Being married to a Veteran, particularly a combat-veteran, isn’t necessarily the easiest experience I’ve managed to get myself into. Yes, we have our challenges, what married couple doesn’t? We argue about petty things, much like any other normal couple I know. We may or may not have a few doctors’ appointments more than the average couple. We may or may not have to struggle with situations a normal couple wouldn’t have to think twice about; like a spontaneous trip to the Zoo or dinner at a restaurant. And we may or may not have to deal with the occasional signs and symptoms of war that seem to have followed my husband home.
I really don’t mind opening up about the struggles we encounter as a former-military family; which often times feels more like a twilight zone between military life choices and forced civilian integration.
I actually encourage questions and have no problem answering them, but some of them seem kind of…naive. Some make me quite uncomfortable, because I always worry about answering them ‘incorrectly.’ I feel as though these questions should be answered to a certain standard, otherwise I risk my husband being labeled as a gun-toting, violent supporter of war crimes! Therefore, I try to take the more civilized route when answering these questions; but sometimes it is REALLY difficult to hold my tongue and I honestly do not understand HOW I manage to keep it together.
So, for the sake of my sanity; I have compiled a list of 12 Questions I’ve been asked about my Veteran…
and how I REALLY want to answer them!
Did your husband go over there… to you know… Iraq or Afghanistan?
- YES! SO? And NO, I wasn’t with him during either of his deployments. But would you like me to give you the whole Spiel about his injuries or would you prefer to ask me that question next; since that’s what seems to be the ‘go-to’ follow-up question in these casual conversations?
Did your husband get hurt?
- Yes, but I have no obligation whatsoever to give you a detailed list of my husband’s injuries and conditions. While he has served his country and has thousands of Bureaucrats look at his medical records and military career on a regular basis (since apparently people get paid with YOUR tax dollars to seemingly make my husband’s life even more of a living hell than it already is), I DO NOT and WILL NOT give you a detailed list. How would you feel if I asked you whether your husband has or ever had Cancer or some other incurable disease that will follow him for the rest of his life?
Has he had to kill anyone while over there?
- I don’t even ask my husband that! What kind of question is that anyway? Have you ever had to wipe your behind after you used the bathroom? How’s that for a question? Kind of personal isn’t it? *eye-roll and walk away*
One of my cousin’s friend’s friend has PTSD from the war, does your husband have that, too?
- AWESOME! Nice to know that! Thanks for the information! …Doesn’t everyone have PTSD from the war?
Is he OK?
- By “Is he OK” do you mean physically and mentally from being sent to a place clear across the globe where it regularly gets over 110 degrees, drops into the 20s by night, no-one should or can be trusted, IEDs (think: BOMBS!!!!) are laying around like rocks on a gravel road, gun shots may or may not be the norm, no regular contact with family, and Rules of Engagement that even a 5 year old would find ridiculous! How in the World should I know? I am NOT my husband! And I never went to war! I don’t know if he’s OK and I don’t know what it’s like to go to war to even pretend to know whether he’s OK!
Does he ever get violent?
- What do you think military personnel do all day? Train how to be the most violent and savage people on earth just for them to utilize those skills on their Spouses when they leave the military?
Is he getting the help he needs?
- Have you watched the News lately or read a report about the VA?
Do you ever get scared to be around him?
- Do you ever get scared around your Spouse? What kind of question is that?
Does he have nightmares?
- Yes, he sleepwalks with his politically-classified-semi-automatic-assault-rifle-that-has-that-shoulder-thing-that-goes-up around the house to make sure the Boogeyman doesn’t get us!
Aren’t you scared to sleep next to him sometimes?
- Why would I be? Did you even HEAR what my response to your previous question was? The Boogeyman won’t get me tonight!
He can’t just work somewhere? I heard McDonald’s was hiring!
Yeah, but you knew exactly what you got yourself into when you married him, right?
- Of course! I mean, we all know exactly what we get ourselves into when we get married, have kids, deal with disabilities and injuries, deal with multiple federal and state agencies (because one doesn’t know what the other does), and try to find a place in a society that acts as though they care but could give two hoots less about the Veteran who’s given more than most others have for this country and its freedoms we enjoy on a daily basis!
Now that I have been able to do some Good for my own sanity, I would like to say that it is not my intention to offend anyone or downplay legitimate inquiries about Veterans’ health and well-being. I have been asked so many different questions, and like I said before, have no problem answering them; especially to create awareness! I have never served in the military and I have never been to war, so many of these questions feel really inappropriate for me to answer on behalf of my husband. So sometimes I wish I could answer them in a similar fashion to what I have written above just because it feels so wrong to answer such personal questions.
However, I do encourage questions and open conversation about Veterans and their struggles integrating into the civilian life, because it is an important topic!
Know someone who has been asked some annoying questions about their veteran? Have you been asked annoying questions? I would love to hear them. Maybe we can come up with a Part 2! =)
Disclaimer: Everything I share is solely based on my personal experience and is for informational purposes only. For more information, please view my disclosure policy.