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Commentary: A Marine Wife Tells of Impact of War years.

  • By Virginia A Cisneros

The author is a former Rosemead resident and wife of Col. Philip C. Cisneros, Ret.
During the Vietnam war, our Marines once again left for another conflict such as Korea. We were very young when my husband fought the war in Korea.
This time it was Vietnam. For most of us we were much older, and facing another separation from our husbands. In our family the children were grown up, the oldest one in college, a couple in High School, and the 2 younger ones in elementary school.

Once again, the fear of war was upon us.
When I was a young girl, I saw that (same fear) when our military came home after the 2nd World War ended.
Family members and friends returned home after being gone 3 and 4 years fighting the wars in the South Pacific, Europe and North Africa.
I began to see the women change into another breed of women. Not “just a Housewife”, but women taking full responsibility of their families as homemakers and in the workforce. Not realizing that the biggest challenge would occur when their husbands and sons finally came home.
Some didn’t come home. Some of the men came home with broken spirits and bodies. Some marriages were shattered. For many the scars of war were to remain with them forever.
Now, here I was experiencing all the anxieties they felt as their husbands left and when they returned. I was one of the lucky ones. My husband came home to us. Physically, he was fine, mentally…the perils of war took its share of pain.
As we did after the war in Korea, we worked on what was before us, love for each other and our family and grateful to the almighty for all our blessings.
The years seemed to pass by quickly and we found ourselves in our eighties! My mighty warrior and I so very thankful to have each other…still laying down, getting up, perhaps a little slower. We are thankful that our beloved Marine Corps is nearby.
Many of the senior veteran’s wives have survived the perils of war and are now facing the perils of age and illness. Being caregivers for their ailing warriors, they are still the wife by the side of their Marine.
Yes, as the years crept up, even though they survived the wars, their Marine’s health has taken its toll.
I received this message many years ago… A veteran is someone who at one point in his life wrote a blank check made “payable to the United States of America for the amount of “up to and including my life.” In my book, the wife co-signed that check!
As we celebrate the 238th Marine Corps Birthday, we offer hugs and wishes A happy birthday to all wives of senior veterans.
(Editor’s Note: This article was written for the Marine Corps Birthday in November and published in military publications.)

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