A letter from a war wife

I was approached a couple of months ago by someone in the grocery store when they asked what my blue star necklace meant. When I told her it was because my husband is in Afghanistan she replied, “I thought the war was over. I didn’t know we still had anyone over there.” I tried my best to explain that there was indeed still a war going on therefore justifying the amount of candy corn in my hands. I know she did not mean any harm but my heart was so heavy. My heart was heavy not only for all war wives who are fighting their own wars at home trying to keep the pieces together but also for the soldiers fighting. They should know they are being rooted for, prayed for, and recognized back home. So, I’ve been working on this for awhile and I’m finally just going to hit “publish”. Feel free to share…


Dear friends known and unknown,

Most of me wants to forget this year apart from my husband ever happened. But, I’m still living it and I can’t help but remember every minute, every day. But my friends, we need you to remember the war is happening too. As war wives, when our lay our heads1 down at night, our thoughts aren’t about our to-do list for tomorrow or the laundry we didn’t do. Those little things have been catipulted into perspective. Instead, our thoughts are consumed with our helpless and weary voice begging our God to protect our husbands. Any resemblance of composure I’ve maintained by the end of the day is drowned out by a cry to the angels surrounding my husband to not grow weary and continue to protect him as he goes on another mission or meets with another Afghan official or trains another local.

We remember every day, not just on 9/11 or Memorial Day. Please let it affect you the way it affects us. Please let the war into your dinner conversation as it is the elephant wedging its way into ours. For we know that the elephant is an invited guest in our home because of our voluntary service. But we pray that you invite that conversation into your homes because you are why we do this. We are your neighbors. We sit next to you in church. We stand behind you in the grocery line. We wave you in when you’re merging into traffic… most days. We are the ones who are probably laughing a little too loudly in the movie theatre because it feels so dang good to laugh. And we are probably the ones that look like we haven’t slept well in 9 months because my friend, we haven’t.

You will not hear me complain about our situation this year because it is our joy and ministry. But someone once told me the quickest way to lose a battle is to never admit you’re in one. I know I’m in one, my husband is in a real-life one, we are all in one. And we need our battle buddies. It might not be your family member over there, but it is your neighbor, your church member, your grocery store buddy, or your road companion. We are all living in this thing. Resist the urge to only tune into the part of the news about Tom and Katie or the exposed too-tas of Kate Middleton. But when the tiny bit of coverage comes on about Afghanistan, don’t turn your heads. It’s messy, it’s unpopular, but it is happening. We have to come together as a family, and as battle buddies.

Love to you,

Martha, a war wife

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  • Thank you Martha for this always needed reminder. And to you and Sam, for making this sacrifice. You are truly rich.

  • kate@daffodils

    What an important and well written post my sweet friend!

  • Kristen

    Beautifully written. Thank you for your family’s service, Martha.

  • Martha, I think about you often, especially as this Afghan news snippets hit my mobile screen. Love you guys and am thankful for you. I’ll kick up the prayers.

  • Marine wife

    Thank you for writing this. Praying for you and Sam.

  • Carol Kirby

    Martha, glad to get to know you and sweet Bud this past week. Thoughts with you and your sweet family.

  • Lauren Morton-Farmer

    Martha, your blog is always a source of inspiration, laughter and tears – often all at once! There have been so many times I’ve just wanted to give you a giant hug, grab your hand and pray, or share a bottle of wine and a humongous bar of chocolate – again, often all at once! Too many of my dear friends are either over there fighting, or here at home holding down the fort with prayers and patience. From my brother-buddy Nathan who just got home from Afghanistan, to one of the best friends I’ve never met (thank you blogland!) Jenn who just waved goodbye to her Steve for the next nine months, and always to you, Sam and Bud, my prayers go out constantly to EVERYONE fighting these wars, no matter the front they find themselves on.

    This is a beautiful reminder to anyone who has ever let these wars cross their minds – and even more to anyone who has let it slip from theirs. Thank you for this.

  • Junie Troxell

    Sam and all of our Military are in my prayers each night. I know that Josh could be there too. I am so very thankful to all of them. Thank you for putting into words what needs to be known!!’
    It was great seeing you and Bud!!! Love you!!!

  • Martha

    Your godmother loves you, sweet Martha, and prays for Sam and your family. Your letter tugs on my heart. Big hugs….

  • Jessi Kelly

    thank you for posting this. you make the war a very real thing to those of us who aren’t very exposed to it. real in the sacrifices that you are all making, my heart and prayers go out to you and sam, and sweet bud 🙂

  • Sue

    thanks for the reminder, I hope he stays safe and gets back to you all soon

  • My thoughts and prayers go out to you, your husband and family:) So incredibly thankful for your sacrifice. My son’s preschool teacher has a son in Afghanistan and most mornings I can see the worry in her eyes–it breaks my heart. Having 2 sons of my own I just can’t imagine how difficult it must be–thanks for this lovely post and God bless your family!

  • Buttons

    I am popping over from Kate@daffodils site. I love this letter I grew up with the military and even though I have not experienced this first hand (husband) I do understand.
    I live very close to a Military base and I take the time to listen to the real news to keep up on where our families are going and what they may face.
    I pray your husband is safe and returns home before you know it. I do not know what it feels like but I will look at it in a very different way when I hear that extra loud laugh at the movie theater. I wish you all the best and a restful sleep soon.sleep. Hug and peace to you. B