Would you support your DH going to Iraq?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Would you support your DH going to Iraq?
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 11:01pm
Okay...I stole this from another board (one that is very much dying a slow death after the board changes), but I think it is a pretty interesting topic, so I'm dragging it here where there is more traffic.

****Obviously military people have no choice, but if your DH was a journalist, cameraman, etc., and wanted to go cover it would you support it? Michael Kelly and David Bloom had small children; do you think it's irresponsible to *voluntarily* go to the front lines of a war zone -- no matter how good or exciting a career move it might be -- when you have kids?****

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 5:38am
In what way do you mean? if my spouse (presuming I had one) chose to go ANYWHERE other than home for an extended period of time away from the kids I would have qualms. But I can't state categorically if I would "support" the decision or not. There are many variables to consider, not the least of which would be just how strongly this move, compelled by career interests, were felt by my spouse to be of importance.

If I thought he was just going to avoid parenting, or because he thought it might look good on a resume (or thought it's absence would hurt), that would make a huge difference compared to if he were feeling "called" in whatever capacity he wished to go. I have a number of teachers and medical personnel in my family who are "called" to be what they are. it can be mighty inconvenient for them, but denying them this calling or expecting them to ignore it would be beyond cruel. Part of being a family is recognizing those among us who feel these calls so completely and so strongly within them....and giving them your blessing (even if it's accompanied with grumbles) to follow that calling to its natural and occasionally very inconvenient and sometimes downright dangerous conclusions.

One of my closest and dearest cousins is just about my political opposite in terms of our opinion of the war right now. I'm very much opposed; he's very much in support. He also flies B1 Bombers for the Air Force. I absolutely support him and his calling and his deep and sincerely felt *need* to be where he is, doing what he's doing; just as he supports my very deep and sincerely felt *need* to march in anti-war protests. In many ways, he and I have more in common than some of our more middle of the road relatives on both sides of pro and con, because to both of us, our beliefs are much more strongly felt...and somehow our polarization gives us more in common with each other than with our beloved moderates. Perhaps it's because we can understand how neither of us can simply let it go.

Would I agree with a spouse who wanted to fight in Iraq? No, probably not. Would I support him? Yeah, I probably would. Love means, among other things, recognizing and accepting a spouse for everything he is, even if it's inconvenient.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2001
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 5:53am
Personally I would not. I wonder what the bonus pay is for these types to cover this war? I know what the combat pay is for the National Guard and Reservists who are out there fighting ... the comparison is depressing.



Linda - wife, mother, grandmum                     &nb

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 8:58am
Ahem, okmrsmommy, gotta call you on a *little* sexism. Shouldn't the question be, "Would you and your spouse be supportive if either of you needed to go to Iraq?"

Intellectually, I'd like to say yes, but with two tiny children, no way. I guess if push came to shove, I'd suck it up, but I wouldn't be happy about it.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 9:07am
Most Definately!

When I married dh he was on the TDRL (temporary disabled retirement list.) He remained there for the completion of his enlistement, which meant Jul. 2001 before he got an actual discharge.

Now, I will admit that when I watched 9/11, my heart stopped for moment. After the complete shock started to fade, all I could think of was the explanation that we recieved, in wartime, he could very well be called back to active duty with his disabled percentage, if needed. (They would do this before the draft.) My dh was highly specialized, a Navy Nuke, an electrician, an instructor for nuclear theory, and was half way through officer training when he was originally seperated. I was highly nervous in the days and weeks after that happened.. not knowing that we were not going to engage in an immediate high casualty impromptu war. I WAS very nervous and anxious about it. Paranoid, even. Every time the phone rang, or when the mailperson came, my heart once again stopped. By Christmas time I felt a little relieved. And now, I have come to terms with it. I don't know where this war on terror is leading, but I am now definately okay in thinking that it is a possibility, albeit, a rare one.

Now, if he were part of the media, or any other facet of say, rebuilding Iraq (There will be more civilian contractors from what I have read...) I would definately support him. But, I also know that he has enough military training behind him... obviously, that may sound naive in the face of suicide bombers and small bands of terrorists... but would be better than no training at all.

But I have a question as well... would your DH support YOU going?

Avatar for laurenmom2boys
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 9:11am
I have very strong opinions about the media, and yes, I believe it's irresponsible for going to a war zone to report it. I feel there is way too much media coverage and it has increased in the past 20 years. I don't think we need to see everything that happens in a war, and I think the media should be limited as to how many reporters should be covering it and they should be limited as to where they go.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 9:58am
I think that you would know before you marry them what there career or tendencies where. I don't think the average "Joe" just picks up one day and decides to go get a job in a war zone. I think people who do this have a drive that is there well before the job. And if I choose to marry that person, I'm choosing to accept that drive as well.

My FIL was in the army when he met my MIL. He wanted to go to helicopter school in TX. Back in the early 1960's, this meant definate trip to Vietnam. My MIL told him that he could do that or marry her, but not both. He chose to marry her. He made his choice and was happy with it. She made her choice as well.

If my current DH said he wanted to go to Iraq, I'd probably want to check him into the local psychiatric hospital because nothing could be further from being "normal" for him.

Is this making any sense?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 10:09am
I disagree...

I think having the reporter there does us a service. The more people you have out there from a variety of sources, the more balanced and realistic view you are going to get about what is going on. When its limited, you tend to get a particular POV that suits a particular agenda.

I get up early on Sunday mornings for work and I love listening the the BBC world service. Talk about a different perspective!!!

Now do the networks go overboard? You betcha. And I hate all the talking heads. Its like, "Let's see how many retired generals we can flush out to ask the same questions to and get the same answers." You just have to learn to listen to the networks with a filtered ear.

But I think reporters fill a very important role in times like this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 10:29am
What about Christiane Amanpour? She has small children and she's been broadcasting live from the Middle East for several weeks now. (She's the only woman I can think of, off-hand, but there are undoubtedly others.) I think any journalist who was offered the opportunity to do this would be there in a heartbeat. That's nature of the job and the people who choose that job.

My DH was raised in a military family -- born in a Naval hospital and graduated HS on a military base. His exact words on the subject were: "I've already given 18 years to the Corps and that's all they're getting from me." His dad spent months, sometimes whole years, overseas while DH and his sister were kids and DH purposely didn't choose that life for his children.

If he was in a job where he had to go, of course I would support him. And he would do the same for me. But, thankfully, that's not reality for us.

Avatar for cl_altagirl
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 10:35am
My husband is an oilpatch worker and he wanted to go over there and fight the oilwell fires - should there be the number there were during the previous Gulf War. Luckily there haven't been.

This was right after we decided to start trying to start a family. If I were pregnant, I'd have to say no because we are so far away from our families - the closest is 3.5 hours away. And, ya, we have friends in the city, but I think that's asking too much of them. If we had kids, it would depend on the age of the kids. If they were older, I would be more willing to let him go - but he'd have to tell them. If they're very young (infant - toddler stage) I would say no, even though the increase in salary would allow me to stay at home with them. There are some things that are a higher priority and I know he'd regret missing all of those firsts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 10:44am
What you are seeing now **IS** an attempt to control the number of reporters over there and what they are sending home. Was it in Somalia, when the Marines came up the beach into the glow of the light on a TV camera that had beaten them to the landing point? Now, THAT was irresponsible.

I think any reporter at any news organization would leap at the chance to be involved in this, just because that's the nature of the people who choose a job like that. Yes, the 24/7 nature of the coverage is a bit overwhelming, but you always have the option of turning the TV off.