"If the Army wanted me to have a wife, they would have issued me one." *Snicker* I've heard single soldiers say this over and over again, and though it does make me chuckle, it also reminds me of the stereotype people have of military spouses. And I used to believe this, too, so don't think I'm criticizing.
I used to think Army wives were expected to be submissive, patriotic baby machines with no personal career goals who were willing to keep their mouths shut and smile. This stereotype was furthered in my mind when, while in an Army Family class, the question, "What does the Army expect of you, as wives?" was answered by a fellow student like this: to sit there and be pretty.
Now I have a bit of an independent streak, and a bit of a feminist streak, so this got my blood pumpin'. I came home and told Scott that the Army had no right to expect anything out of me, and if they did, well, I just wouldn't do it...to prove a point.
But then he got his first assignment, and we moved to Georgia, and I met some of those submissive baby machines. And what do you know? Army wives certainly do not all fit into a box. I have met some who have children, and some who do not. I have met some who are stay-at-home-moms, and some who are lawyers. I know some who are quiet, and some who will speak their minds in an instant. I know some who love America with everything they have, and some who can barely speak the language.
There is one generalization I will make about military wives, however: they certainly are not submissive. They are strong, strong women. And I don't think this strength is "issued." When you love a soldier, you choose to be strong...for him, for your family, for other Army wives, for our country.
I said all that to say this: I am so blessed to have met so many strong women, and I am proud to be among them.