Clay is fearless now in how he introduces me to other military people. We were standing next to a wounded combat vet as we waited in line to get into my niece’s boot camp graduation ceremony. They started talking shop, then out came the “My husband doesn’t have base access” line. There was no discernible reaction other than some silence and mild confusion before the conversation picked up again.
(I always cringe at these moments – I can’t help it. I’m terribly afraid of seeing the hurt in my husband’s eyes if he is publicly rejected. I am so proud of his strength, yet want to yell ‘BE CAREFUL!” at the same time.)
The next day at the airport the wounded vet approached us with his family, made sure to tell us how nice it was to meet us, and wished us well on our journey.
Soon after another man, with a graduating child in tow, recognized Clay and started up a conversation. Turns out they are based together. In the course of their conversation I am mentioned, it also goes very well, and I wonder when exactly I’ll stop cringing in anticipation of a negative reaction?