Wife of Military Member: ‘We Are Terrified for Our Children’s Future’ by Crystal Kupper for Charisma News
When my husband walked through the door last August 24 after finishing his shift, we locked eyes. He probably saw fear in mine, but I only saw resigned determination in his.
We both knew what had happened: the Secretary of Defense ordered all military members to get the COVID shot. Roll up your sleeve, or else. And I knew that, at least in this case, my man never would.
The past 11 months, in other words, have been fairly intense. We went from an ordinary military family―deployments, PCS’s, honor, TDY’s, promotion ceremonies, valor, Space A flights, TRICARE headaches, patriotism―to one in danger of losing nearly everything. When you’re a (mostly) single-income family with young children, just a few hundred days from retirement, you don’t make a decision raising the ire of an entire government lightly.
It’s a battle that close to zero military spouses saw coming. In a nation that gives plenty of lip service to our “military heroes,” the way those heroes have been treated since politely telling their commanders no for the first time has been a spit-laced punch to the face.
My husband joined while still in high school, heavily influenced by a desire to serve his country. His dad and uncle fought in Vietnam, and the Sept. 11 terrorists had struck less than two years before. He was a small-town boy with big dreams, much like the hordes of bright-eyed youngsters who join every year. “I want to make a difference,” he would say during our long teenaged goodbyes on my front porch, boot camp looming. “I think I can really help.”
He immediately began doing just that, quickly making rank and racking up ribbons for his dress uniform. We married, and I discovered that military life was not exactly the swoony dream Hollywood portrayed.
All of my grandparents had fought directly or indirectly in World War II, and I had grown up listening to their starry-eyed stories of “Rosie the Riveter,” boxing on Navy ships, hunting Nazis and the deeply felt patriotism that permeated America. That’s what military marriage would be like, I naively guessed.