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August 23, 2012 / Jess

Why I’m An Army Girlfriend

Dear Army,

I saw this picture on Twitter today:

And it made me feel like crap.

I am an Army girlfriend because I love my boyfriend. That’s it. It’s as simple as that. It has nothing to do with patriotism for me, although admitting that does make me feel lousy.

Look, I love this country – but not enough to die for it. I don’t love it even enough to do what I just did – which is eat a spoonful of peanut butter. I’m annoyed at you, Army, because I had to do that.

I had to eat a spoonful of peanut butter because this deployment causes me so much stress that I often don’t feel like eating. I’m not unhappy with the subsequent weight loss – it’s not like I didn’t have some pounds to spare – but I knew I wasn’t getting all the necessary nutrients that I need. Besides, I promised my love I would take care of myself, so now I use myfitnesspal.com to track my caloric intake. And today it said “you didn’t eat enough,” so I ate a spoonful of peanut butter to make sure I ate enough calories.

That’s not for my country. Did you see what I typed? “I promised my love.” My love is a person, not a country.

I’m not doing anything special here.  I didn’t offer him up; I didn’t have a choice. I wouldn’t have chosen this path.

My boyfriend made a choice. He made a sacrifice.

I just love him through it.

Yes, I all of him – including the part that called him to war. Yes, I love how patriotic he is. But, if anything, this process has made me a little less patriotic. I am not proud of how my country is treating him; I am only proud of how he chooses to handle it. I don’t want credit or praise or positive qualities like unwavering patriotism attributed to me for reasons I don’t deserve.

I do, however, want a hug like that woman is getting in that picture. He looks like he’s never going to let her go.

Soon. Ish.

Emphasis on ish, for now.

(Not) love,

Jess

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