While at breakfast with a group of military wives, the mother of one of them asked me, “How can we let civilians, that we live among, know what these young military wives go through day to day?” Most civilians have no clue and if they even think about it, they may have a wrong mental picture of the day to day life of what I like to call “warrior wives”.
Ever since Ray left for heaven two years ago, I have been meeting with, reaching out to, mentoring, leading and praying for the Marine Corps and Navy wives that attend our weekly Bible study on base at the chapel. God has placed a passion in my heart to be a bridge that connects their ordinary everyday lives with the powerful, life changing comfort and teaching of God. It has been an absolute privilege to be among these young, strong women.
Let me paint a picture for you of how they choose to live and what they sacrifice when they marry their “warrior.”
- They move away from home and friends; and they move o en. Loneliness sets in. New friendships must form quickly and then it is time to say good-bye again.
- Many will put their careers on hold.
- Deployments are inevitable. Pre-deployment training keeps them away from home more o en too. Planning ahead will be difficult. The military can change plans at any time.
- They fear of their husband’s not remaining faithful to their marriage is common. The divorce rate is 70% among military.
- They may go through pregnancy and childbirth alone.
- They may have to raise kids on their own for periods of time.
- The military has a “lingo” all its own and the wives must understand it.
- They must learn what their bene ts are. Some husbands don’t assist in learning them.
- They can do nothing without their husbands “power of a orney” and many husbands won’t give it to them.
- Their husbands will miss milestones and holidays—anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas . . .
- When their husbands return from being gone for months at a time, there is great adjustment emotionally to the homecoming.
- Deployments raise the risk of injury, PTSD or death.
There are certainly other challenges that they face, so as I watch it firsthand, I keep the above areas of life in the front of my mind as I plan, implement and lead EWOC (Evangelical Women of the Chapel) and meet with them individually. I pray about ways to connect them with each other, support them by providing for their needs (child care at Bible study, meals when they are sick or have a baby, rides to appointments or the airport, and so much more). I desire to come alongside them and teach them to be godly women, encouraging them to allow Jesus to change their perspectives and attitudes about loving and respecting their husbands, and raising their children to know and have faith in God. I strive to provide opportunities for them to identify and share with each other about how to handle what military life throws at them.