Hes Coming Home

#1
Hi I am Sgt Stu McKenzie, I am doing a part time degree in Documentary film making, I have to do a final project, its my choice what to do so I have thought about doing a short Documentary telling the story of families back home whilst the guys are on tour.

I am looking for two or three families who's fellas are on tour or soon to deploy, my wife will be with me as my sound recordist.

If interested then please let me know, also if you could give me the details of your families officer (just so I can run it by them)

Look forward to telling the families story as its always forgotten as my wife tells me..

Stu McKenzie
work: mil 95232 6056 civ 01895 815056
Mobile: 07909 730754
email: stumac84 @ armymail.mod.uk
 
#3
Good luck Stu.

I think your wife is quite right, it is a forgotten aspect of tours. Staying behind, looking after the kids trying to be both Mum and Dad, running the house, sorting the car, attending school parent's evening alone.... so the list goes on. It's a very difficult, exhausting and a thankless task.

Then your beloved returns home and you have to try and learn how to share all those tasks you've learnt to do alone. Almost like unlearning them so your partner feels needed around the house/MSQ again.

You know they are facing dangers away from you, but you can't help hating them for putting you in the position of 'going it alone'.

Please keep us all posted on your Documentary. I for one would be very interested to see it.

Wishful
 
#4
Hmmm...this looks like the set-up for a Forum Readers' Stories to me!
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#5
Does he do 'fridge repair' with his wife present? then turn up the heating until 'it's soooo hot in here!'?
I've seen that documentary!
 
#6
wishfil-thinking said:

Staying behind, looking after the kids trying to be both Mum and Dad, running the house, sorting the car, attending school parent's evening alone.... so the list goes on. It's a very difficult, exhausting and a thankless task.
what's all that then, don't remember any of that when I was in??

have I been missing out, should I give the wife a good talking to

I feel bereft here, I really do

:( :(
 
#7
frog said:
wishfil-thinking said:

Staying behind, looking after the kids trying to be both Mum and Dad, running the house, sorting the car, attending school parent's evening alone.... so the list goes on. It's a very difficult, exhausting and a thankless task.
==============

Its simple if you Marry a service person you should be well aware of the responsibilities he/she has which sadly includes leaving the family behind.

Staying behind as a spouse ,mother/father is one of those things that happen when you get married to a service person.

Staying behind looking after the kids and sorting the car, hate to tell you this. It is no different in civvy street
 
#8
:( I know exactly how you feel. My partner has just left for germany and cos we are not married I am left in england to sort out everything too. For me its a first, but am sure it wont be the last - its still hard though.
 
#9
My father was in the Navy for 30 years, my husband is Army and we've been together for 17 years and married for 13 years. In the last 13 months, the longest we've been together is 5 weeks and that was last June. He has a full 2 weeks off for Christmas and the first time since we got married that we will have the entire 12 days of Christmas together. I knew exactly what I was marrying into which probably explained my reluctance. My husband even said he would leave the Army if I wanted him to. But I knew he wouldn't be happy and maybe resent me too eventually.

He's been to a selection of hot, sweaty, steamy and sandy places - all the hot spots of the world. It doesn't get any easier - mobile phones have helped - it's still a long, lonely, isolating, tiring, frustrating time full of worry. The only time I'm not worried is when I'm asleep and then sometimes it's hard to get any.

People mean well sometimes but they say the most stupid things:
1. It's not on the news so it must be quiet where he is
2. If you didn't see him on the news then he must be OK
3. What does he do in the evenings over there? Does he go out?
4. He'll have a great tan when he gets home
5. Does he watch the telly?
6. Won't be long now and he'll be home, the time is flying in
7. Are you not worried?
8. Can't he e-mail you?
9. Why don't you just tell him not to go?
10. I'd leave hime if I were you, he's very selfish
11. He'll bring you home something nice

I deeply resent being told by civvies "What did you expect? You married a soldier after all". They haven't earned the right to say that to me. They haven't sat waiting for phonecalls from the far side of the planet - 90 seconds on a sat phone - after a messy contact "I'm OK. I love you. Bye". They haven't been to funerals where I have to try to say something reassuring to the wife standing beside her husbands coffin. I'm looking at her thinking "I'm so sorry but I'm so glad it's you and not me". And I know what she's thinking looking at me "Why wasn't it you instead of me?"

When the washing machine floods, when central heating packs up, when I get a flat tyre, when the bank rings - it's not the same as civvie street. My husband isn't coming home in the evening - he's not going to walk in the door at 10 past 6. I can't share the worry with him either. He has enough on his plate worrying about the care and welfare of those with him and the responsibility of bringing them home in one piece to their families. When he rings I can't bitch about all the things that are going wrong - he doesn't need to know, he can't do anything about it anyway so there's no point. And it's not going to make his day any better - it will distract him and could get him killed or someone else he's responsible for. He can wait until he gets home to find out about the mortgage and that the car is on its last legs.

It's not the same as civvie street. When he comes home from overseas - I'm usually the last to get a hold of him. He's dragged around to meet all the rellies "This is the guy I was telling you about" to all the Mums and Dads, girlfriends, photos with the babies that were born when their Dads were overses. And then it all seems worth it. I've seen Mums grab his hand and just keep saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you" over and over again. I've seen Dads - even ex-service - stand there mumbling through tears "Thanks mate". Then I feel guilty for all the anger and resentment I've had towards him when I've missed him so much it hurts.

He makes a difference. Everyday in some part of the world in some small way, a soldier has made a difference to someone's life. His job actually counts for something. My husband has done 22 years and each of those years has made a difference to someone somewhere. I'm proud of him and I will support him. He's not going to get a big cash bonus, he doesn't have a big office in a big office block somewhere, he doesn't play golf, he won't close the "big deal" by the end of the week, he doesn't have the flash car. But we do have a nice home and we appreciate it all the more for not being together as much as we like. We value things that civvies have long forgotten - eating a meal at home together, shopping together, just going for a walk, carpet on the hall stairs - finally!

Army wives can do nearly everything on their own - we don't need patronising sympathy. But we do need support.
 
#11
Aul_Wan said:
My father was in the Navy for 30 years, my husband is Army and we've been together for 17 years and married for 13 years. In the last 13 months, the longest we've been together is 5 weeks and that was last June. He has a full 2 weeks off for Christmas and the first time since we got married that we will have the entire 12 days of Christmas together. I knew exactly what I was marrying into which probably explained my reluctance. My husband even said he would leave the Army if I wanted him to. But I knew he wouldn't be happy and maybe resent me too eventually.

He's been to a selection of hot, sweaty, steamy and sandy places - all the hot spots of the world. It doesn't get any easier - mobile phones have helped - it's still a long, lonely, isolating, tiring, frustrating time full of worry. The only time I'm not worried is when I'm asleep and then sometimes it's hard to get any.

People mean well sometimes but they say the most stupid things:
1. It's not on the news so it must be quiet where he is
2. If you didn't see him on the news then he must be OK
3. What does he do in the evenings over there? Does he go out?
4. He'll have a great tan when he gets home
5. Does he watch the telly?
6. Won't be long now and he'll be home, the time is flying in
7. Are you not worried?
8. Can't he e-mail you?
9. Why don't you just tell him not to go?
10. I'd leave hime if I were you, he's very selfish
11. He'll bring you home something nice

I deeply resent being told by civvies "What did you expect? You married a soldier after all". They haven't earned the right to say that to me. They haven't sat waiting for phonecalls from the far side of the planet - 90 seconds on a sat phone - after a messy contact "I'm OK. I love you. Bye". They haven't been to funerals where I have to try to say something reassuring to the wife standing beside her husbands coffin. I'm looking at her thinking "I'm so sorry but I'm so glad it's you and not me". And I know what she's thinking looking at me "Why wasn't it you instead of me?"

When the washing machine floods, when central heating packs up, when I get a flat tyre, when the bank rings - it's not the same as civvie street. My husband isn't coming home in the evening - he's not going to walk in the door at 10 past 6. I can't share the worry with him either. He has enough on his plate worrying about the care and welfare of those with him and the responsibility of bringing them home in one piece to their families. When he rings I can't bitch about all the things that are going wrong - he doesn't need to know, he can't do anything about it anyway so there's no point. And it's not going to make his day any better - it will distract him and could get him killed or someone else he's responsible for. He can wait until he gets home to find out about the mortgage and that the car is on its last legs.

It's not the same as civvie street. When he comes home from overseas - I'm usually the last to get a hold of him. He's dragged around to meet all the rellies "This is the guy I was telling you about" to all the Mums and Dads, girlfriends, photos with the babies that were born when their Dads were overses. And then it all seems worth it. I've seen Mums grab his hand and just keep saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you" over and over again. I've seen Dads - even ex-service - stand there mumbling through tears "Thanks mate". Then I feel guilty for all the anger and resentment I've had towards him when I've missed him so much it hurts.

He makes a difference. Everyday in some part of the world in some small way, a soldier has made a difference to someone's life. His job actually counts for something. My husband has done 22 years and each of those years has made a difference to someone somewhere. I'm proud of him and I will support him. He's not going to get a big cash bonus, he doesn't have a big office in a big office block somewhere, he doesn't play golf, he won't close the "big deal" by the end of the week, he doesn't have the flash car. But we do have a nice home and we appreciate it all the more for not being together as much as we like. We value things that civvies have long forgotten - eating a meal at home together, shopping together, just going for a walk, carpet on the hall stairs - finally!

Army wives can do nearly everything on their own - we don't need patronising sympathy. But we do need support.
You go girl!!!! Your post should be required reading fo every useless civvie cnut that wonders (usually out loud) what the problem is for soldier's wives

You all do a brilliant job under circumstances just as difficult as the old man's in their own way. Mostly you do it wonderfully, I know my service would have been much harder without a true Army wife to come home to. Someone who would simply say it was good to see you, and accept you as the big lunk that you really are.

Gemtlemen ...be upstanding and raise your glasses to Our Ladies!! God bless 'em!!

By the way Aul Wan ... which part of Ireland did that screen name come from??? lol
 
#12
Well done for coming on here Stu, you might be in for a bit of stick on ARRSE but hopefully people will realise what forumn there on. Hope things go well for you and you get the information you need, keep us informed of the outcome. It might be an idea to phone the welfare offices down in Colchester as the BDE deploys in March.
 
#13
A round of applause for Aul Wan.

It can be a nightmare being a part time single parent! For those who trot out the 'you knew what you were getting into' line, yes, yes, we know all that. The reality is different. Generally we wives don't moan, we just get on with all the problems that life throws at us and quite often have to sort out other people's problems while we're at it. It's all good fun though!! (said through gritted teeth!)
 
#16
Aul_Wan said:
My father was in the Navy for 30 years, my husband is Army and we've been together for 17 years and married for 13 years. In the last 13 months, the longest we've been together is 5 weeks and that was last June. He has a full 2 weeks off for Christmas and the first time since we got married that we will have the entire 12 days of Christmas together. I knew exactly what I was marrying into which probably explained my reluctance. My husband even said he would leave the Army if I wanted him to. But I knew he wouldn't be happy and maybe resent me too eventually.

He's been to a selection of hot, sweaty, steamy and sandy places - all the hot spots of the world. It doesn't get any easier - mobile phones have helped - it's still a long, lonely, isolating, tiring, frustrating time full of worry. The only time I'm not worried is when I'm asleep and then sometimes it's hard to get any.

People mean well sometimes but they say the most stupid things:
1. It's not on the news so it must be quiet where he is
2. If you didn't see him on the news then he must be OK
3. What does he do in the evenings over there? Does he go out?
4. He'll have a great tan when he gets home
5. Does he watch the telly?
6. Won't be long now and he'll be home, the time is flying in
7. Are you not worried?
8. Can't he e-mail you?
9. Why don't you just tell him not to go?
10. I'd leave hime if I were you, he's very selfish
11. He'll bring you home something nice

I deeply resent being told by civvies "What did you expect? You married a soldier after all". They haven't earned the right to say that to me. They haven't sat waiting for phonecalls from the far side of the planet - 90 seconds on a sat phone - after a messy contact "I'm OK. I love you. Bye". They haven't been to funerals where I have to try to say something reassuring to the wife standing beside her husbands coffin. I'm looking at her thinking "I'm so sorry but I'm so glad it's you and not me". And I know what she's thinking looking at me "Why wasn't it you instead of me?"

When the washing machine floods, when central heating packs up, when I get a flat tyre, when the bank rings - it's not the same as civvie street. My husband isn't coming home in the evening - he's not going to walk in the door at 10 past 6. I can't share the worry with him either. He has enough on his plate worrying about the care and welfare of those with him and the responsibility of bringing them home in one piece to their families. When he rings I can't bitch about all the things that are going wrong - he doesn't need to know, he can't do anything about it anyway so there's no point. And it's not going to make his day any better - it will distract him and could get him killed or someone else he's responsible for. He can wait until he gets home to find out about the mortgage and that the car is on its last legs.

It's not the same as civvie street. When he comes home from overseas - I'm usually the last to get a hold of him. He's dragged around to meet all the rellies "This is the guy I was telling you about" to all the Mums and Dads, girlfriends, photos with the babies that were born when their Dads were overses. And then it all seems worth it. I've seen Mums grab his hand and just keep saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you" over and over again. I've seen Dads - even ex-service - stand there mumbling through tears "Thanks mate". Then I feel guilty for all the anger and resentment I've had towards him when I've missed him so much it hurts.

He makes a difference. Everyday in some part of the world in some small way, a soldier has made a difference to someone's life. His job actually counts for something. My husband has done 22 years and each of those years has made a difference to someone somewhere. I'm proud of him and I will support him. He's not going to get a big cash bonus, he doesn't have a big office in a big office block somewhere, he doesn't play golf, he won't close the "big deal" by the end of the week, he doesn't have the flash car. But we do have a nice home and we appreciate it all the more for not being together as much as we like. We value things that civvies have long forgotten - eating a meal at home together, shopping together, just going for a walk, carpet on the hall stairs - finally!

Army wives can do nearly everything on their own - we don't need patronising sympathy. But we do need support.
What a brilliant post!! Unfortunately my marriage didn't last in the army as it wasn't strong enough. Those that do make it through though, have something very special that, as you say, no civvie could ever understand.
 
#17
Aul_Wan said:
My father was in the Navy for 30 years, my husband is Army and we've been together for 17 years and married for 13 years. In the last 13 months, the longest we've been together is 5 weeks and that was last June. He has a full 2 weeks off for Christmas and the first time since we got married that we will have the entire 12 days of Christmas together. I knew exactly what I was marrying into which probably explained my reluctance. My husband even said he would leave the Army if I wanted him to. But I knew he wouldn't be happy and maybe resent me too eventually.

He's been to a selection of hot, sweaty, steamy and sandy places - all the hot spots of the world. It doesn't get any easier - mobile phones have helped - it's still a long, lonely, isolating, tiring, frustrating time full of worry. The only time I'm not worried is when I'm asleep and then sometimes it's hard to get any.

People mean well sometimes but they say the most stupid things:
1. It's not on the news so it must be quiet where he is
2. If you didn't see him on the news then he must be OK
3. What does he do in the evenings over there? Does he go out?
4. He'll have a great tan when he gets home
5. Does he watch the telly?
6. Won't be long now and he'll be home, the time is flying in
7. Are you not worried?
8. Can't he e-mail you?
9. Why don't you just tell him not to go?
10. I'd leave hime if I were you, he's very selfish
11. He'll bring you home something nice

I deeply resent being told by civvies "What did you expect? You married a soldier after all". They haven't earned the right to say that to me. They haven't sat waiting for phonecalls from the far side of the planet - 90 seconds on a sat phone - after a messy contact "I'm OK. I love you. Bye". They haven't been to funerals where I have to try to say something reassuring to the wife standing beside her husbands coffin. I'm looking at her thinking "I'm so sorry but I'm so glad it's you and not me". And I know what she's thinking looking at me "Why wasn't it you instead of me?"

When the washing machine floods, when central heating packs up, when I get a flat tyre, when the bank rings - it's not the same as civvie street. My husband isn't coming home in the evening - he's not going to walk in the door at 10 past 6. I can't share the worry with him either. He has enough on his plate worrying about the care and welfare of those with him and the responsibility of bringing them home in one piece to their families. When he rings I can't bitch about all the things that are going wrong - he doesn't need to know, he can't do anything about it anyway so there's no point. And it's not going to make his day any better - it will distract him and could get him killed or someone else he's responsible for. He can wait until he gets home to find out about the mortgage and that the car is on its last legs.

It's not the same as civvie street. When he comes home from overseas - I'm usually the last to get a hold of him. He's dragged around to meet all the rellies "This is the guy I was telling you about" to all the Mums and Dads, girlfriends, photos with the babies that were born when their Dads were overses. And then it all seems worth it. I've seen Mums grab his hand and just keep saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you" over and over again. I've seen Dads - even ex-service - stand there mumbling through tears "Thanks mate". Then I feel guilty for all the anger and resentment I've had towards him when I've missed him so much it hurts.

He makes a difference. Everyday in some part of the world in some small way, a soldier has made a difference to someone's life. His job actually counts for something. My husband has done 22 years and each of those years has made a difference to someone somewhere. I'm proud of him and I will support him. He's not going to get a big cash bonus, he doesn't have a big office in a big office block somewhere, he doesn't play golf, he won't close the "big deal" by the end of the week, he doesn't have the flash car. But we do have a nice home and we appreciate it all the more for not being together as much as we like. We value things that civvies have long forgotten - eating a meal at home together, shopping together, just going for a walk, carpet on the hall stairs - finally!

Army wives can do nearly everything on their own - we don't need patronising sympathy. But we do need support.
Absolutely spot on. During my last optour my wife had had a really bad day and sounded off on the telephone that night. I felt helpless because I could not be there to help and knew that I wouldn’t be for a couple of months. Wives get taken for granted and it is easy to concentrate on the optour and its events and forget that for a wife left behind it can be pretty stressful and often with no support. My in-laws were useless and the only support my wife got was from her friends on the patch. I too raise my glass to the ladies - God bless them for we would be stuffed without them> :)
 
#18
Thanks for that Aul Wan, I'll try to say something a bit more sensible to my daughter in law (who is an Army Wife) in future.
Glad I caught up with this website (eventually!)

You and all the other Wives are doing a fantastic job especially in these times of overstretch. It's just up to coffin dodgers like me to appreciate it.
 
#19
Careful him and his sound recordist wife arent swingers :D ;-)
 

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