Military Family Support title
Military Family Support Suppliment

The Truth About Geese

In the fall, when you see geese in a V formation, heading back south for the winter, you might be interested to know why they fly that way. Scientists have learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% flying range more than if each bird were on its own.
  • Basic Truth #1: Those who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they travel on the thrust of one another's effort. Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels drag and air resistance from trying to do it alone. It quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

  • Basic Truth #2: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same as we are. When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back to the wind and another flies point.

  • Basic Truth #3: It pays to take turns on hard jobs.The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep their speed.

  • Basic Truth #4: We need to be careful of what we say when we honk from behind. Finally, when a goose gets sick or is wounded and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow it down to provide help and protection. They stay with it until it is either able to fly or is dead, then set out to catch up with their flock, flying on their own or with another group.

  • Basic Truth #5: If we have the sense of a goose, we will always stand by one another.

What is an Army Wife?

What is an Army wife? An Army wife is mostly girl, though there are times, when her husband is away and she is mowing the lawn that she begins to suspect she is also BOY.

She usually comes in three sizes: petite, plump - and pregnant. During the early years of her marriage it is often hard to determine which size is her normal one. She has babies all over the world, and she measures time in terms of places, as other women do in years. "It was at Leavenworth that we all had the mumps." "In Tokyo, Don was promoted ..."

At least one of her babies is born, or one transfer is accomplished, while she is alone, causing her to suspect a secret pact between her husband and the Army, which provides for a man to be overseas or on temporary duty at these times.

An Army wife is international. She may be an Iowa farm girl, a French mademoiselle, a Japanese doll, or an ex-Army nurse. When discussing their Army problems, they speak the same language.

She can be a great actress. Watching her children's heartbreak at transfer time, she gives an Academy Award performance: "Arizona is going to be such fun! I hear they have Indian reservations, and tarantulas, and RATTLESNAKES ..." But her heart is breaking with theirs, and she wonders if this Army life is worth the sacrifice.

One day later, en route to the new assignment and filled with a spirit of adventure, she knows it is. That is, if the baby hasn't come down with a virus, or the twins with the measles.

An ideal Army wife has the patience of an angel, the flexibility of putty, the wisdom of a scholar, and the stamina of a horse. If she dislikes money, it helps.

She loves to gripe. (Why shouldn't the commissary bag my groceries like the supermarkets?") She lets off steam, and then goes back to bagging them again.

She is sentimental, carrying her memories with her in an old footlocker. She often cries at parades, without knowing why. She is a dreamer: "We'll never move again!" an optimist: "The next place will be better!" a realist: "Oh, well, as long as we're together."

You might say she is a bigamist - sharing her husband with a demanding other entity called "Duty." When Duty calls, she becomes the number 2 wife, and until she accepts this fact her life can be miserable.

She is many persons. She is the tired traveler coming down the gangplank with a smile on her lips, love in her eyes, and a new baby in her arms. She is the general's wife smiling in a reception line until her cheeks ache. She is the foreign bride in a strange American world. She is, above all, a woman who married a soldier who offered her the permanence of a gypsy, the miseries of loneliness, the frustrations of conformity - and the security of love.

Sitting among her packing boxes, with children squabbling nearby, she is sometimes willing to chuck it all - until she hears the firm step and cheerful voice of that lug who gave her all this. And then she is happy to be ... HIS Army wife.

A True Army Wife is Someone Who.

  • Can put 8 rooms of furniture into a 5 room apartment.

  • Has 20 pairs of drapes and none of them fit the living room windows.

  • Can emerge sane from one motel room after spending two week over Christmas with four kids who all have the chicken pox.

  • Can, in one weeks' time, pick up a house full of furniture, pile four kids, two dogs, a cat, three hamsters, a bird and six suitcases into a station wagon, drive all the way cross country and still greet her husband with a smile. (From desperation I would think).

  • Doesn't even blink when she gets to Germany and finds out that her household goods are in Japan.

  • Has all of her kids in different states (she gets extra points for different countries).

  • Answers you in Spanish, when you speak to her in German.

  • Pulls out her ID card when she goes into Superfoods.

  • Finds something faintly wrong when she sees the same doctor in the hospital twice in a row.

  • Knows where and what Fairbanks, Alaska is, and fears it!

(Debbie Ann Stohlman, an Army Wife, lives in Wiesbaden, Germany)

By Debbie Guisti

I am an Army wife - a member of the sisterhood of women who had the courage to watch their men march into battle, and the strength to survive until their return. Our sorority knows no rank For we earn our membership with a marriage license, Traveling over miles or over nations To begin a new life with our soldier husbands.

Within days we turn a barren, echoing building into a home, And though our quarters are inevitably white walled and un-papered, We decorate with the treasures of our travels, for we shop the markets of the globe.

Using hammer and nail, we tack our pictures to the wall and our roots to the floor as firmly as if we had lived there for a lifetime. We hold a family together by the bootstraps and raise the best of 'brats,' Instilling into them the motto, "Home is Togetherness," Whether motel, or guest house, apartment or duplex.

As Army wives, we soon realize That the only good in "Good-bye" is the "Hello again," For as salesmen for freedom, our husbands are often on the road, Leaving us behind for a week, a month, an assignment. During the separation we guard the home front, Existing 'til the homecoming.

Unlike our civilian counterparts, we measure time, Not by age, but by tours ~ Married at Knox, a baby born at Bliss, a promotion in Missouri... We plant trees and never see them grow tall, Work on projects completed long after our departure, And enhance our community for the betterment of those who come after us. We leave a part of ourselves at every stop.

Through experience we have learned to pack a suitcase, a car, or hold baggage, And live indefinitely from the contents within; And though our fingers are sore from the patches we have sewn and the silver we have shined, Our hands are always ready to help those around us.

Women of peace, we pray for a world in harmony, for the flag that leads our men into battle Will also blanket them in death. Yet we are an optimistic group, Thinking of the good and forgetting the bad, Cherishing yesterday while anticipating tomorrow.

Never rich by monetary standards, our ears are overflowing With a wealth of experiences common only to those United by the special tradition of military life. We pass on this legacy to every Army bride, Welcoming her with outstretched arms, With love and friendship, from one sister to another, Sharing in the bounty of our unique, Fulfilling Army way of life.

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Foote Family Association of America
P. O. Box 418, Middlefield, CT 06455
(Last updated 6 August 2017)