A letter to Spouse Calls from a reader:

You know, military wives can be so dramatic sometimes. I read an article a lady named Ann wrote, and it upset me. She said, "We forget that the Army takes our loved ones and turns them into mass murderers, with no conscience or hope … they have no other way of living and forget that there is something other than war." (Spouse Calls, Oct. 19.)

Wow, are you serious? You really think that the Army did this to your husband? Your husband chose to join the military and do what he is doing now. Instead of talking down on the Army, you should be supporting the Army and the other wives that are going through the same thing. Mass murderers? How dare you call your husband that and the rest of the people who protect our country?

Get it through your thick skulls that your husband/wife signed up for this. Military wives can be so ignorant and closed-minded. I am not a mass murderer; neither is my husband (and he of course has served in Iraq). Yes, being an Army wife, you have to be strong and understand what exactly the military does, because it is not a regular job. We protect our country. You think that the military goes to these countries and just starts shooting random people, you’re wrong! The bad people are killed, you know, the ones who are trying to kill your spouse.

I am a former active-duty Army soldier and now currently in the Reserves but had been deployed twice, and guess what? I knew what I was getting myself into.

I hate when, especially military wives, marry someone in the military and is confused of why they act so different after a twelve- or fifteen-month tour. Have you ever been to the Middle East? Like I said, you have to be strong to be a spouse of a person serving in the military because you never know what is going to happen, and you, Ann, to say things like that, are not someone I would consider strong for a military wife.

— Angela

I realize that the statement from Ann’s letter used extreme terms and could be offensive to some, Angela. However, Ann used those terms to describe the pain caused by her husband’s post-traumatic stress disorder. I do not think the purpose of her letter was to criticize the military, nor those who serve.

A careful reading of her letter reveals a strong commitment to her husband. She expressed love, forgiveness and hope for healing, but she did not sugarcoat the experience.

You are right that as military wives we should expect difficulties. We must allow for readjustment to home life after the war zone, but there are some events no one can be fully prepared to face. I think Ann is in one of those situations.

She did not write about the normal difficulties and readjustments of post-deployment, but a full-blown case of PTSD, including incidents of physical abuse.

Naturally, I must take issue with your statement that military wives are "ignorant and closed minded," and I wonder what experiences have led you to that assessment. In my 23-plus years as a military wife, and 21 years as a military brat before that, I have not found that to be true, and I don’t think it is true of you.

I suggest extending compassion and understanding to a fellow military wife, who bravely expressed the deepest pain of her life and her determination to love her husband through it.

To read Ann’s and Angela’s letters, as well as other comments on Ann’s words, see this post on the Spouse Calls blog.

Terri Barnes is a military wife and mother of three. She lives and writes in Germany. Contact her at and see the Spouse Calls blog here.

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