A Soldier’s Wife Story – An Introduction

I write this entry in response to Cik Faye’s request, through a comment in my entry, click here, that I tell what I went through when my husband was busy flying the Nuri in the communist- infested jungles during the insurgency era. Unlike my husband who seems to thrive on history, I don’t particularly enjoy dwelling on past events for it would inevitably evoke memories, both pleasant AND unpleasant alike. When I write, more often than not, I get carried away, sometimes spilling more than I should. But, it is only proper that I tell both, the good and the bad. Apart from having to fend off the constant worries each time he flew into the jungles, there were other areas that we, as wives, had to deal with.

My association with the Air Force began in the mid 70’s when I finally joined my husband in Kuantan after completing my studies at UPM. I also started my teaching career here at Sekolah Menengah Abdul Rahman Talib, SMART for short. It was not easy being a teacher but it was tougher being a wife, a MILITARY wife, to be precise. I was not familiar with the ranking structure but I soon discovered that I, too, held the same rank as my husband. It was exciting until I realised that there were many others who held higher ranks than me. While many of these wives were nice and friendly and mingled freely regardless of their husbands’ ranks, there was not a shortage of those pompous ones, who flaunted their power without guilt or shame.

As wives, we were automatically absorbed as members of the “Wives Club” with the Base Commander’s wife acting as president. Activities were organised and members participation was COMPULSORY. While it was undeniably nobel trying to divert our worries by keeping ourselves busy and occupied with the activities organised, it became increasingly difficult for ME to keep pace with the demands of having to juggle between career and social obligation as a military wife. I played truant many times and for that, my poor husband was summoned by his boss, many times also, to explain for my poor conduct. Such was the influence and power of the Wives Club which later became known as BAKAT. It seemed terribly unfair and inappropriate to me, at that time, that my husband had to answer for MY misdeeds until I had a taste of being at the helm much later, by a twist of fate, not by virtue of being a Base Commander’s wife. My husband, in all his 25 years service, NEVER made it as a lieutenant-colonel, let alone a Base Commnder.

To be continued……….,

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11 responses to “A Soldier’s Wife Story – An Introduction

  1. An excellent piece of your thinking being transformed into writing, keep up the good work! Still waiting anxiously for the continuation……..

  2. I am not surprised that your husband did not make it to the rank of Lieutanant Colonel.
    Here are the reasons.
    1. You failed on more than one occation to give the Base Commanders wife a smart salute.
    2. You failed to join the Gossip Section of the wife’s club where you could have earned bonus points towards your husbands promotion.
    3. You failed to compliment how well dressed and good looking the senior officers wifes were, each time you met them. It did not matter that they were old hags with no dress sense.
    4. You did not realise that each time your husbands confidential report was written the Base Commanders had to consult his wife to check if your husband was ready for promotion.

    Well Ma’am sorry to say, that the above is the main criteria for your husbands promotion and you failed miserably. Still you and your husband can hold your heads high in that, you both neither stooped nor begged to get what was your right and as Muslims believed Rizke dalam tangan Allah (SWT)

    Allah hu Akbar

    • Col Arunzab,
      Salam. I know you are a frequent visitor to my husband’s blog. I am honoured that you could take some time off to cross over to mine. I had a good laugh reading your comments but if I remember correctly I did all those things. But he was still not promoted πŸ˜‰

  3. Salam Auntie…:-), sorry for my late reply, quite occupied with many things lately. And thanks a lot for promoting my little blog in your blog…I hope I and other WAGS to be and already WAGS can learn a lot from your sharing…it’s far from glamorous wedding under the sword barrel…it’s more than that :-), keep writing & updating Auntie! may Allah bless you, Uncle & family with good health & happiness.

  4. hmmm…yes, it crossed my mind why such a great pilot like Uncle never being promoted as Lt.Colonel and above, yet retired only as Major (still great to me :-). I’ve heard and read many luahan hati from wives that their husbands got to be punished due to their inactiveness in BAKAT.how unfair it is…but that’s life I guess…especially in military…the closest picture I can get is from series ‘Army Wives’ being aired on Channel 702 Diva. Full of venom, back stabbing and such.

  5. Cik Faye,

    Your name reminds me of the famous and glamorous Hollywood star during my era, Faye Dunaway πŸ™‚ I visited your blog immediately after you suggested that I write about my experiences. I saw a young lady with a keen interest in the military. Hope you will be a BAKAT member soon.

    I really don’t know what life is like in the Air Force now. During my time, husbands were NEVER punished for their wives’ mistakes. Husbands were called up to ADVISE their wives. Sometimes, he was given a lengthy lecture on the importance of getting the wife to be an active member. Of course, I resented when my husband was called up but I soon became immuned to it.

    Jealousy and back stabbing are part and parcel of life. It happens everywhere, not just within the Armed Forces. There’s no escaping it. Remember, only the selected ones are previleged to become a BAKAT member πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to getting more comments from you.

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