It's the sight of a police officer with a glistening badge on his chest and handcuffs dangling from his hip. Firemen wearing heavy black bunker gear in big red trucks—even recent footage of Navy Seal Team 6 propelling from helicopters in Pakistan has an effect. Like many women with a penchant for men in uniform, I stop and stare.
When asked why these men are enticing, some quip it's the clothes (who wouldn't want a modern-day Superman?), while others find deeper meaning, reasoning it's the integrity and courage they possess that transfer to the household. My response: all of the above with emphasis on the latter. Bringing Home The Troops: 7 Reasons To Date A Military Man
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Ever since my late teens, when infidelity led to the demise of my parents' marriage, I began gravitating toward these uniformed men, dating firemen, police officers, a Marine and a war veteran along the way before eventually marrying a (now-retired) serviceman. My addiction to this breed, I concluded, was because valor and respect were both visible (the uniform) and invisible (their yearning to achieve excellence through commitment). According to Psychologist and Relationship Expert, Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D., "The 'uniform' may signify that the man is able to manage life's troubles. We all want those to whom we are attached to be able to stay solid when we are a mess so that we can count on them. It spells safety and security."
Besides protection, I longed for a group of tight-knit friends. Being with a man in uniform allowed me to enter a social realm where the camaraderie amongst servicemen extends to the women. Annual functions like picnics, holiday parties, and formal dances helped birth these friendships.
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"I look forward to dinner dances," says Judy, a longtime girlfriend of a firefighter. "It's a chance to dress up and dine at a classy restaurant with my love. It's also an opportunity to catch up with the ladies."
Members of these agencies and their families often become an extension of one's family. In my experience, these friendships have helped repair my once fractured home front; the communal aspect of "uniformed dating" fulfilling another need.