24 March 2013

What is a Military Wife?

I had a friend message me this poem to share on my FB page. It is far too long for a status and far too perfect to simply post as one! This poem says it all! 
What do you think?

From the Author:
I wrote this polyphonal reading (i.e. “many voices”) while stationed in Minot, North Dakota for a wives’Induction Ceremony. Every line is inspired by real Air Force Wives who, along with other military spouses, are a breed of their own. We don’t all want to be “married to the military,” but we are, defacto, and no matter how involved or not we are in “his” world there is much we have in common.

To the spouses who are men, my apologies for leaving you out of this piece. Your own sacrifices include ours plus some, and we are grateful for your brave and humble presence among us.

The piece is designed to be read by four ladies, reader’s theater style. The form reflects the delightful variety among Military Wives as well as the spirit of cooperation and community that binds them together.
If you aren’t military, I hope it gives you a window into our lives, and inspires you to reach out to that new neighbor who is “just temporary.” You will be richer for it.  ~Jane
What is A Military Wife?
By Jane Hubbard Hyde~2005

What is a Military Wife 
A Military wife can be tough to describe.
She is a southern belle,
 a Northeastern Mets fan, 
a California 3rd generation recycler, 
a Pacific Islander.

She is short or tall
a tomboy
a fashion diva
a physician’s assistant
a Republican
a Democrat (yes, even THAT!)

A Military Wife is a career gal
a home-schooler
a scrap-booker
an accomplished cellist
an auto mechanic
So many
many kinds
What is a MILITARY Wife?
They may look different 
and each is wonderfully unique
But they have THIS all in common.

lots of moving—
moving far from home
moving two cars, 
3 kids and 1 dog
-all riding with HER of course

moving sofas to basements 
because they won’t go in THIS house
moving curtains that won’t fit
moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours
moving away from friends 
moving toward new friends
moving her most important luggage; 
her trunk-full of memories

often waiting-
waiting for housing; 
waiting for orders; 
waiting for deployment; 
waiting for reunion; 
waiting for phones calls;
waiting for the new curtains to arrive;
 waiting for him to come home
for dinner -AGAIN!

They call her “military dependent”, but she knows better
she can balance a checkbook
handle the yard work
fix a noisy toilet.
She is intimately familiar with drywall anchors, and toggle bolts.
She can file the taxes, 
sell a house, 
buy a car, 
or set up a move, 
–all with ONE Power of Attorney.
She welcomes neighbors that don’t welcome her.
Reinvents her career with every PCS; 
locates a house in the desert,
the arctic, 
or the deep south 
and learns to call them all “home”.
She MAKES them all home.
She is fiercely IN-dependent.

Military Wives are somewhat hasty
They leap into decorating, 
career alternatives, 
and friendships.
They don’t have 15 years to get to know people.
Their roots are short but flexible.
They plant annuals for themselves 
And perennials for those who come after them.

Military Wives quickly learn to value each other.
They connect over coffee, 
rely on the spouse-network 
accept offers of friendship and favors 
and record addresses in pencil.

ALL Military Wives have a common bond.
The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands
 his commitment is unique 
He doesn’t have a job, he has a “mission” 
he can’t just decide to quit 
he’s on-call for his country 24/7 
but for you, he’s the most
UNreliable guy in town!

His language is foreign
And so, a Military Wife is a translator 
for her family and his.
She is the long-distance link to keep them informed, 
the glue that holds them together.

The Military Wife has her moments—
She wants to wring his neck, 
dye his uniform pink, 
and refuse to move to Siberia.
But she pulls herself together.
Give her a few days 
a travel brochure 
a long hot bath
a pledge to the flag
and a wedding picture,
And she goes.
She packs.
She moves.
She follows.

What for?
How come?
You may think it is because she has lost her mind.
But actually it is because she has lost her heart.

It was stolen from her by a man
who puts duty first
who longs to deploy
who salutes the flag
and whose boots in the doorway remind her 
that as long as he is her Military husband,
She will remain his Military wife.


  1. Oh no! I'm in line to guy groceries reading this and am on the verge of tears. This is so perfectly written. Such a great share! Thank you!!

  2. Such a great poem! I feel like the hod podge of it all so accurately reflects the diversity the military provides.

  3. I absolutely love this, it's so true! :)

  4. I'm lame! This made me tear up! I love it!

  5. I'm in tears! Such a good poem! Hits it right on!


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