There are so many stereotypes in the world, most of them based on a few unfortunate encounters with a few wild people. One of the ones that annoy me the most is the negative way people, especially those within the military community, use the term "Army Wife."One such example is the author who wrote for Task & Purpose in early 2016 (who, at the time of that piece were not among the most friendly military spouse publications) titled, "This is Why I Resent Being Labeled an 'Army Wife.'"
When reading her story, I see she thinks being called an Army Wife means that her spouse's job is the only thing people see in her. Of course, in her example, there was someone who asked her to thank her husband for his service. Instead of graciously accepting, she chose to argue with him attempting to explain that she too was a veteran. Not the appropriate time for that, in my opinion.
Being an Army Wife does not define us. Marrying a Soldier is not the only thing that makes me who I am. In fact, to list the things that I view myself as, it is not even in the top 3. There are army wives who have nothing to do with the Army. There are those who enjoy the military and the traditions and get involved. Both are extremes, and all those in between are still happy with their lives.
Being part of the Army Wife community is amazing. You can have immediate, lifelong friends who will come to your aid at any time. Seriously, they will be there in their pajamas at 2 am if need be. You have a sense of community within hours of arriving at a new destination. You live among some of the strongest and most dedicated people in the world, and despite differences of opinion, rank, or economic situation, you band together in an emergency. Why wouldn't you want to be part of that group?
Yes, there are veterans among us. Do we treat them poorly because they served? Nope. We frequently ask their opinions on things to help our marriages. We thank them on Veteran's Day. We mention them to our friends upon introductions. We worry about a lot of meaningless stuff in this world, but we don't need to worry about this. Army wives are Army wives, regardless of their past profession.
Those who resent the label are not seeing the whole picture. Those who shy away from the label are missing out on this fantastic experience. And by doing so, continue the stereotype. Every time an Army wife, regardless of the situation, does something to cast a shadow on the community, they are the ones in the wrong. Don't resent the label, embrace it. Love it. Change the perception. Change the world.