Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Review

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.
Margaret Thatcher

So, this week was the premiere of Married to the Army-Alaska. This premiere caused quite a ruckus all over the land, but particularly here IN ALASKA. MTTAA was filmed here on JBER-Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, using Army spouses whose husbands were deployed. I think it will be interesting to most to see this show, but its also caused a lot of dialogue amongst the spouses, not always in the positive. So, I will give you a summary of the show. There are 7 wives, whose soldiers vary in rank and who are thrown together (most did not know each other before this) to film a docudrama about our lives as Army spouses during a deployment. The first episode was a train wreck, honestly. I think it pointed out the extreme ugly side of our lives in regards to friendships, judgements and stereotypes....

I wonder why we keep perpetuating these stereotypes. The stereotypes if you don't know are Officer wives are classy, educated, pretty, charming, bitchy, obnoxious, rank wearers, intimidating, insulting. For Enlisted spouses its that we are vulgar, uneducated, baby-popper-outers, partyers, bad mothers, amongst others for both sides. All are further from the truth for the most part, I think "WE" can all fall into each and every stereotype at times. Another stereotype is that military spouses can't associate with spouses that have husbands of higher or lower ranks-Which is NOT true... Spouses do NOT wear rank. I am not an E8 in the Army, Sal is-Me, not so much. Sure, there are varying levels of "to do" responsibilities that CAN be associated with the spouse as the soldier makes his/her way up the ranks and how much you involve yourself is up to you. It certainly does not make your soldier look good or bad, his abilities are all on his shoulders. I have dear friends whose husbands and or wives are litterly every rank from E1-Generals and my friends have NEVER behaved like some of the spouses on this show. Being a spouse of an officer, does not make you proper-Nope, not at all, it makes you So and So's wife or husband. Thankfully there are spouses on that show who REALLY and truly show what it's like to be graceful, kind, loving and selfless, these few ladies really will be the reason most will learn anything about our lives. Its funny how just a couple bad apples can really cause so much anger amongst military spouses and can cause NON military people to text me and ask me if that is how it really is with us spouses. Watching the first episode only sets my opinion in stone how important mentorship is within the world of the spouses. Sometimes someone needs to take us under their wing and say  "Mary, how about I give you some advice"- In a NON COMBATIVE WAY... I have had AMAZING mentors in my life as a military spouse, they have helped me make good choices in this life. They have made me want to be involved and help where needed and to be supportive of my soldier. I also pride myself on being what I hope is a great mentor to young spouses. I truly with all my heart love this life we live, so when I see the ugly side of it, it makes me so sad and disapointed. Seriously, who cares how 2 people met and how is it ANYONES business. Sal and I were married while I was still in high school, every odd was against our success, I dropped out of high school and had 4 babies by the time I was 21, is that horrible? Ideal, NO! Sal and I love each other and at 18 we took the bull by the horns and made the commitment to each other. I am not ashamed of any decisions we made and NOBODY will ever make me feel less than because of it. I personally know one of the spouses in the show and while we aren't friends, I felt really sad for her treatment on the show because she did nothing wrong in answering a question honestly. Her reaction would have been anyones reaction for the most part.

So for those young spouses or men and women prepping to marry a soldier, don't be scared. Embrace the role you are about to commit to, toughen your skin up and be true to yourself and others. Remember there are no "proper" ways to be a military spouse, you will find your own way. Make sure you find a great mentor that can give you great tips on being a spouse in the military.

In further opinion about the show, I think a bit more diversity would have been good. There aren't any spouses of SR NCOs, or male spouses. There are women in the Army who are married and those spouses really get no representation. Its a new world people, modern times, modern times. All in all I think it will be a good show, the aftermath however is becoming more and more amusing by the moment and by amusing I mean RIDICULOUS.......