So…here are some random thoughts while I can’t sleep. This may make no sense to anyone but me, but it helps for me to get my thoughts down. 🙂
It’s crazy and cool to me how quickly the Army becomes your whole world and your fellow families become like your extended family. Don’t get me wrong…you still love your relatives that you were born or married into, but there’s another very different bond that forms. It can be easy to let lines like Officer/Enlisted, different MOS’, different units get in the way, but aren’t we all in this together? You quickly start wondering why do people put each other down and not be there to support one another even more? So far I think my husband’s new unit is going to very good about that (although our old one is getting better!) and i’m anxious to develop friendships that last a lifetime. With the Army it is VERY much so that you get out what you put in. It is what you make of it. If you choose to have “nothing to do” with anything military related or refuse to associate with anyone outside of your comfort zone, you are going to miss out on some great opportunities. I say, don’t close the door on anything until you’ve tried it!
It’s also VERY clear to see that marriages go one of two ways in the military. Either the back to back deployments/TDY’s/PCS’ break your relationship or they make your marriage so tight that NOTHING can come in between. One of these takes little to no effort…the other takes daily work from BOTH parties. Yes, if you love someone, it’s a job that you love doing. But let’s face it, those things I mentioned are all very trying and testing on a relationship. It’s very difficult to deal with your spouse being away ALL the time…especially when you don’t have family around. Conversely, it’s way more difficult (in my humble opinion) to be the one constantly leaving and missing out on all of these moments in your family’s lives. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to walk on to that plane or bus and say goodbye to everything you love to fight on foreign soil. This is where developing a good support system comes into play. You need people to be your rock when you need it and a shoulder to cry on…or tell you to suck it up and snap out of it if need be. Or maybe it’s your turn to help out someone else that needs it. Truth is, no one truly understands until they’ve lived it…and each unit/MOS is a different world. This goes for the service member AND the spouse.
Like many things in life, the ARMY life can be full of roller coasters. There are some things that are SO exciting to me since I grew up in this life. I LOVE the PCS-ing, and not knowing where we’ll have lived and adventured in the next 17 years of my husband’s career. I love the experiences that our children will be afforded that most civilian children never will. I love the friendships/family that you build at each duty station and the bonds that form. On the down side, I hate deployments. I hate missing important events in our extended families’ lives and I hate when we have to miss each other’s. I hate that loneliness that I feel right when I get in bed at night and look at his empty, cold spot next to me. I hate when I wake up and he’s not there to kiss me goodbye before he goes to PT. I hate when I can’t shake the feeling of knowing he’ll leave again soon. But I love the feeling of homecoming and getting that “first kiss” again…and falling in love ALL over again. And I LOVE that it makes me appreciate every small moment that I get with him by my side!! I have truly learned to “Live every day as if he deploys tomorrow”, because in the Army…he just might.
My prayer is that I can be the kind of wife that my husband so deserves. I want to always be there to lift him up, support him, pray for him, and be his rock no matter what. It’s no longer his or my needs but OUR needs. The Army takes precedence over most things, however, and the mission always comes first. I hope that even on the loneliest nights that I can always remember this.
In the end, there is nothing better than knowing that we are part of such a special love. That’s all that matters. We have each other!! No matter how many bitter goodbyes and oh, so sweet homecomings we have in this marriage….we will ALWAYS have each other. And for that, I can never thank God enough!
So bring on this next part of the journey!