As a military spouse I thought I had seen it all…and then I did.
The other day I was actually embarrassed not only for myself but for all military spouses out there. I was at an event that was being put on for military families, a community giving back to those who serve saying thank you for all that we do. It was a great event until all of a sudden there was a commotion near the entrance on the other side of the room.
A fellow spouse was “up in arms” because there were no longer any door prizes available for her or her children. Now I feel I have to mention that she was an hour late and the invite specifically stated prizes were first come first serve while quantities last, but I guess that was besides the point for this military spouse. She wanted her loot and she was hell-bent on getting it.
Quickly I watched as various other spouses jumped in, offering their prize bags to the distraught women and her kids – heck milspouses are like that – we take care of our own right? They said things like my 2 can share so yours can have one, etc etc. Of course she took them – with an “I knew I’d win” kind of look thrown the way of the poor girl behind the sign in table. And then it happened…the thing that I never thought would happen.
She gathered her kids and her loot and left. Didn’t stay for the program or to browse the event. Didn’t stay to thank or get to know the other spouses who so generously helped her out. Just took and ran…leaving us all open mouthed and appalled. Heck I’m still fuming even days later!
Does she not realize that the people putting on this event spent time/money trying to give back? Maybe she didn’t get that her behavior reflects on our entire community, or maybe she was just having a bad day. I’m trying not to judge because we’ve all had days when we don’t put our best foot forward, but SHEESH with this one I can’t even give her the benefit of the doubt. Her behavior was unacceptable and embarrassing to the rest of us.
But the saddest part of it all was the conversation I was part of at the end of the event with the organizers. They didn’t recall the spouse who had been having a rough deployment and this event facilitated her meeting some new battle buddies, they didn’t focus on all the people they inspired and helped. Instead they questioned if it was worth all the trouble when people only wanted to use them for their “stuff”. Yes one bad apple hurts us all…
Since when do people believe they are entitled to be taken care of – manners and gratitude be damned? Do they forget that no one owes us anything (Ok maybe the government officials who have chosen not to #keepyourpromise to our troops -but that’s a post for another day) or is it that they really do believe that their behavior is acceptable as long as they get what they want?
Well I have something to say to those of you who believe that serving entitles you to anything…
- Your behavior is ruining a good thing and hurting the rest of us – especially those milfamilies really in need!
- The organizations that give back to the military do so of their own accord, and we should be grateful for anything that they do on our behalf.
- Your whispers of how stupid a goodie bag or how cheap a meal is are heard. Trust me they are and they are hurtful. The organizers spend a lot of time, money and effort to do the best to honor you and your family. Respect that!
- Do I really need to remind you that these people don’t HAVE to do anything for us? They are trying to be nice and give back and your catty rude behavior puts a bad taste in their mouths making us all look bad
- Remember your manners! “Thank you” and “I appreciate you” are all that these organizations are looking for so stop acting like a child who doesn’t know how to behave.
Newsflash to all the “I’m entitled because my spouse serves” people
STOP IT, BEFORE YOU RUIN IT FOR THE REST OF US!
~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and lifestyle blogger as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com