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Hoping for some advice...
When Sam I first met, I had no idea he had served in the military. A few months into our friendship he wore a faded red USMC t-shirt but never said a word and neither did I. After years volunteering at the local VA back home and being from a military family, I learned that it's best to wait for the service man/woman to bring up the topic of their service. Even if I had questions, I would save them until I knew they were comfortable enough to bring up the subject. Looking back now the only time my PaPa brought up his time in Korea was when they found his brothers remains in 2005 and we got a letter from the Army and a purple heart for his brother Daniel. After a year, Sam and I began dating and in that time I had heard him talk about serving in the military a few times with friends over beers but he never spoke with me about it directly. Til this day all I really know is what I've over heard him saying to other people. When I ask why he doesn't want to talk to me about it, his response is "I don't want you knowing what I had to do while I was over there." I try to reassure him that it won't change the way I feel about him or make me lose respect for him but he still refuses to tell me. I know I'm not the only person who he refuses to talk about his service with, our roommate, who is a retired marine mentioned that Sam just doesn't want to talk about it with him. But at the same time, he is willing to open up to other people. Part of the issue I think is how his service in the USMC ended. I'm not trying to be disrespectful in any way when I say this so I'll just say it. The long story short is, he is a trained sniper, they trained him to kill and that's what he did. When his last mission ended he was told he would be given a medical discharge and pretty much thank you and goodbye. When he refused to take the medical discharge they dishonorably discharged him and that was that. I know he carries a heavy burden from this, like he gave everything to his country and they turned their back on him. His Mom was the source of this info, and has told me to just give him time and maybe one day he will want to open up. We've now been together 2 years and nothing has changed, in certain situations with certain people he will talk about it a little, but that's about it. I guess I'm just wondering is this is a common occurrence between military men and their significant other? I know there is a certain level of confidentiality between military personnel and Uncle Sam and I don't want him to tell me every who, what, when, where, why and how involved in those 9 years. Maybe I need to just let it go?