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What Does It Mean To Be An Army Wife? (Part Three)

These stories were submitted by site visitors. Enjoy!

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As submitted by Paige Feliciano

Hello everyone! It is so great to be able to share my feelings and thoughts with other army wives that can understand what I am going through. Lately I have felt so alone through this roller coaster of military life.

My husband joined the army November of last year..so I’m actually pretty new to this. However, in this year I have went through so much trying to understand the principles of being an army wife.

The whole idea of him joining the military came along when we found out I was pregnant it June. On top of that, we had both just turned 18..We had just graduated from high school and neither of us had a job or was attending college.

At the time we weren’t married. My husband, Nicholas, decided that joining the military would be the best thing for our daughter’s future. So in November he left for boot camp. It was very hard without him there through my pregnancy. The worst part of it was his graduation date was my due date. And wouldn’t you know our daughter arrived on exactly that day. So I wasn’t able to attend his graduation, and he wasn’t able to experience the birth of our child.

That was only one of the many obstacles I have encountered through this
experience. He was not able to meet our daughter until she was 2 months old since he was only in AIT at the time. I found myself angry at him at times because I was taking care of Natasha, our daughter, all by myself. And me being a new mother it was very hard. Our daughter had complications with her stomach and was very colicky. I got no sleep and was very depressed. And it would upset me when I would call him and he would be at the movies or hanging out drinking on the weekends when I was sitting at home trying to find any way to stop our daughter from crying.

However, I was not thinking of his feelings at the same time. I didn’t realize how much he was actually going through and how much he would rather be at home helping me with her. And how badly he wished he could be able to spend more time with her. It was very hard on him to miss her birth. I
think that was the hardest thing in the beginning.

In May we got a place together on base. I was finally starting to get used to
our house and cooking and cleaning. I loved the lifestyle we had. I had just
started to get everything into place and then he received orders to ship to Iraq on the first of November this year. So I decided to come back home with my family considering the fact that I hadn’t met anyone where he was stationed. So we had to pack everything up all over again.

It is so hard for me to go through this right now. It is our daughters first
Christmas. Her first birthday is in a month. He will miss her first step. And
the hardest part is imagining how he must feel. I hate that he is out there.
Alone. With no family for the holidays. But I’m trying my hardest to keep my head up and support him in every way possible. I send care packages galore! I write him a letter every single day. I hear from him once a week at least. It is great to hear his voice. Sometimes he sounds a little down but I always reassure him of how much I love and miss him. And the most important thing to do is always tell him I’m proud of him for what he’s doing.

It is very hard being a military wife at times but I made this decision and I
wouldn’t give it up for anything. Our anniversary is on the 26th of December. We got married when he came home from break when he was in training. And we have been together 5 years since October. I am going to hold on to him and support him through whatever may come our way. In the end there will be a reward somehow. God will make sure that everything falls into place.

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As submitted by Yelbis

I am filled with a pride that I never knew before because of what my husband does.  I attending meetings, and that is only when he is able to be here with us. It means I will spend countless days and nights alone raising our children, but I don’t complain to my husband.

Being a military wife gives me a double sense of great pride and honor.  I first feel proud to have married such a wonderful, gorgeous man with such a good heart and values who understands and accepts the responsibility of a family so readily.  These qualities alone would be enough to stay in his corner for the rest of my life, but adding to this is the sense of pride I have in him for being altruistic. It takes someone very, special willing to make the kind of every day sacrifices for his country, particularly when many have no idea just how far reaching those sacrifices can be.  I’m glad my husband come back home safe after his turn in Iraq.

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As submitted by Jennifer

Being a military spouse means that life stands still when the commander speaks at an FRG meeting. Being a military wife means rumors become not just an annoyance but a form of subconscious truth and change. Being a military wife means being the man when the man can’t be. It means being a Daddy, a Mommy, and a friend. It means helping your children understand that the man who comes and goes so often is not just a friend or a lover, but a father and a husband. He doesn’t just get angry and quiet, but he cries and laughs. The sacrifices of a military family are endless, and only understood (in the truest for of the word) by those that are in the same position. The worries are uninterrupted. The changes are the only constant thing you have in your life…..except for the love. The LOVE proves it’s strength time and time again. It reaches across deserts, it floats over bullets. It seeps out of packages and transmits over telephones. It acts as the glue that keeps the frustrated wife hanging on. It is the only reason, sometimes, for waiting so long. It connects those few that share common ground. It allows that fleeting glimpse of happiness, that light in all of the darkness….the light that is possible because of the women involved, the children involved, the men involved. The light that is possible because of us, military wives.

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by Amber

I was hoping to find some supportive stories on this discussion board, and it looks like I am looking for something I already have and many lack. My husband I got married on Dec. 4, 2007. We have been together since we were 15 and 16. We have an amazing little boy and know we are very blessed.

Although things are tight I am loving my life as an Army wife. Since I was 17 I have held down a full time job and gone to school full time. My life was crazy, hectic and I felt like I was 20 going on 60 with all the responsibility I had. My husband (boyfriend at the time) was supported by his father, he had NO concept of what I was going through or the stress I was under. He lived a very carefree lifestyle, full of friends and partying. I guess its true when they say opposites attract.

In June of 2007 our son was born and man did things change (mostly for him, lol). He became an excellent father and caretaker. He was on his way to becoming a firefighter. When that was put on hold, he pushed on. He over came HUGE obstacles and did what he had to for our family. On January 3, 2008 he went to Ft. Knox for OSUT (one station unit training). He has worked extremely hard and it is showing.

After months of only being able to verbally speak for a few moments on Sundays and a ton of written letters, I was able to visit him after the completion of his BCT. He is still at Knox and I won’t see him again until May, but I have so much adoration and love for him. When I think of what he is doing for our family and everyone else’s I am filled with so much pride
It’s true being away does have it’s down fall, like lonely nights and some wishful thinking or what if moments. The best thing to do is really keep busy, with a 9 month old that’s not too hard to do, thank God. But when it comes down to it no matter how lonely my nights feel or all the future what-if’s I can’t help but thank my husband for all he has done. I now get to stay home with our baby, its like we traded places.

The Army has turned him into a man with integrity, morals, and a man with a sense of self worth. No matter how many moves we make or how frustrating the whole process can be (and trust me it has been, don’t get me wrong) in my heart and mind I know we can make it through anything together and we will, Home is where the Army sends us.

Take care and stay positive.

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by Mary

So glad you asked. It means happily being next in line, because you stand behind your Soldier and his way of life.

My parents taught me to go to bed on time, and Army life changed that to I’ll hit the rack ASAP, but right now I need to get the house squared away for the movers to come in tomorrow.

You have people telling you how wrong “this war” is and they expect you to agree. After all, your sweetheart is gone on Valentines day most of the time. When you smile and say you believe in what your husband does, you get the eye-roll, even from family. We are not the first generation of military wives to experience it and we won’t be the last. So tell your sister in law to quit the worrying and get to praying if she’s upset. We don’t have the option of grumbling and hand wringing with those nay-sayers.
You teach your children about the children of the other countries who need their daddy over there to help build a life like we know here. You fill up with pride when your kids get it and they realize that it’s worth the temporary absence. It teaches them to share the most important things in their world, with the world.

It means seeing a uniform and feeling connected to that stranger, because he or she is a part of your life in some way. When I drove past a graduation and saw families lined up from the door to the road while Bryan Adams’ Everything I do (I do it for you) played on the radio, tears absolutely poured down my face. Tears of pride and joy, for the new Soldiers and their supportive families. I may not meet even one but odds are I will, and never even know it.

It also means that maybe for the first time in your life, you will make friends with someone of another race, nationality or religion because military life is an infusion of people from all over the world. You will go to a company picnic on a mandatory fun day, and discover foods that you never would have imagined in your old neighborhood because potential new friends from Georgia or Germany are there to share the day and a meal with you.

It means running into someone you used to know at another post and being amazed that their 6 month old is actually 12 years old now. Has it really been that long when it feels like yesterday? Ah honey, that was four moves ago.

Being a military wife means holding panic and tears at bay until he finally makes it back home, then breaking down while he’s sleeping next to you again.

It is my life and I’m glad I get to share it with women like you who understand what I’m feeling even if nobody else does.

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by Alyse

Being an army wife means having to keep a strong open mind about everything your soldier says and does, being an army wife means never being able to plan a vacation because you don’t have enough leave yet, being an army wife means having to wait until the 1st and 15th of everything month in order to run over to the closest WalMart and buy some new clothes for yourself or get those groceries you have been waiting for since the 10th of the month, being an army wife means some long nights away from each other and a baby that’s all yours, being an army wife is telling your child when they ask where daddy is to always say he is at work, being an army wife is meeting some of the best women in the world who will become the best friends you have ever had, being an army wife is waiting out those long deployments but in the end when he walks off that plane and in to your arms, you know everything was worth it, deployments are hard on all of us and that long training before is even harder but we are some of the strongest women in the world and because of that GOD made us ARMY WIVES.

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by JoAnna

What does it mean to me to be a military wife? My husband and I have been married for almost three years now. He had already been in the service for 4 years when we first began to date. He knew what it meant to be separated, to be lonely, to be strong, and to be hopeful about the next reunion. I on the other hand had never even stepped foot on a military base. All I knew was that these guys sure did look cute in their uniforms. But now I find myself in this relationship with a full time solider and part time husband. Every single day is a new learning experience for me. Not only have I figured out what it means to be a supportive army wife I am able to see the silver lining around our separation. I went the first 2 and half years of our marriage being spoiled by our nights of endless cuddling, talking, and the over all connection we were able to form. Never once did I have to roll over in bed and remind myself that he was gone and hug a pillow in his absences. Here I am now blinded by separation and the pain it wedges into your heart and marriage.

My job and role as a military wife has taken on a new meaning. I went so long living in the civilian world with such an inaccurate view of what the military really does for and to a family and marriage. I went about my day without ever having to worry about whether or not my husband was in harms way. We ate dinner together, had our Sunday mornings together and some days I even took our time together for granted in those first 2 years. I was married to a solider but didn’t have an understanding of what being an Army wife meant just yet. Well, now I know, it means holding together the world you created with your husband together without him. It means being comfortable enough in your world to take on the multiple roles that are automatically placed on when they leave while remaining grateful for all you have. Being happy and staying positive when all you want to do is stay in bed with the shades drawn and pretend the world couldn’t possibly still be spinning when your other half is MIA.

NO being a military spouse is something so big you can’t even recognize how large the task at hand is until it is complete. I know the world does go round even when my husbands gone and that his physical absence doesn’t mean his love is absent. Even though a lot has been done and said that could suggest other wise, but when the day is over I know the stress of the military will not break this bond at least not today and I will do my damndest to ensure that we survive it again tomorrow and the next day and for all our years to come even after we wave the Army good bye and go about our marriage with our long nights of endless longing for one another are over.

I am proud to me a military wife and even prouder to know that God has chosen me to endure this task. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything because it makes me who I am today – a strong, supportive, and optimistic woman with a strong exterior and soft heart for all those who share this life.

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by Kristin

Most of us have our lives on hold as we follow our husbands around the country and stand behind them 100%, even if sometimes it means we have to be unhappy so he can continue to do the one thing he has decided to dedicate his life too (besides us). Of course you need to be independent, patient, spontaneous, giving, caring, understanding, willing to move at the drop of a hat…etc. That’s all true, but all too often complained about. When it all comes down I think that there is one key to being a successful military wife, the ability to love your soldier more then you love yourself. It’s the only quality you need to possess. Because if that’s truly how you feel in your heart, the rest will come easy.

About the author: This article was contributed by a visitor to the site. If you would like to contribute to the site as well, please email me.

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