Monday, August 5, 2013

Military Monday: Meet Marie Cotter

Happy Military Monday to you!

Today's guest post is by a new friend of mine, a wonderful woman I had the good fortune to meet through my husband while he was away on course in Toronto. She was a student on the same course, and has been a first rate supporter of my writing career since we met.

Marie Cotter: friend and
military spouse!
Marie is a wonderful example of the strength of Military Spouses--she has persevered through some
extremely challenging times, and has a successful career and family. She's lived through some (but thankfully not all) of the experiences my heroine in DEPENDENT lives through, and she's proven that life goes on. Not only that, but life can go on in a positive and enriching way.

Meet Marie Cotter, military spouse and proud Canadian!
Background: Tell us about yourself, in relation to the Canadian Forces, that is.

My Mom and Dad met at Stadacona (in Halifax, Nova Scotia), and my Dad had a full career in the military.  Lots of moves as a kid.  I joined the military for a while, and I married the funniest, coolest guy in NATO.  A few more moves.  Sadly, I lost him in a training accident, but was surrounded and supported by the Regimental family.  Now twice blessed, I’m remarried, again to another terrific military guy.  All that time, I’ve been either in the regular force or the reserves myself.  I count the military spouses as sisters, not just friends.

Why do you think military spouses are special?

If you’re a military spouse, you already know this, so you can skip over it.  Keeping the home fires burning isn’t just trite expression.  The husbands and wives of our uniformed folks do what most would quickly become discouraged with and abandon – we keep our home going, bills paid, daily tasks accomplished, children cared for and loved.  Oh yeah, and lots of us hold down jobs.  Without our spouse around to pitch in, provide support, encouragement, or call the appliance repair guy.

We do that, knowing our husband or wife will be returning next week, next month, or next year.  We deal with the school problems (hoping it’s the right thing to do), shoulder the household issues, shovel the driveway or mow the lawn.  Accepting invitations to social events, knowing we’ll be alone or maybe with a “stand-in”.  We rely on babysitters to escape the young ones for just an hour or two.  We comfort the kids and keep them happily anticipating their Mom or Dad’s return, and reassure our families who are likely in a different part of the country all together. 

Military spouses and national security? Really?

I’ll bet you haven’t thought of this angle.  Let’s face, it.  A lot of military spouses are wives.  Lots of dudes, too, but the majority are women.  And women aren’t typically the ones to blow their own horn.  So you won’t have heard this often ... or at all.  Well, I just completed a 10-month program examining National Security, and I am convinced our military spouses one of the country’s great strengths.  The same goes for many other nations too.  Here’s why.

Our uniformed folks, the majority being men, go off on deployment to some pretty crazy places.  Here’s the thing.  He (or in some cases she) has the reassurance of knowing that someone is waiting, and keeping a life going somewhere sane, where the rules and expectations are familiar.  And where he (or she) is wanted and loved.  And knowing there is an open pair of arms at the end of the day is what keeps people going.  I’ve been those loving arms, and I’ve needed those loving arms to be folded around me. 

I am certain that knowing there is a beating heart and an open pair of arms allows our uniformed folks to focus completely on doing what they do in those crazy places.  Doing Canada proud. National Security?  Damn straight.
Thanks so much Marie, for sharing your thoughts! Hope to have you back on the blog again soon.

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