Battling the Clichés of Military Life–The Answers We Wish We Could Give
When trying to comfort a military family, think carefully before you speak.
Posted in , Dec 5, 2014
The military life can ask a lot from families–and extended families. It’s usually when life gets hardest that we hear the most incredibly thoughtless things.
In today’s post, I want to share the answers we wish we could give when we’re battling the clichés of military life.
- What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
(Seriously? My son is fighting in a war, and you think this is appropriate?)
- At least part of your family is home.
(Yeah, right. Worry works on percentages. The more family members present, the fewer worries we have.)
- You should be thankful your soldier gets a regular paycheck in this economy.
(Of course, everyone aspires to live at the income our government designates as the poverty level. Especially when that paycheck comes with a job description that could cost his life.)
- At least you won’t have to pay for your son’s college.
(My son is in the middle of a war zone, and you think I care about whether or not I’ll have to pay for college?
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
(At this rate, I really don’t know how I can take much more fondness.)
- I would never let my son or daughter enlist.
(Well in the first place, it wasn’t my decision. In the second, I couldn’t be more proud of his decision to serve.)
- I bet you love all the war coverage available on TV now days.
(It would be great, if any of it were believable.)
- Worry and fear are a choice, just decide not to dwell on the what-ifs.
(Yeah, I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks for the advice.)
- At least he’s not on the front line.
(That’s because this conflict has no front line. Everyone over there is in danger.)
- It must be nice to get free medical care.
(Free? The price of this medical care is higher than you could imagine.)
- Isn’t it odd how it seems like more soldiers are killed within just a few weeks of coming home?
(Oh, gee, thanks for bringing that up.)
- It could be worse, you could be a real single mother.
(I heard this said to a friend of mine. After the helpful soul who made this pronouncement left, she turned to me and said, “My husband is gone for a year, most of that time I won’t even have a reliable way to contact him. I don’t know how I could be more of a single mother!”
- You must be so disappointed your son (or husband, wife, daughter, etc) decided to enlist.
(Are you kidding? I’m button-busting proud that my son chose this.)
Beyond these, there are hundreds of other thoughtless comments people can make. I’d love to know what you’d add to the list.
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