In the wake of recent events around the world, the support and closeness of our "family" of State Dept personnel and fellow expats of other nations who live here in Dhaka with us has been overflowing. Each time there is news of another demonstration, another flag burning or information about yet another embassy/consulate coming under fire, a sickening feeling comes over. It's hard to describe how emotional it is to see the irrational events unfold, but we feel sadness for the state of world this week. We feel concern for the safety of our State Department and military family abroad.
In our house, we talk often about what "should go down" when an emergency presents itself. We know where to meet, we know where our rendezvous points are, we know who is responsible for whom, and we know what to pack should we have to leave suddenly. We rehearse these drills and understand what is at stake.
I don't profess to be a quiet spouse. On many occasions, one can hear me sass or nag my husband. And though it won't happen on a regular day, at times of crisis, I am quick to morph into a subservient wife. If Chris said "know your place woman", he'd hear a earful of backlash from his heckling comment, but when it's necessary, he knows that I know my place. He knows I support him and his service to our country with every breath in me.
A State Dept spouse's/partner's most important asset for the US government is to hold down the home front so their spouse/partner can do their job. Our spouses/partners have an essential job to perform, and so do we. Not always an easy job to keep the mindset to perform, but of the utmost importance. We must keep our home life calm and secure. Their minds need to be on the tasks at hand, to be in the game, and not worrying about what is happening at home or if their family is ok. His mind needs to be focused, not distracted.
So to all spouses/partners holding down the home front, please keep it up. Your other half needs your confidence and quiet support to do their job to the very best of their ability. And the job of diplomats and service members abroad is a vital one for the sustenance of the freedoms we have as Americans.