Military Wife Quote: OK To Be Sad

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When her Marine deployed, my friend Lacey enrolled her toddler in a deployment program offered at MCAS Miramar.  Lacey said that one of the best things that they had learned at the program was:  “OK to be sad.  OK to be mad.  NOT OK to be bad.”

The motto was supposed to be used to help the youngest military kids know how to cope with all the feelings that come with deployment. Which is smart.  But it struck me that I had plenty in common with Lacey’s little girl.  These words could also be taken as a military wife quote that applies to our own deployments, too.

I mean, on the surface of my brain, I know that it is OK to be sad and OK to be mad about deployment.  But deep down I am sure that I think I ought to be able to handle the whole thing without a blip on my emotional radar.  That expectation is exactly what makes me “be bad” in terms of skipping any physical exercise and burying my feelings in a plate of four cheese risotto.  So this Military Wife Quote is up on my fridge this week: OK to be sad.  OK to be mad.  NOT OK to be bad.  And that includes the cheesecake.

About the Author

Jacey Eckhart
Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom. Find her at
  • Au contraire! I believe that cheesecake — in moderation — is a necessary part of the deployment coping strategy. ;-)