Over the years, I've experienced several laughable moments by the things people say to me and my fellow female veterans. Sometimes it can be really frustrating to be on the receiving end of the unrealistic views of family and friends regarding our military service, our jobs and the very real danger every American soldier faces, regardless of gender.
Below are just a few of the circumstances I've personally experienced and I know my fellow female veterans will read this and nod their heads, remembering a similar situation. This is meant to be a comical recap of real, yet hilarious conversations and is in now way meant to belittle or encourage outrage.
1. When the doctor at the VA raises his gray eyebrow and shoots quizzical looks at you while you hold your toddler, and then back again at your chart before finally asking if you've ever served in the military.
Seriously? Look Doc, I didn't marry into the right to enter this facility, I spent months (some of us years) and blood, sweat and tears for the right to receive this medical treatment. I've done more rotations overseas than you've changed those prescription eye glasses.
2. When you ask the woman behind the information desk of a major airport for directions to the USO and she responds, "you have to be accompanied by a servicemember to enter."
Accompanied? Lady, I am the servicemember.
3. When your mom sings a lullaby to your newborn child and then abruptly contributes her revelation that the child means you will never be deployed again. "They can't deploy you if you have a child."
The Army provides six weeks of maternity leave, Mom. Uncle Sam isn't going to be understanding if I tell him I have a four-year-old at home and ISIS will have to wait a few years.
4. That look of surprise every female veteran gets when you're dressed for drill and pregnant. "They can't make you go when you're pregnant!"
I'm pregnant, not disabled and I'm going to work! For me, work just happens to include a gaudy uniform with concrete strapped to my feet.
5. When you're at a VFW function and people tell you how nice it is that you're supporting your husband and other vets.
Excuse me? I am the veteran.
6. When your dad gives you a hug at your pre-deployment ceremony and then announces to your family that you'll be missed but he's thankful he has a daughter going because females won't cross the battle lines.
Dad, what battle lines? I'm sure ISIS will find out quickly that an American woman is in their area and they'll go ahead and disarm all of their IEDs and halt their guerrilla warfare tactics out of respect for my gender.
For more tirades, dash over to my blog to read what some of my fellow female veterans have experienced during their tenure in the military.