Friday, November 12, 2010
As an Army wife, I couldn't be more proud of my husband. In March he returned from Afghanistan, which was my first real deployment as a military spouse. I am proud of his service and thankful that he returned home safely along with the rest of his company.
When our servicemember is deployed, it's natural to want to share that pride with others. We champion our roles as Blue Star Families, so why shouldn't we show it? I had a blue star banner when I was back in North Carolina, but I chose not to hang it where it could be easily seen. Living in an (off-post) community that has a significant military population, I'm surrounded by fellow Army families. One of my neighbors has her blue star banner on the front door, for all of the world to see.
As military families, we've often been briefed on OPSEC, but PERSEC (Personal Security) needs to be considered just as necessary for the safety of our families, especially when our spouses are away for any length of time. Think about all of the people that drive in and out of your neighborhood on a daily basis - service technicians, landscapers, friends/acquaintances of neighbors, postal workers, delivery services, people cutting through housing, etc. The blue star banner may scream "Waiting For My Soldier" to me, but it says "I'm home alone and vulnerable!" to others. If you have a family, especially a young family, you should be cautious. If you've got no children and no roomie, you definitely need to think twice about who knows you're home alone. Me, I had no dog, no weapons to defend myself, so I chose to err on the side of caution.
Auto stickers ("1/2 My Heart is in Afghanistan") have the same effect - I'm heading home to an empty house, all alone. Follow me! I love those sorts of things just as much as the next girl, but you need to think beyond the cute-factor and consider what sort of a position that sticker/banner/proclamation puts you in.
If you just can't help but buy these sorts of items, do yourself a favor and keep them inside your home. Put that sticker on your fridge, hang your banner up on a hook inside the house somewhere. You may think I'm paranoid or overreacting now, but this is the sort of thing that only needs to happen once for you to learn that lesson. I'd just rather not go there.
What about you? Do you think I'm crazy? What are your thoughts about the visible posting of a blue star banner?