Witty and Wise, Milblogs Are a Voice for Military Spouses

Military blogs, or milblogs, are a popular voice for the families of American service members.

By Beth Dreher from Reader's Digest | December 2011 / January 2012

Blogger Lori VolkmanPhotographed by Robbie McLaran
Lori Volkman, an attorney and the wife of a Navy commander, started a blog in 2010 as a diary for her kids. “I kept going because I realized a lot of military families were starving to hear a version of military life that recognized the struggles associated with it,” she says. Wittylittlesecret.com is now one of the most popular “milblogs” out there. Here’s a post that went viral — a fake order addressing Volkman’s husband in the Middle East as he prepared to come home. His reaction to being teased? “He laughed,” she says.

(See a list of popular milblogs.)

Operation Order to My Deployed Husband

I. SITUATION Civilian Home Group, West (CIVHOMGRU), has recently identified threat “military brain,” aka MILBRAIN, a condition that hinders communication and family reintegration and that requires immediate and ongoing resolution. Current unit is composed of:

• Civilian leader MOM • Two rogue operatives known as Operative–1st Born and Operative–2nd Born • DAD (deployed)

II. MISSION Prepare for reintegration of DAD into CIVHOMGRU by:

Disintegration of MILBRAIN Introduction of counter-components DADBRAIN and HUSBANDBRAIN Reintroduction of concept “feel” Suppression of dictatorial hierarchy, oligarchy, and misogyny

Accomplish DAD homecoming 2011 with goal of fostering mental and emotional health of the family unit and avoiding any further loss of spousal consortium.

III. EXECUTION It is the intent of these maneuvers to prepare all members of the team for reintegration.

A. MOM, Operative–1st Born, and Operative–2nd Born will each practice elimination of all expectations related to basic everyday interactions. This will be accomplished by standing in front of a brick wall and attempting to engage it in conversation and elicit sympathy and/or compassion and attempting to get it to respond to external stimuli, touch, and/or tears.

B. DAD will increase situational awareness of social and nonverbal communications of others. This will be accomplished by standing in front of a mirror, making eye contact, and practicing HOME phrases such as “I’m sorry,” “Let’s get through this together,” and “I understand what you’re saying.”

Upon completion of these basic maneuvers, DAD should progress to more advanced maneuvers such as SMIRK and WINK, the “HUBBA-HUBBA” (two successive eyebrow raises), and NODDING.

IV. SERVICE SUPPORT The critical supporting actors and services required to sustain the unit during this operation include:

DAD‘s emotive alter ego, which has been suppressed for the past year MOM‘s noncontrolling alter ego, which has been suppressed for the past year Operative–1st Born and Operative–2nd Born‘s obedient alter egos, which have been suppressed for the past year

Upon reentry to the CIVHOMGRU, DAD should consider the following services and materials for future maneuvers DATE and WOO:

• Class I (subsistence): fine-dining establishments, wine bars, candlelight, or sunset-view venues • Class II (individual equipment): razor, aftershave, deodorant, mouthwash, elbow cream, and civilian clothing • Class III (major end items): flowers, jewelry, chocolate, handwritten notes or cards, and perfume

In preparation for such availability of services, DAD may spend time on the Internet reviewing what these items look like, how they are utilized, and where they can be obtained upon delivery to the assembly point.

V. COMMAND AND CONTROL Upon reintegration, unit commanders MOM and DAD are expected to operate in a JOINT ENVIRONMENT for all operational and tactical maneuvers.

A. Command The higher unit commander is GOD. If you suffer from the delusion that you are GOD, then knock it off. You are not. Your spouse and children are not subordinates; they are your support.

B. Signals This operation specifically prohibits use of the following signals: silence, thousand-mile stare, dirty looks, shark eyes, loss of consciousness during conversation, and drama (aka “pyrotechnics”) of any kind.



The Lives of the Wives (and One Husband)

Our Crazy Life (mama2six.blogspot.com): Mom to six kids, ages 4 to 18, and wife of an Army National Guard officer, Athena Goldinger Hall posts about the challenges of military life and reviews books.

A Little Pink in a World of Camo (alittlepinkinaworldofcamo.blogspot.com): Twenty-four-year-old war widow and mom to a 22-month-old daughter, Rachel Jewell Porto blogs about staying positive after the 2010 death of her husband, Marine Cpl. Jonathan Porto.

The Invisible Wounded (theinvisiblewounded.blogspot.com): Finalist for the Milbloggie award for U.S. Military Spouse Blog of the Year in 2010, Gina Hill writes about her husband Allen’s struggle with PTSD.

The Army Wife (Dude) (thearmywifedude.blogspot.com): Stay-at-home dad to two sons, Wayne Perry, posts about finding his way as one of the few male spouses on a military base in Kansas while his wife is deployed in Afghanistan.

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

Sending Message
how we use your e-mail

  • Your Comments

    • guest

      This is absolutely amazing. 

    • guest

      This is absolutely amazing. 

    • guest

      This is absolutely amazing. 

    • Not yet.

      In Jan. 2007, my son’s father (who is a medic in the US Navy) illegally claimed our son on his taxes.  He hardly ever saw him & never even had him for an overnight visit, much less the minimum of 51% custody that is stipulated as a requirement on the “Who gets to claim Dependents” IRS website.  Because I am court ordered from talking about this clearly very honorable man, let’s call him John. 
      John sent me an email in early Jan. 2007 asking when I was going to be filing my taxes.  I told him , it was none of of his business.  He responded back that he’s getting his W-2′s on the 11th & he will be filing via Turbo Tax & claiming out son.  Not only did I warn him that doing that would be tax fraud, I also sent him the information on who legally gets to claim the children.  He said back that since I never applied for or was granted “Legal custody” of our son, that anyone can claim him & he was going to.  Sure enough, when I tried to file my taxes on the 17th, it was denied & kicked back to me. 
      I contacted every branch of the military & all of the governors in the U.S., informing them of the behaviors & conduct of people in our military.  John was called in for Congressionalal Hearing & while it was acknowledged what he did, the worded it that “he had filed in error”, instead of “subject intentionally & knowingly committed IRS Fraud”……..all he had to do was re-file.  No form of consequences were issued on to him & he has gloated about the fact that he didn’t have to pay it back…….approx. $3600.
      When John joined the military, he took an oath to have Honor, Values & Integrity.  So much for that promise huh!  IRS Tax Fraud, isn’t the only crime he has committed since our son was born in 2001 & thought the military & his commanders are well aware of them…….they keep promoting him & allow him to serve this country.

    • http://twitter.com/mama2six Athena Hall

      Lori is amazing! So thankful for her blog.