I’ve been traveling this week. I’ve been in and out of different towns, mostly towns that do not have military installations nearby. It’s a bit odd because I’m used to living in or around a military community. When I drive around Killeen or Columbus or Lawton, every car seems to have some type of "Support Our Troops" magnet on its bumper, but it’s the DoD sticker slapped on the front windshield that tells me, "they’re one of us."
Civilian land is quite different. I drive around here and am surrounded by people who support me (their bumpers say so) but they don’t really know anything about me. Yes, I was a civilian before I was an Army wife, and I promise I can behave quite respectibily among civilians. Well, maybe not. At any rate, it’s just not the same anymore. Now, I can see the weakness of the civilian community, and it bothers me. A great deal.
I’m in a vunerable position. The whole town is. If this town were suddently attacked by foreign enemies, I can’t count on the locals to scale walls, draw up a battle plan, dig foxholes, lob grenades, take prisioners and snipe the enemy to death. It’s an unsettling thought, really.
So, as I was contemplating this danger while sitting at a stop light this morning, it appeared. There it was. Out of nowhere. A sight for sore eyes. Facing me was a car with a DoD sticker! Clearly, this was a military man. Look at that haircut. I gasped, happily. I’m sure this man was glad to see me, too. We stick together, you know…. How long had it been since he had seen another DoD sticker? This will just make his day. I was sure of that….
As my military pal was approaching, I got ready. Then, when he was almost even with me, I did it. I held up my hand, gave him my best 150-watt smile and waved happily at this stranger, who wasn’t really a stranger because military people never meet strangers.
My new pal looked puzzled. He didn’t wave, or smile or even stop. He just looked at me like I was a nut and kept on truckin’.
Did I just get the brush off from a kindred spirit?
"I think so," I answered myself.
I was hurt. How could this be?
That’s when it hit me…..
I’m in a rental car. There is no DoD sticker. He does not know that I’m a kindred spirit.
I wanted to chase him down and wave my ID card wildly in front of his face. I thought about it, too. I did.
Look, look, I’m an Army wife. I’m legit. Now you can wave at me. Aren’t you glad to see me?
No doubt I’d be arrested for stalking, so I thought better of it.
Well, gotta go now. I’m off in search of other DoD stickers. I think I’ll put a sign in the window to prevent any confusion in the unlikely event I come across one:
This is a rental car, so I don’t have a DoD sticker. But, I am an Army Wife. Honk if you have a DoD sticker. We need to get together and implement an emergency plan in case this town is attacked. If not us, then who?