Firstly, no spoiler alerts but if anyone has yet to see this movie please do! Ladies, do not think this is just another ‘war-manly-movie’ because it’s not (even though Mark Walhberg is enough reason to watch). If you or your loved one has sensitive PTSD triggers, be forewarned and research the reviews a bit. For the civilian masses, it’s an excellent display of what our military today endure. I became so enveloped and invested in this movie to the point of being shocked, speechless and moved to tears.
What was even more relevant as a military spouse was how it portrayed a tidbit of the spouses’ perspective of war in the movie. No, spouses do not pick up rifles, endure the physical or mental hardships or enlist like the service members do. What we do see in “Lone Survivor” is their ladies’ unwavering and dedicated love and strength to these men while waiting at home.
As Marine Corps spouses, we take classes to acclimate ourselves to this lifestyle and learn everything possible, from military lingo to traditions and customs of holidays and events. We try to keep family informed of big deployment changes, send packages and necessary equipment or motivational photos to make our service members feel at home when they’re in a third world country far from American soil.
Being gone even for a short time can be a hard thing to endure for any healthy relationship. For the ladies who support and maintain a marriage with an infantryman, special operations guy, Navy SEAL, etc., this isn’t a cakewalk. The men are training six months out of the year for the deployment and even when they’re “here,” they’re not “here” because they have to be focused and learning. Then they turn around and are on the deployment for six months or more obviously even more focused because sometimes it’s for the safety and welfare of their brothers and themselves. Even though we’re fully aware of the peril and vulnerabilities out there lurking around every corner, we Spartan-esque spouses do whatever it takes to make sure the men are resolute so they can do their jobs to the best of their ability. We signed up to love these men through absolutely everything that they see and do in battle whether they come back all in one piece or not.
We as spouses also get to witness the ups and downs before, during and after deployments — whether they are combat or non-combat. Sometimes as a helpless bystander to this life, we watch as they change each and every time they’ll be gone for six months to a year. We know it will happen; it’s just a matter of how much. Sometimes it’s a great experience, like “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and sometimes we notice other changes that weren’t there before.
As much as I’d love to chat with the spouses of “Lone Survivor” for their wisdom and opinions, I’m thankful it gave the nation a good look at what some of our perspective has been for the past 10+ years.