**Editor’s note: This is an opinion piece and does not necessarily indicate the views of this organization. We hope to be a voice to all spouses.
I write this anonymously out of fear of reprisal. Reprisal in the form of hate, misunderstanding, and unjustified judgment.
As a conservative military spouse, I like so many others have spent the last four years in hiding. It took only one moment for me to stash away any political standing I had. Placing it in a box that is never allowed to show itself in any way. All it took was a few fellow spouses at my sons’ bus stop at our last military base discussing President Trump’s recent win. I stood there astonished and awkwardly quiet as one of them said, “I pray to God that no one in this neighborhood voted for that man. Those types of people are radical and racists. I seriously fear for our lives, especially for my children!”
As they all agreed, I knew at that moment I was no longer living in the patriotic, loving, and understanding America that I had grown up in. The thought that anyone could see me as someone filled with so much hate was a feeling I had not felt before, judged for something that was not even remotely true. The values and the principles I stood for were blocked out by something that contradicted it all. An opinion they had formed without even knowing they were judging someone standing right next to them.
Although I had been living this military life for over a decade, it was changing vastly before my eyes. I had realized that our patriotic souls that kept all of us military spouses connected no longer mattered to some.
That the deep understanding of knowing what each other was facing from watching our spouses go off to war had less meaning. A strong line had been drawn, and no longer were you safe to openly support your spouse’s Commander and Chief.