[NATS: Open it!]
WHEN ELYSIA NG DEPLOYED TO BAHRAIN IN 2007, HER HUSBAND FOUND A WAY TO KEEP HER CLOSE BY FOR THEIR DAUGHTER, CLEMENTINE.
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SOT MITJA NG-BAUMHACKL, CIVILIAN HUSBAND: I basically made this laminated life-sized version of my wife.
MITJA NG-BAUMHACKL IS PART OF A SMALL GROUP OF CIVILIAN HUSBANDS MARRIED TO WOMEN ON ACTIVE DUTY. HIS WIFE IS A LIEUTENANT COMMANDER WITH THE NAVYS JAG CORPS.
SOT MITJA NG-BAUMHACKL: People are not used to the image of first off maybe with men staying at home taking care of their children, but on top of it male spouses of military enlisted or officers is less, ya know, its not very common.
SOT SUE HOPPIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR SPOUSE OUTREACH, MILITARY OFFICERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA: I think the stereotype of the military spouse is a woman whos holding down the homefront.
MEN ARE A MINORITY ON THE HOMEFRONT.
ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, MORE THAN 624,000 CIVILIAN WOMEN ARE MARRIED TO MEN ON ACTIVE DUTY. THATS COMPARED WITH ONLY ABOUT 47,000 CIVILIAN HUSBANDS.
SOT MITJA NG-BAUMHACKL: Whenever you look at, ya know, you try to find information there is none specifically tailored to men. But I think many of the issues are the same. Theres an element of being invisible though.
SOT SUE HOPPIN: I think its more difficult for them to find other males to bond with because I think some issues are universal, regardless of whether youre male or female, but sometimes you just want to go have a beer instead of going to the tea or the luncheon.
CLARENCE NORTON SAYS HE WAS WELL-SERVED BY THE MILITARYS SUPPORT SYSTEM DURING HIS WIFES DEPLOYMENTS WITH THE NATIONAL GUARD TO BOSNIA AND KUWAIT.
SOT CLARENCE NORTON, CIVILIAN HUSBAND: They reached out to us just like they would a female.
SOME MILITARY HUSBANDS LIKE NG-BAUMHACKL ARE REACHING OUT TO ONE ANOTHER ONLINE.
SOT MITJA NG-BAUMHACKL: Its just sort of the common connection that youre the odd duck.
SOT CLARENCE NORTON: There are times Im saying like maybe it should be the other way around where shes at home and youre in the military and youre out and about going to different deployments and stuff like that, but ya know it is what it is and Ive accepted that.
SHARON NORTON SAYS HER HUSBAND STANDS HIS GROUND WHEN CONFRONTED WITH GENDER STEREOTYPESBUT SHE ADMITS LEAVING HIM TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR HOME WAS DIFFICULT.
SOT SHARON NORTON, SERVICE MEMBER, NATIONAL GUARD: I really worried because ya know to make marriage as great as it is, it takes the two and the weaknesses and the strengths make the puzzle pieces match.
KEEPING THOSE PUZZLE PIECES TOGETHER IS SOMETHING NORTON AND NG-BAUMHACKL ARE SKILLED AT, WHETHER OR NOT THEIR WIVES ARE AT HOME.
[NATS: Ta da!]
FOR UPI.COM, IM MELISSE HINKLE
We are not trying to pull civilian malemilitary spouses "off the mountain" or "into the light."
We are here, if you need us.
You are not alone.