Wednesday, July 29, 2009

war and my husband

My whole life I have been surrounded by veterans. In our family it was no big deal. Yes my grandfather served in WWII, but they were not war hero's. They were my grandfathers. They took me fishing, gave me raw hot dogs and beer, and most of all they loved me.

Two of my Uncle's served in Vietnam. I am not sure if they are war hero's or not. They were my Uncles. One potty trained me, and the other cooked breakfast for me anytime I was at his house.

My dad transported nuclear weapons. He was not a war hero. He was the one who told me all about Germany, and how much he loved it. He was also the one who threatened to kick my ass if I did not come back from Germany. I loved that county as much as my dad did.

Rusty and so many of my friends served in Desert storm/ desert shield. Are they hero's? I am not sure. Rusty could not pack his bags fast enough to get of this country. Rusty went over there as a boy playing with big boy toys.

Then he went back for Enduring freedom. This time I think he was a little bit sadder to leave, but he went and did his job and came home.

My girlfriend Becky asked me why the younger marines are so drawn to Rusty. All I could say was "because they all have something in common." That common factor is that they have all left loved ones and gone off to war. They have all seen hell on earth, and yet they tuck that away and come to everyone back here.

A few months ago I found a book at the exchange. It is letters that soldiers and families wrote through the generations. It looked very interesting, so I bought it and it has sat in a drawer for a very long time. They other night I pulled it out, and I think I got to page ten before I felt like I was invading Rusty's private life.

I have often wondered what Rusty has seen and done. He has never talked about it to me. I never once got a letter telling me all the details of war. Never. I have often wondered what it would be like to share that bond with Rusty. Yes, I sometimes want the bond that he has with the marines. I will never have that bond, but I do still wonder.

Rusty does not talk about war with the children and I. I am not naive, I know what goes on, but I won't hear the words come out of Rusty's mouth. I remember one phone conversation that we had, and Rusty said that he really missed me. I offered to get on a plane and fly over there, but he said hell was no place for his wife.

I even asked Rusty if he would go on Embassy duty. I got a very cold no, so I pressed on, and he said we had to many children. I came back with "well then get rid of one!". I got the blank stare that I have come to know all to well. He finally said "I can't in good conscience take my family into harms way." I knew by the tone of his voice that the subject was closed and not up for any further arguing.

Last night Rusty and I were sitting at the table and he picked up the book and asked where I got it. So I told him, but I said "When I started reading the book I felt like I was invading your privacy." I flipped to page I had marked and I read him paragraph. Rusty did not look up from his food, he did not stop chewing, he just said "yep" and went back to eating.

I did a lot of sewing today, and the book sat on the table staring back at me. I am having a hard time with this book. Do I continue reading this book, and read things that my husband would not want me to read.? Do I read this book to try to get a better understanding of my husband?

My husband is a man of very few words. Some of my friends have known me for a long time before they hear Rusty speak. It is what it is. He is the love of my life, and I would not trade him for anything. I just wonder. I wonder if he would be different if he had no seen the atrocities of war. Would if he would treat me differently if I had served right next to him. I wonder if he is protecting me for my own good. I wonder what happens if I break that trust and I start to step into the life that he does not want me to know about.

I have no idea what I am going to do about this book. I guess it is a good thing that I don't have that much time to read.

As for what to do about Rusty, I will keep him just the way he is. It may be a strange relationship, but it is ours, and I love it.


Rose said...

I think you have a wonderful marriage!

a corgi said...

I know what you are coming from, Kellie. I haven't experienced it, obviously, not having anyone serving in the military in my immediate family, but my hubby's dad was in the Navy for 24 years and was doing some covert operations that he could not tell his family a single thing about. It was only recently when he was able to tell what he had done that hubby's mom was able to see all the dangerous things he had been exposed to. So I can understand how Rusty would want to shield you and not tell you what he had seen. My advice, if you want to read the book, read it for you, but then don't share it with Rusty unless he really wants to hear about it. (I'd be reading the book......)

(hey, got your message, I'll check in soon; hubby's car is in the shop so he's using mine so when I get wheels back, we'll get together)


natalie said...

dear Kelly, I always think that you write so romantically about Rusty ! ti si really inspirational!
I know some fo what went on must be confidential(he wants you to sleep and not be worried) but when I think how much love floats around in your family! amazing !

Gerry said...

Interesting entry and raises some questions for me about what soldiers do go through in war that does make them go so silent I do think tremendous trauma is very difficult to talk about, takes a lot of psychic energy, and that is just about all war is is high level trauma of some sort. Good thing some of them like Rusty has got good support on the home front. Gerry

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lake elsinore, ca
I am a stay at home mom. I am also married to a veteran and he is the love of my life. I keep it real here and I hold nothing back. My life is a roller coaster ride, so strap on your seatbelt.... here we go!