March 15, 2011

Weekend Warrior

Just fair warning...most of this post will be a vent.

I just read an article about a politician who was an Army National Guardsman. Whether I agree with this particular politician or not, the thing that bothered me about the article was the way the author portrayed Guardsmen in general. In an attempt to apparently discredit the politician, the author wrote:

"Remember, he wasn’t a real soldier, he was nothing but a weekend warrior… he couldn’t take a couple years off to serve his country… he had a “real life” to lead."

Not a real soldier? Ok. Fine. I don't know this particular politician's military record but it just got under my skin because maybe there was a time when members of reserve components weren't as often activated or critical to war efforts as they are now but the point is they are now and I for one, as a Guardsman's wife would like the "weekend warrior" stereotype to stop.

By the time my husband returns from this deployment, including R&R leave, he'll have spent a total of 17 of the previous 24 months serving his country, away from his family, most of which in a combat much more real does it get?

Granted, Guard and Reserve families don't have to PCS. They usually don't deploy as often or for as long but we face other issues that active duty families never do. We, for example, live more than an hour from any military installation. We don't have the support of either a military facility or even just another family (offline) who really understands what we're going through. We face knowing that we're very lucky my husband has a job with a company which supports the military but many of his fellow Guardsmen and women are not as fortunate.

Please don't misunderstand, in no way do I mean to say that it is more difficult to be a member of a reserve component. I can't say how thankful I am not to have to PCS and to have my husband home (in general...or at least I will in the future) more often than if he were an active duty member. I'm just tired of the "weekend warrior" rhetoric. It's archaic. It's inaccurate. And it's offensive.


JG said...

Wow. Just wow.