The Unusual Suspect

With the 4th of July coming up and it also seems that deployment rotations are in effect, I have seen more and more Facebook type celebrative poems of being a military WIFE.  They are all about how great it is and isn’t being a military WIFE and how they preserver as most strong women do in the world with odd and daunting tasks that face them while their military man has gone to war.

As a male military spouse I feel a bit slighted by not having one of these poems or posts for us.  I too face many odd and daunting tasks.  The military support systems that are in place are really only geared toward the women spouses and especially for those with children.

It is time for equality!

This is no poem but you will get the point….

I also have to move every 3 or so years and leave behind many friends that usually take the 3 years to make.  It seems that when the time for our Permanent Change of Station (PCS) comes I have just become settled in my new world.

When I meet new people they always assume I’m the military member.  I feel a bit ashamed that I’m not (because it is a great honor to serve one’s country).  But when I point to and say, why no; it’s my wife that is military, I feel a sense of great pride in what she has accomplished.  Why?  Because I know what she has gone through, plus I get to say, “That’s my wife!”

In times of need there are spouse groups I could join in the base community.  But guess what?  They are almost always 99% women and the men never show up.  I don’t fit in well at tea parties.  And I don’t do very well at coupon swaps.  I am usually never asked to join things because I am a male, I am only needed as a volunteer to do the physical things such as lift the heavy box and move things around.

Jobs and career…..don’t even get me started!  They can exist for the lucky few but for the rest it’s whatever you can find as long as the employer doesn’t find out you’re a military spouse.

I hear of how the women of deployed military members always worry about their men in war.  Well, I have a WOMAN in war.  I worry about her probably more so than those women do about their men.

In the 14+ years of marriage I believe we have missed at least 6 wedding anniversaries and countless more birthdays.  Forget about holidays……that is the military’s favorite time to deploy.  We no longer plan for anything because who knows what is coming.

When it all comes down to it, we all have spouses male or female and we share a common bond within the military.  Some just are not as conventional as others.

10 July 2013 marks 15 years of marriage to an incredible woman.  We will miss yet another anniversary but she will be home soon after.  I love you Honey!

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I Think I’m Engaged To A TSA Agent Now!

Howdy Ho Peeps!  So yesterday was Sunday, right?  I have completely lost track of days.  I know!  My wife has only been gone for 1 day and I have already fallen apart.  Go figure….. Just don’t tell her.

Anyway, as some of you may have read in my last post, my wife is now in UncleSamAStan for a whole year.  I always hate saying goodbye..especially when it’s to the Mrs.  And in a highly public place like the airport.  It’s bad enough I had my Robo Cop boot on hobbling around, she was also in uniform, which is always good for a few stares.

This will make her third deployment.  She just got home from her last one a few months ago.  I don’t think either one of us were truly ready for this one but it is one of those things that just isn’t controllable.   I don’t even think we were really reintegrated yet from her coming home 5 months ago either.  And to make things even more annoying, our 14th anniversary is tomorrow.  I would say this is one of the things you get used to happening when you’re a military spouse, all the missing of special days that is.

Enough of the sappy sobby crap…..I have a funny story to tell you!  Well, funny to me cause I was there and because it happened to me.  So on to the true and funny blog fodder.

The day is Sunday, early morning.  I laid in my bed eagerly awaiting for my phone alarm to completely wake me up.  This was an exciting and sad day.  Today was my first day back to work after gaining the official knowledge of my ankle being broken.  Oh yeah, and my wife was deploying.  The car was packed with her 20 duffel bags weighing about 70 pounds each filled with only “essential” items, of course.

We had plans to leave early enough to fit in a sit down breakfast somewhere before the trek out to the airport.  I had the idea of going to Ihop.  Why not keep her fat and happy while I can before she is subjected to the indigenous Peoples of Afghanistan that work in the DFAC (Dining Facility) spit in her food.  The Ihop experience was also going to count as our anniversary celebration (we don’t go out a lot, we are old and boring).

Breakfast was awesome and fattening!  Now on to the airport.  The 45 min drive was less than exciting.  It usually is.  The time was spent doing a mental check of the packing list of her bags.  All was there….we hoped.

Surprisingly, parking was super easy to find.  We had the spot right by the beginning of the cross walk to the terminal.  Jackpot!  Well at least for the cripple in me.  The gentleman I am dragged the heavier of the bags while I allowed the Mrs. to drag the light gun case in so she could say she had total control of it from receipt to delivery.  You know, don’t mess with TSA!

The baggage check-in was fairly short and the lady behind the counter seemed to have a head on her shoulders.  She was on the ball and helped as much as she could to speed up our process.  We then dragged the bags over to the big gorilla TSA agents to scan her bags.  We had to wait for a “special” check on her gun case.  I was waiting for the genius to say there was gunpowder residue on the case…….(que Final Jeopardy song)

We got the thumbs up and we headed to the nearest seats to kill some time before the Mrs. had to fight through the security lines.  We were sitting there for maybe 10 min and this customer service agent from Southwest Airlines came over to us.  She could tell the Mrs. was a bit teary and asked if she was coming or going.  I/she said she was on her way out for a year.  The lady asked to see my ID card and she would be right back.

That awesome lady gave me a “fake” ticket to walk my wife to her gate so I could spend as much time with her as I could!  You can cry now if you so choose.

I was like, crap, now I have to stick around longer?  I was hoping to drop and dash….I gots things to do!  Thanks for nothin lady..

No, not really!  I was grateful but not enough to remember the lady’s name.  That was pretty much the last thing on my mind.

So we proceeded to the priority security line….yeah, that’s how I roll.  Unfortunately that still led us to the same lines with the people who have 10 out-of-control kids.  Take your damn shoes off Joey!!!  I was about to throw the damn kid in the x-ray machine myself if he didn’t take those freakin shoes off!

OK, so here is the funny part of my story.  No pressure but feel free to laugh at your leisure.

So, the St. Louis airport makes you basically take all of your clothes off to go through security.  Which for me is not usually a problem.  But I happen to be going commando and I had on some super big waisted shorts only being held up by the belt that I now had to take off!

OK, so to explain the shorts…. I haven’t worn shorts out in public in years because of the grotesqueness of my legs.  And since my leg surgeries I have to wear those knee-high compression socks. Long black compression socks and shorts don’t go together.  So I haven’t had a need to buy new shorts in years except for the stuff I wear to workout in.  These specific shorts I happened to grab to wear this fine day were 40 inch waist and I now wear 36 waist.  Can you see where I’m goin with this yet????

I was like, ummmmmmmm, I’m not sure this is gonna work hun.  I wasn’t about to not go through though.  I’m sure I was at the point of no return in the security process to try and backtrack without looking like a terrorist.  So I pressed on.  Off with the boot…off with the shoe….and for the sneak peek exclusive viewing of a clip from the movie Magic Mike…….off with the belt!

Yeah, picture me standing there waiting in line with one hand holding my shorts up and the other holding my wallet and ticket.

St. Louis has those special see through your clothes machines now.  If you have not been through one of these…HA!  They not only get to see the outline of your body, they make you stand there like and idiot with BOTH hands held above your head!  Did I mention I had to use one hand to hold my shorts up?  Did I mention security makes you put BOTH hands above your head?  I think we are all on the same page now.

So I had to quickly figure out how the hell I was going to keep my shorts up while following procedure.  I looked at the TSA guy and said if I put both hands up, you probably won’t need the machine to see I am not hiding anything.  He kinda looked confused.  Then I leaned toward him and told him my predicament.  He said do my best but with BOTH hands in the air.  OK my brother!  Things are about to get real up in here…. One hand goes up.  I look back over at him.  No help there.  I try to tug my shorts up as high as possible and get in a ballet plie stance and quickly raise my other hand.  I said OK go!!!  5 seconds pass and my shorts start sliding…..10 seconds pass and they slide just a bit more.  20 seconds now and I’m reaching critical stage here……30 seconds now and I think they are just messin with me cause here comes some crack!  “OK sir you are good.  Now stand at the end of the carpet and wait.”  Whaa????

Yeah, they wanted to mess with Big Mike just a little more.  I had no idea what was going on.  Then it dawned on me….I was the lucky randomly selected individual to get the PAT DOWN!  So I walk to the end of the carpet and there stands this female TSA agent.  I was like hell yeah!  Can I get your number?  Then as I finished that thought the same dude from the body scanner came over and relived the girl so he could do the prostate exam.  This dude just won’t cut me a break!  I think he just wanted to see if what he saw on the scan was true 🙂

So he says to hold my arms out shoulder height.  I looked at him and said didn’t we just go over this situation back at the scan?  He was like, oh.  I said whatever and gave him a shoulder shrug.  I proceeded to say, well don’t be surprised if you see I am nuts over you when you are feeling my knee. 🙂  He then allowed me to hold the opposite side of my shorts that he wasn’t patting down to ensure he didn’t get poked in the eye on his way back up.  I swear he was purposely tugging down on my shorts to see if I was lying.  He also got really “frisky” with his pat down.  I didn’t mind.  That was the last action I was gonna see for a year!

Well, I survived my first scan and pat down from TSA.

The really odd thing though, when I got home, I found a guys name and phone number written on a piece of paper in my pocket.?.?