Commentary

March 29, 2012

Like Soldiers, spouses live Army Values

Jennifer Lindquest

We are beginning to pack up our first home as we get ready to travel to Georgia for school and then Korea for two years. As we started sorting piles for Georgia, Korea, storage and donation, it struck me that most civilian couples can go years without delving into the deep abyss that is the storage closet.

Military families are a different breed. I sometimes refer to myself as a gypsy, packing up our possessions and traveling to the next place unsure of what I will be doing for a living or what will be there to meet us when we arrive.

Marc and my yearly purge of forgotten clothing and unused gifts helps remind us where our values lie. Our value is not in the television that will be put into storage for two years, the house that was painstakingly decorated sitting barren except for furniture indents on the carpet or even the proudly purchased dining room set that is headed to storage due to weight limits.

Our values lie in the possessions and people we bring with us in our travels, our memories in the form of photographs, our history through inherited heirlooms and our family.

All the other items that may be distractions are thrown away, lost or discovered in a box years after they are forgotten.

While going through our closet, I found Marc’s Army Values card from basic training and was surprised at how many of these fit not only Soldiers but their family members. Although I don’t always live by the values like I should, I think it is important to remember loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage and how we as family members can embody these core values.

 

Loyalty

Spouses show loyalty by staying with their Soldier despite countless 24-hour shifts of staff duty, long days in the field and deployments. They stay because they promised they would and do their best to respect that promise.

They show loyalty by accepting the mobile lifestyle, the plans that could change at three o’clock in the morning and the missed holidays without too much complaint or urging a change in career.

 

Duty

Loved ones have the duty to support their Soldier, whether it is making lunch at four o’clock in the morning, encouraging them through a difficult school, writing a weekly letter to deployed loved ones or giving them time to relax after a long day in the field before handing them a to-do list.

 

Respect

Family members show respect by understanding the duties and commitment of the Soldier and not asking the Soldier to do what he cannot deliver such as asking them to leave the Army immediately. They learn the Army culture and use that knowledge to set a good example for others.

 

Selfless Service

A military family continually places the Army and the Soldier above their own career, their friends and their dream house with little complaint because they know their Soldier needs support and company more than the spouse or children need to stay behind to enjoy their material items.

They wait for their Soldier when they are deployed, even if it means taking on the Soldier’s household jobs and having little time to rest or spend time with others.

 

Honor

Families honor their Soldier by trying their best to live by the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, integrity and personal courage. Although they may not always say the right words or do the right action, they understand the Army values and the importance of following them for the sake of their Soldier and their relationship with that Soldier.

 

Integrity

Significant others embody integrity by following the rules of the Army. They make sure not to overspend and that the house can always pass a random inspection. They do what they can to not ruin the Soldier’s career or chance at promotion.

 

Personal Courage

Of all the values, I feel the spouse most embodies the characteristic of personal courage. Marrying a Soldier, especially in a time of war, takes personal courage. The nuclear family must learn to adapt quickly to their surroundings with little time for worry or anxiety. They begin their to-do lists, pack their survival kits, welcome the movers and do whatever they can to make the move as easy as they can. At the new duty station, they join groups and get involved as soon as possible despite the newness of the post.

Families send their wives, husbands, children, mothers and fathers off to Iraq with their full support because they know the Soldier must go.

 

Values not mandated

The values we follow as a Soldier’s support team are not Army-mandated like they are for Soldiers. We do not have a card telling us how to act and how to stand behind our Soldiers. Most of us do not have them memorized or even realize what we do follows an Army standard.

As I continue to stack our possessions into piles, I remember these values and that I, too, have a job to do for the military and I will try my best to support my Soldier and stay “Army Strong.”

 

(Editor’s note: Jennifer Lindquest is a military spouse who wrote a column, Military Mrs., for the “Fort Still Cannoneer” when her husband was assigned to the Oklahoma installation. Her articles will occasionally appear in “The Fort Huachuca Scout.”)




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

BLUE BORDER MESSAGE / SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE COMPLETED

At a court martial on 25 March 2015, a Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, was tried for committing sexual acts on multiple occasions by causing bodily harm. The 2LT pled not guilty, but was found guilty to the charge of sexual assault. On 27 March 2015, the 2LT was sentenced to a dismissal. The sexual assault...
 
 
Earth-Day-poster

Army Earth Day 2015: Sustain mission, secure future

STAND-TO! Celebrated each year on April 22, Earth Day started in 1970 as a grassroots effort to create an awareness of the Earth’s fragile environment, encourage environmental stewardship, and ultimately, develop environmenta...
 
 

Army Volunteer Corps shares philosophy on volunteerism

Special to The Scout Volunteering is a defining part of the American experience. From the Minutemen at Lexington to today’s all volunteer force, the Army relies on the fundamental connection between volunteerism and citizenship. The strength of the Army lies in its Soldiers, and the strength of Army communities lies in the talents and contributions...
 

 

APRIL IS ALCOHOL AWARENESS MONTH 2015 Fort Huachuca Safe and Sober

Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States. Alcohol is a primary factor in the four leading causes of death for young people 10 – 21. More than seven million children live in a household where at least one parent is dependent on or has abused alcohol. Alcohol was involved in...
 
 

Month of Military Child recognizes young family members for service

WASHINGTON – To highlight the year-round contributions, courage and patriotism of the military community’s youngest members, the Defense Department observes April as the Month of the Military Child, a Pentagon official told DOD News. Established by then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in 1986, the month recognizes some 1.9 million U.S. military children ranging in age from...
 
 

April 2015 Month of the Military Child Proclamation

Whereas, since 1986, Army installations around the world recognize the sacrifices and applaud the courage of military children by celebrating the Month of the Military Child throughout the month of April; and Whereas, each day, military children undergo unique challenges, which they face with resilience and dignity beyond their years, and Whereas, it is essential...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin