I would say are much like myself many years ago, when I believed wholeheartedly that my love and commitment to my service member would be enough to get me through the day.  Today so many years later I know that commitment and determination were what held me together.  Not to mention the banana bread from a neighbor or the kind note from the “mom” who adopted me next door.  

What is it that eats away at us?  Do our careers really matter when we have such heavy burden to bear?  As I listened to their stories and experiences I concluded that our work, our careers are critical.  Here’s a few reason’s why……

* Work keeps us busy… I could have elaborated on this but it is really that simple.  If we exhaust our brain power on operational plans and deadlines, sales goals and performance appraisals we might not have the energy to consider the danger our loved ones are in.

* Our work makes us a part of the solution……A wise and kind soul who endured her husbands deployments to Vietnam when family services weren’t as sophisticated as they are now said, “I am grateful to be part of the solution.”  I reflected for a bit and proudly determined, so am I!  Whether I am part of the solution to my families finances or my sons football practice or even more importantly as the emotional leader and role model for other spouses, I am grateful to be in that role.

* Our work lets us escape, even if just for a minute…..I have a beloved marine spouse who I know works a few hours a month to be away.  Her husband is in Iraq and when she goes to work she comes home exhausted but content.  As a nurse she knows that she has helped someone that day and that helps her not only get through the day but think a little bit selflessly.
So as you consider where you fit in whether you’re a spouse for 5 months or 5 years remember to reflect and think about why you fit in.
© 2006 Vivian Carrasco. All rights reserved.

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