Last summer, I was at a get-together to say farewell to a special Ranger wife I've known for many years. In her speech, she said, "The guys have their Ranger buddies, and it's just as important for us wives to have them too." I instantly whipped my head around to my friend Lani and whispered, "You're my Ranger Buddy." I didn't give her much of a choice, but from that point on, we called each other RB. I'll let you in on a secret: the bond between military wives is strong, but the bond between Ranger wives is something most women will never have the opportunity to know.
I've always been more comfortable around men. I can participate and know what I'm talking about if football comes into the conversation. Or baseball, golf, what have you. I don't know about wine or Grey's Anatomy. I'd rather have a few girlfriends I can trust than 100 friends I don't know very well. The women I've met and call friends through Adam's job I can trust 100%, and then some.
The Ranger community is small. Sometimes I've been afraid to fart because I knew everyone in the community would know within five minutes. But, as a wife, we know inherently what the other wives are going through, especially during deployments. We don't feel bad texting another wife and letting them know we're having a bad day, or that we miss our husbands something awful. We are strong, but we also have those days, just like everyone else. We don't feel the need to let everyone on Facebook know, because we don't want sympathy. We want empathy, and we find that in our fellow wives.
We watch each other's kids. We go out to eat together. We form book clubs and workout groups. We keep each other busy because it makes the long, seemingly endless days go by faster. We will drop everything if another wife is in need. We blindly sign up to help out other wives if they should ever need it, not knowing who or when, but because we truly care about each other. We are given opportunities to share feelings, memories, tears, and frustration when a Ranger dies in combat. Even if we didn't know him, we all grieve in our own way. We may not be family by blood, but we are family by heart.
The women I have been fortunate enough to meet in the Ranger community are invaluable to me. I think we have all helped each other in ways others will never know, and those ways we do know about, we treasure because we know that any other woman wouldn't quite understand the way we do. We chose the man, not the life, but along with that life comes that glint of pride in our eyes and the knowing that regardless of what happens, we will always have each other's backs.