Location: Germany

Friday, March 18, 2005

Being Married to a Soldier-Part One (Emotional Rollercoaster)

Many people have asked what it's like to be an army wife, so I'm going to do a little blog series on being married to the military (yes, it's that bad).

When the man left for basic training after college graduation, I was a wreck (that's when I bought Raskolnikov). Everyone told me that the six months of seperation for basic training and OCS would be the worst part of the man's military career. Wrong. So, so very wrong. When he was gone, I had a job--a great one actually, working at the Liturgical Press. My family was only an hour and a (cheap) phone call away. I had friends around. To make a long story short, I was a brand new army wife with a wonderful support network.

Then I moved to Georgia. I was excited at first--I had never lived anywhere where it was warm in the winter. And I was going to get to live with my husband again. There was a honeymoon period after arriving, but then reality struck. My husband is in the army, and we are at war right now. So I didn't have a job (wait for part two for an explanation of that one) but I did have to figure out army everything. I didn't know where to shop, I didn't know what any of the acronyms meant, and I couldn't figure out how to get a throat culture in under three weeks at the army hospital. On top of this, the man was gone training a lot. So, I thought being alone in MN was hard. Yeah right. I couldn't wait for the man to get a permanent duty station so I could put down some roots and make friends. (A lot more went on during our time in GA, but I don't want to bore you to death).

In October we were due to leave for Germany. Wait, the man, not me--I had to stay behind and take care of the move. After a week of sleeping on the floor, I boarded a Delta flight to Germany with two suitcases and two cat carriers. When we arrived at our apartment, I crashed. I'd never been so exhausted in my entire life. After a month in Germany, the man deployed to the desert (of course)--and I thought being alone in GA was least the people there spoke english--well, bad english, but english nonetheless.

Someone asked me once what it was like to be a military wife. Well, I thought I about it for a minute and then replied that it's just like any other person's life, except the highs are higher and the lows are lower. When the man came back from the desert, I couldn't remember ever being so happy. On the other hand, when he left, I don't think I've ever felt that kind of terror.

It's cool being able to live in cool places and, well, that's about it. I have grown through all of this, and I think it's made me a more compassionate person. I have a deep respect for everyone in the military and thier families because now, I've been there. After this experience I could never criticise a foriegner living in the US for thier lack of english skills--I know how scary it is to know that nobody understands you. Most of all though, I have had an opportunity to step outside the life of a 9-5 job and regular family life and to contemplate what really matters in this world. My god, my man, and my family and friends. That's all.


Blogger hil said...

Thanks, I'm a new army wife. Nice to hear first hand knowledge to help prepare for my journey ahead. Like wise, I'm trying to join my husband in Germany.

9:57 AM  

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