Army wives ? women of substance | india | Hindustan Times
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Army wives ? women of substance

ARMY WIVES! A term that conjures up varied images of independent, self-assured, self-confident, savvy and strong ladies, members of that sisterhood of women who have had the courage to watch their men go into battle, courses or long exercises and the strength to carry on with their duties and responsibilities until they return. Often left behind but never forgotten their sorority knows no rank.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 13:58 IST

ARMY WIVES! A term that conjures up varied images of independent, self-assured, self-confident, savvy and strong ladies, members of that sisterhood of women who have had the courage to watch their men go into battle, courses or long exercises and the strength to carry on with their duties and responsibilities until they return. Often left behind but never forgotten their sorority knows no rank.

They earn their membership with a marriage to an Army officer, travelling over miles, or sometimes over nations to begin a new life with their husbands in the military.

With a magic wand they turn a desolate, echoing building into a home within days. The accommodation is inevitably white-walled and unpapered, they decorate it with the treasures of their travels through the length and breadth of the country and abroad.

Using hammer and nail, they tack paintings to the wall, and roots to the floor as firmly as if they have been living there for a lifetime. They hold a family together by the bootstraps, and raise the best of ‘brats’, instilling in them the motto, ‘Home is togetherness’, whether it’s a basha, Officer’s Mess accommodation or a temporary house.

They bring up their children extremely well, in fact much better than the previous generations could do. No wonder we have Karan Thapar, Sushmita Sen, JJ Vallaya, Priyanka Chopra etc all with army backgrounds.

Husbands are often on the road, at the border, on a field, or on a course leaving the family behind for weeks, months and sometimes years.

During separations these women of strength, guard the home front and are always ready to help those around them, be it a friend in need, a sick child, an OR (Other Ranks) family, aging parents or in-laws.

There is always a sense of real purpose here — a bona fide mission and a long and proud history of belonging to something greater than oneself.

Unlike civilian counterparts, their time is measured not by years, but by postings—married at Tezpur, a baby born at Mhow, a special anniversary at Udhampur, a promotion in Hissar, second baby in Srinagar.

They plant trees, and never see them grow tall, work on projects which are completed long after their departure, and enhance the community for the betterment of those who come after us. Leaving behind a part of themselves at every station.
As military wives they soon realise the only good in ‘Good-bye’ is the ‘Hello again’. Through experience, they learn to pack a suitcase, a car or hold baggage, and live indefinitely from the contents within.

These women of peace are an optimistic lot, thinking of the good, and forgetting the bad, cherishing yesterday, while anticipating tomorrow. Never exorbitantly rich by monetary standards, their hearts overflow with a wealth of experiences common only to those united by the special tradition of military life.

They pass on this legacy to every military bride, welcoming her with outstretched arms, with love and friendship, from one sister to another, sharing in the bounty of their unique, fulfilling military way of life.

It is a legend, that the good lord handpicks very special girls to be the army wives. Often called the ‘luckiest ones’ we salute these ladies and wish they all could read this and know; How thankful the country is to have you and be loved by you, and how proud it is for all that you have done then, now, and later. Thanks and God Bless all of you.

Did you know?
It is traditional that an officer is well turned out, both in and out of uniform. In armed forces, great stress is laid on the enforcement of dress regulations. Uniform must be worn properly and in strict accord with regulations.

The uniform identifies the officer and soldier, sailor or airman as a member of the service to which he belongs. The insignia he wears on his uniform indicates his rank, arm of service and the formation in which he serves. In the event of capture by an enemy the uniform he wears entitles him to receive preferential treatment as a prisoner of war in accordance with terms and conditions agreed upon between the two nations.