Military Wife Quotes: The Other Side Of Fear


I feel a fear creeping up on me.  In the airport, TV monitors behind me blare with news of Sandy Hook.  Of teachers who died trying to save their students.  Of children cowering in closets.  Of parents so stricken with grief they are unable to walk.

In my email, everything designed to reassure me seems to make me more afraid. Our county school system wants us to know their plan in case of attack.  Our police department wants us to know that there will be more of a visible police presence at school.  Our SpouseBuzz readers continue to comment that only fools fail to have guns in order to prepare for an attack.  One reader wrote:

If there was one person in the school in CT. this past horrific day that had a personal carry weapon and knew how to use it-there just might have been life for a few or many of those that ended that day.

And I’m the kind of person who hears all that and feels…well, afraid.  At first.

If there is one thing my military upbringing taught me is that you can’t get stuck in fear. You can’t avoid fear.  The world is full of things to be afraid of, things you can’t control. You have to move through fear of every kind.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear,” noted George Addair in one of our Military Wife Quotes.

We military families have to continuously move to the other side of fear—in our military life and in the life we live in our civilian neighborhoods. We know we must prepare the best we can and then start pushing past our fears.  Past fear of combat.  Past fears of separation.  Past fears of unemployment and mortgages and teenage drivers.  Past fears of gunmen in movie theaters and shopping malls and elementary schools.

Knowing you have to move past fear won’t stop our fears from cropping up every day.  Heaven knows we are fed on a diet of horrific events and unfathomable possibilities—even though we are arguably living in the safest time in the most secure country in human history.

We spouses just keep pushing until we get to the other side of fear. We push because everything we want is just past it—lasting love, happy children, direct achievement, generous community.

On the plane I am struck by a memory of my own little Air Force mother driving across this enormous red bridge singing, “Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect….”

Even from the back seat, even at five years old, I knew my mother was afraid of that kind of driving.  I knew she was pushing past fear.  I just didn’t know that when I grew up I would be required to do the same thing so often.



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
  • William

    Great quote, good article! On the post about personal carry in the Connecticut case, while I don’t disagree with the sentiment, such posts almost always come across as idiotic. “If I’da been there with my gun, it’s all be different” MAY be true. But most of us have never had to fire a gun in anger, and in such extremity will more likely cower in fear than run to the sound of the guns. And the tone carries over: Overt bluster seeking to hide fear. I believe that there are people who will respond correctly in such situations, and the law should allow for that. But it’s not helpful for people to post those sentiments as fact.

  • Petra

    Great post. I had a hard time pushing past my fear and letting my Kindergartener return to school on Monday, what with the thought in the back of my mind that it could happen here, too. But in the end I refuse to give into this life of fear. It wouldn’t be fair to my child to put her in bubblewrap and let her waste away her life just within mama’s reach. I think most of us are back in the state of anticipatory grief, I certainly know I am, it just changed from husband to children…