Oh, yeah, people. The gloves are COMING OFF.
So, like, yesterday or whatever my bloggy friend Donna published a totally awesome piece with the Huffington Post about how her husband, Bart (who is himself a bad-@zz DS dude who is, like, super high up and stuff in DS) just left her and their sweet babies (all of whom James and I have gotten to meet in Real Life - so eat yer heart out, folks) to go and start a year-long unaccompanied tour in Baghdad.
Donna poured her heart out about the situation in her own awesome writing style, and I applaud her for it. Because why? Well, because, for one, she's Donna. And for two, DS doesn't get NEAR enough press. No one knows what the hell we do or where we're doing it. For realz. So I say? Get as much of it out there as you can, y'all. Because the more people hear, the better.
Anyway, so, I read Donna's piece in HuffPo sorta proud-like because My friend wrote that! and then I went to read the comments underneath her article and I was all THE HELL?
Some random Army Wife or whatever who obviously feels all
went and commented on Donna's article and pretty much reemed Donna a new one about how Donna's and Bart's difficulties are nothing compared to the hardship of an Army wife's life, and Army Lady went on
Until I got really mad
and was all:
Because I REALLY don't have the patience with people being jerks today. No, really.
And I know it's totally tacky to try to start some State-life-is-harder-than-military-life debate or war or whatever (so I won't), because we ALL have it hard, and we ALL have to work together in crazy places all over the world, but GOSHDARNIT, ARMY LADY, do you see Donna going onto Y'ALL'S articles and Y'ALL'S blog posts about how hard military families have it and hijacking the comments sections and spewing forth garbage about how State families actually have it much harder, blah blah blah?
No, you don't. Know why? Because DONNA HAS CLASS.
But let's just imagine that Donna *didn't* have class. (Actually, I can't imagine that. I'll have to try again.)
Let's imagine that *I* went off in that comments section (because we all know that I have no class. And every last one of us can picture me going off at this Army Lady in the comments section).
Because let's just talk about State Department life THIS WEEK, YOU GUYS. Army Wife harkens back to 2003 and such, but I won't even talk about other weeks, or years, or whatever. I'll just talk about THIS PARTICULAR WEEK.
And you know what? I'm going to pick ONE STATE FAMILY. ONE FAMILY, you guys. JUST ONE. I'm not going to talk about ALL of the crap going on worldwide with different State families this week, I'm just going to pick ONE STATE FAMILY.
I'm going to pick Heather. My girlfriend Heather, whose husband also is with DS (just like Donna's husband, Bart, and just like my awesome husband, James).
This week, Heather was by herself in California. Her husband and three young children were back in Cairo, Egypt, where they were permanently assigned. (You may recognize Cairo, Egypt, as being, you know, kinda sorta in the news a little bit this week.)
And WHY was Heather in California? Well, it's sort of a long story, but let's just say it was because she had to medevac to the US because she's battling all sorts of possibly scary health issues that couldn't be addressed at their post in Cairo. So she had to leave her husband and babies behind in order to be able to receive medical care. Not the best trade-off, you know? Leave your husband and babies behind IN CAIRO so you can go receive medical care. But hard choices like that happen to State folks all the time, and Heather pulled it off with grace and dignity.
Heather leaving Cairo in order to medevac in the States, of course, left her super busy DS husband as a single father. IN CAIRO. You know, that place that's sorta been in the news this week. Except then Cairo went on authorized departure (probably for the same reasons why it's been in the news) and then it went on get-the-hell-out-of-there departure, only I'm sure there was a ton of scrambling since her husband does the sort of job that is kinda important when COUNTRIES ARE POLITICALLY IMPLODING, and then ultimately - and I'm sure I wouldn't be able to tell the story even if I knew it - her husband and babies were quickly evacuated from said politically collapsing country and were on their way back to the States.
Which brings us to....
HEY, ARMY WIFE COMMENTER LADY. I have some questions for you:
YOU ever had to leave your children behind in the politically unstable country you're assigned to because said country can't diagnose your possibly debilitating and/or possibly fatal health issues? YOU ever stayed in the United States for medical evacuation issues (away from your family) and helplessly watched the news on the tv and internet as the country your husband and children are in was falling apart around their ears? Wondering how they were all going to get safely out? Wondering if your husband could even be able to leave with the children? If the children would have to leave by themselves - without both their mother AND their father? YOU ever had to evac your babies from a country that's politically collapsing in real time? With violence everywhere?
Don't you freaking talk to me about not having Skype back in 2003. Don't you freaking talk to me about paperwork issues. We ALL have paperwork issues, are you kidding me? We all work for the government! Don't you talk to me about missing almost every holiday for years. You think some of us State folks don't do that, too? Don't you thumb your nose at me and snark off "*WE* don't have an Embassy car." NEWS FLASH, HONEY, we don't have an Embassy car, either!
I'm sure it was sucky, Army Wife, having your husband away so much, and I'm sure you have tales to tell. But, guess what? SO THE HELL DO WE.
And I respect the military and military families and - guess what - my own husband was in the Army AND the Coast Guard, and so you can't say that I'm not balanced. But don't you dare dismiss State families out of hand as though we are some sort of pampered and petted subset of folks serving their country alongside other (you guys?) folks who are "actually going through hardship" while we're not or something. NO WAY.
You think Donna (whose husband just left for an unaccompanied tour) or Jen or Jill (whose husbands *just* got back from unaccompanied tours) or Heather (whose own husband has been on an unaccompanied tour and who then got - as a reward - CAIRO!) were sitting around during those tours less worried and less unhappy than you were at one point?
Oh, I'm SO sure.
So don't even START with me about trying to make what we go through sound like something cushy and grand.
Just don't even start with me.
You guys and us - we're just all trying to
And that's all there is to it.
[UPDATE: I actually posted a link to this blog post of mine under the comments section of Donna's article on Huffpo and then a few hours later, Huffpo both deleted my link AND banned me (I had to set up a new Huffpo account in order to leave a link to this post in the first place as I had never commented in the Huffpo world before). Ah, well - I have to imagine it was seen while it was on there! Which is why, you know, it got deleted. And I got banned. Don't think I've ever been banned from anywhere ever before in my entire life. There's a first time for everything!]