Friday, May 11, 2007

A Letter to Military Spouses from Ben Stein

Ben Stein, a television personality and writer, wrote this for an Army newsletter, The Strykers, out of Ft. Lewis, Washington. It was addressed to one of the wives of the soldiers.

Dear Karen,

I have a great life. I have a wife I adore, a son who is a lazy teenager but I adore him, too. We live in a house with two dogs and four cats. We live in peace. We can worship as we please. We can say what we want. We can walk the streets in safety. We can vote. We can work wherever we want and buy whatever we want. When we sleep, we sleep in peace. When we wake up, it is to the sounds of birds.

All of this, every bit of it, is thanks to your husband, his brave fellow soldiers, and to the wives who keep the home fires burning while the soldiers are away protecting my family and 140 million other families. They protect Republicans and Democrats, Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists. They protect white, black, yellow, brown and everyone in between. They protect gays and straights, rich and poor.

And none of it could happen with the Army wives, Marine wives, Navy wives, Air Force wives – or husbands – who go to sleep tired and lonely, wake up tired and lonely, and go through the day with a smile on their faces. They feed the kids, put up with the teenagers’ surliness, the bills that never stop piling up, the desperate hours when the plumbing breaks and there is no husband to fix it, and the even more desperate hours after the kids have gone to bed, the dishes have been done, the bills have been paid, and the wives realize that they will be sleeping alone – again, for the 300th night in a row.

The wives keep up the fight even when they have to move every couple of years, even when their checks are late, even when they have to make a whole new set of friends every time they move.

And they keep up the fight to keep the family whole even when they feel a lump of dread every time they turn on the news, every time they switch on the computer, every time the phone rings and every time – worst of all – the doorbell rings. Every one of these events – which might mean a baseball score or a weather forecast or a FedEx man to me and my wife – might mean the news that the man they love, the man they have married for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, is now parted from them forever.

These women will never be on the cover of People. They will never be on the tabloid shows on TV about movie stars. But they are the power and the strength that keep America going. Without them, we are nothing at all. With them, we can do everything.

They are the glue that holds the nations together, stronger than politicians, stronger than talking heads, stronger than al Qaeda.

They deserve all the honor and love a nation can give. They have my prayers, and my wife’s, every morning and every night.

Love, and I do mean love, Ben.


Claire said...

Thank you for posting this. I have linked it back to my blog. I am both a military spouse and a military parent. My son is a Stryker Soldier from Ft. Lewis currently serving in Baghdad. This letter was beautiful, and it means a lot knowing it was written to support a Stryker Soldier's wife from the same base my son is from.

Mrs. Badger 6 said...

Thank you for sharing that with us. I'm kinda isolated in an urban jungle and if it weren't for this internet thing (thank you Al Gore!) I wouldn't know that so many people actually, truly, and deeply care about what is happening and what it means to be in the military.

Ron Simpson said...

This is a wonderful show of support for the troops and the families. At least one Hollywierd celeb has their head screwed on straight. Thank god for people like him and John Voight, it restores some faith in the famous. And Thank God for the servicemen and women and their families.

Flag Gazer said...

Ben Stein is GREAT!

Thamk you Claire and Mrs B6 for being the strength behind the troops!

Amy Proctor said...

Have you guys seen Ben Stein's new movie coming out called Expelled? It's an expose on the science community and evolution.