God Bless Marine Corps Wives
Once a month they gather at the club above I-5
where they sit and talk together until most of them arrive.
"My washer isn't working," "The car has broken down."
"Our family dog has run away, but he isn't at the pound."
One sergeant's wife is worried,"My daughter's just sixteen
and now she thinks that she's in love with a very young Marine."
"It's different than when I was young," she sighs and shakes her head.
While the women at the table nod at what she has said.
The newlywed from Illinois says, "I'm partied out!
All this Tupperware and crystal is not what life's about!
The barbecues and picnics I guess that they're okay,
But nothing seems important since my husband's been away.
Next time, I'm going with him. That's the way it's going to be,
the two of us together, because this is misery."
"We were talking on the phone, that's when he proposed!
My mother heard me screaming even though the door was closed."
The girl from South America says, "It was such a happy day.
I wore my mother's wedding dress and my dad gave me away."
And the women sitting with her have their memories too,
of other lovely weddings with sabers and dress blues.
"My husband was on TAD," says the girl from the Philippines.
"He said that I should see Japan so I asked him what that means.
Then he asked me if I'll marry him and that's five kids ago."
She smiles beneath her braided hair, "There's a lot I didn't know."
Another wife is smiling when she recalls the scene
of the church and congregation where she met her Marine.
"My husband's father told him, "When you want to settle down,
go to church on Sunday and meet a girl in town."
"And then he kept appearing at the doorsteps everyday.
I think I had to marry him because he wouldn't go away."
A wife from Texas talks about her marriage and the Corps
and how they tried civilian life but wouldn't do that anymore.
"It's his life," the woman tells them. "It's the thing he does the best,"
as she describes his service like religion or a quest.
"He's like a father to the boys in his Motor Pool.
They're privates and corporals but it's like they're still in school."
Then someone says, "I got a call at work the other day.
My husband's done that once or twice since he's been away."
"I always call on Saturday because it's Sunday there,"
says the wife from Bogota leaning forward in her chair.
"My husband says that Sundays are the hardest days of all.
So, when I phone Okinawa that's the day I call."
"Weekends are the worst," the newlywed agrees.
"It's the hardest time for him and the hardest time for me.
His work is what sustains him and work sustains me, too,
but by Sunday afernoon there's not much left to do."
"He always asks for pictures," "I get a letter everyday,"
Each woman at the table has something else to say.
"I know I trust my husband and I know that he trusts me
but things get awfully lonely when he's overseas."
"Once I tried to call him, but they said he wasn't there
I cried for two whole days, I just sat there in my chair.
But when we talked about it all he had to say was,
'If you don't hear from me then you know that I'm okay'.
The women sit and shake their heads. They've been through it all before
and you need a sense of humor when you're married to the Corps.
Then they hold their meeting. The minutes are reviewed
and motions made and carried in an open friendly mood.
There's a game they'll play in Fallbrook and a shower to attend,
reports from four committees and then the meeting ends.
But, before they walk out to their cars, before their night is through,
they linger there together as they sometimes do.
They are the brave sorority who are married to Marines
and each and every one of them knows what that can mean.
It means sleeping in an empty bed and waiting by the phone,
sometimes driving coast to coast and doing it alone.
It's a honeymoon in Yuma when it's ninety in the shade
and changing dirty diapers while Daddy's on parade.
It's saying, "Over" on the calls your husband sometimes makes
and whispering, "I love you," though you think your heart may break.
It means standing at the Birthday Ball with you husband by your side
and listening to the "Hymn" while your eyes fill up with pride.
It's telling your young daughter, "That's your Daddy on the plane.
I know you don't remember him but, now he's home again."
It's asking, "Is the man who left the same man who returns?
Has he changed as I have changed? Will we share the same concerns?"
It's raising children by yourself. It's schools and PTA's.
It's discipline and family talks. It's pride and love and praise.
It's waiting by the runway with your heart up in your throat,
while a three-year-old young "tiger" is tugging at your coat.
It's loving men who are Marines. It is pride in what they do.
It is loyalty and loneliness and somehow getting through.
It's reaching out to other wives with helpful knowing hands
and being there when needed as friends who understand.
God bless the women who marry Marines. God bless Marine Corps wives.
Protect the men they married and their families all their lives.
-- Author unknown