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Who Should Attend Army Homecoming Ceremonies from Deployment?

Part One of Two (see part two here)

In the past few weeks, I’ve received multiple emails from Army wives asking how to handle other people wanting to be at the homecoming from deployment or when their soldier comes home for R&R. I promised to address it in a more “open” manner than just emailing a response back to them so here I am.

Now, before I begin, I realize my opinion may not be a popular one, particularly among the parents of married soldiers. But its just that – my opinion – so take it or leave it! 🙂

Also, my husband’s unit does things differently than most. For one, they don’t get R&R. So I’ve never had a happy reunion or tearful goodbye at the airport, although I’ve witnessed many.

Two, we don’t have ceremonies when they leave or return. When he leaves, I drop him off at the company area and when he returns, I just get a call where he says “I’m home, come pick me up!”.

I used to wish that we would have at least a homecoming ceremony, until I went to one for a friend. Then I was glad we don’t have them. That’s torture to have to stare at your soldier and not be allowed to run up to him!

I suppose I’ve stalled enough! So on to the real issue.

Homecoming Ceremonies Deployment

Image credit: U.S. Army

In MY opinion, only the immediate family should be there for the soldier’s return. If he’s single, then that’s his parents, siblings and fiancee or girlfriend if he has one. However, if he’s married, then his immediate family is his wife and children. I can just hear all the parents now getting ready to ream me a new one.

I realize it is hard on everyone when a soldier is deployed. I don’t have kids so obviously I’ve never had a son who deployed so I can’t speak to those emotions. But I do know that unless he moved out of his parent’s house just before the deployment then the big void laid with his immediate family – his wife and kids.

They are the ones who have dealt day to day without his presence. It is their household that was effected when he left. His wife is the one who slept in an empty bed and handled many of his responsibilities at home. His kids are the ones who no longer had their dad to tuck them in at night. And that household will also be the one that has to deal with his readjustment after he gets home.

I believe the homecoming should be for them. They should have, at the very least, a few days to reunite on their own terms without worrying about others being there. They need time to adjust and time to reconnect with each other. Not to worry about entertaining guests. My in-laws have been very respectful about this and have never come to one of his homecomings. And I am eternally grateful for that. We need that time for us.

Sadly, I’ve known many who have had to go to extremes to see that this happens such as keeping the date of the return a secret or adding two weeks to it.

To all the parents who may be reading this (and I’m sure are steaming mad now), please, at the very least, find out what the wishes of your soldier are and respect whatever it is. Dealing with a redeployment and the huge range of emotions is difficult enough without adding unneeded drama to the situation.

So there you have my opinion on the matter. And you’re more than welcome to leave comments if you wish. I’m a big girl – I can handle it!

(See part two on homecoming ceremonies)

About the author: Stacey is an Army wife of a soldier who joined in 2003. He has since been medically retired but she continues to provide information to Army wives and families to make their adjustment to the Army lifestyle easier. Connect with Stacey: Facebook Twitter Pinterest

{ 38 comments… add one }
  • Nicole May 20, 2010, 2:57 pm

    I completely agree!!! Thank you so, so much for writing this article! :]

  • Jody Golemon September 27, 2010, 10:11 am

    Ageed. Thankful my mother-in-law was am army wife herself.

  • Lacey November 3, 2010, 3:39 pm


    “It is their household that was effected when he left. His wife is the one who slept in an empty bed and handled many of his responsibilities at home.”

    spoken perfectly like a hallmark card. parents of the soldiers don’t seem to understand this!

  • Kim January 25, 2011, 9:06 am

    I completely agree with you Stacey! With the Army National Guard we had a going away ceremony for my husband before he left for training! Then he got to come home for R&R for 4 days before he actually deployed and when he deployed I just dropped him off and we said our good byes! When he came home for R&R there wasn’t a welcoming home ceremony because he isn’t technically home!!! And I just got a call saying I will be at the airport in about an hour meet me there! Now when he came home for good in March of 2010 they had a welcoming home ceremony and we were told to be there by 9pm where we sat and waited and waited and waited for oh about 2 1/2 hours!!!! It was very disappointing because we all just sitting patiently as we could be for them to return as my soldier was texting me from the airport because they had already landed they just had to check all their gear in! I HATED the welcoming home ceremony because I only got to see my husband for 45 minutes before they bused them to the base and to do DMOB processing for 5 days. And I was very disappointed because I wasn’t the only one that was there to greet him, his parents, cousins, friends of the family all came along, so in other words I didn’t get any time with him at all! I don’t think they should have welcoming home ceremonies and if they do make them after they have been home for a few weeks and have had some time to spend with the families!

  • Brian March 22, 2011, 11:15 am

    The Homecoming isn’t just about the spouse or even the kids. It’s also about the soldier. It’s not the spouse’s opinion of who should be there that matters, it is about who the soldier wants there. If there’s any question ask him or her.

    I speak from the perspective of someone close to beginning training and expecting frequent deployments. As a soldier I will be incredibly disappointed if my parents are not there when I come home, and I would be livid if my wife lied to my parents to keep them away. In my view, Homecomings are for EVERYONE to celebrate the return of the soldier, including the soldier himself. There is plenty of time for alone time with a spouse, but to deprive parents the joy of seeing their soldier return after a year of fighting in a war is simply wrong. Other soldiers may feel differently, but it is their opinion who should be solicited on this issue, nobody else’s.

    • Ann August 9, 2011, 2:55 am

      Debbie , you are the only women in hear that has that problem and maybe you should not be so involved in you son’s life and if u like to be maybe you should talk to your Son and tell hem that you fallow hes wiffe everywhere ,if you feel so angry what are you trying to proof let that be hes problem and their pain. I’m a mother of 3 Soldiers and a wife of a USMC,CO .I’m feeling good to see there is still strong women that can put up being Military spouse, strong and thinking bought your solder , This is a side for real women whom cares for her solder and doesn’t hate as much as you do. I wish you all the best and yes take your time be with your solder in the home coming , as a mother and a wife of a solder a phone call to let me know he is in the Usa. it will make my day!!!! There is to many crazy mother in lows out there so be careful and don’t let anyone be between you and your man you are One people.

    • Doreen Messner August 19, 2011, 5:06 pm

      I totally agree with you! We are very close to our son, we would honor what he would want even though it would be hard if he didn’t want us there. Praise the Lord he is not married!

    • Courtney February 25, 2012, 10:43 pm

      So, am I the only selfish one who thinks it’s not JUST up to the soldier? As a wife going through a deployment with a very over bearing intrusive MIL into her sons life, I do not want her to be there. I agreed to spend block leave visiting his family before he left, and I am happy to visit with them during block leave after he returns. Other than that, this time is for US. it is not just the service member who sacrifices, and I don’t agree that it is ultimately their choice. It’s something that needs to be discussed between a husband and wife, and the wives desires for how the homecoming should be are just as valid as the soldiers. it’s not a picknick to readjust to being a family again. The last thing I want is added stress. I have told my husband that if she is there, I will not be. And you’d better believe she has tried numerous times to guilt him into inviting her for r&r and homecoming. Of course there is a lot of background into why I feel this way.

    • Brian August 8, 2012, 1:18 pm

      Brian, I totally agree, well said. This is not about us, it is about the soldier. He or She was the one who had to give up everything and was out there risking their lives everyday and working hard to complete the mission assigned. I am a mom, but I asked my son who would he like to see at his homecoming. I invited his girlfriend, his father (we are divorced) and I am bring even his dog, per his request. Just seeing his face when he arrives and being able to see him smile when he sees our faces is enough for me. He knows we love and support him all the way. Remember, nothing that we have gone through here at home is even close to what a soldier has to go through. Let’s stop the me, me, me boohoo attitude and let’s stay focus on what they want, not on what satisfies us. It’s a long journey so lets all stick together Hoooahhh!

    • Sarah September 17, 2012, 12:55 pm

      I understand that you are getting ready to deploy. As someone who has deployed and someone’s husband does deploy quite often I wouldn’t jump to how you feel before you have even gone through it. Believe me I was all about my parents being there before I left but then the closer it got to coming home I needed and wanted time with just my husband. Especially those first few days if not just one day. Deployments are not like basic. When you graduate basic everyone should be there. Now if you live close enough and your family can go home after the homecoming instead of staying at your house that is different. My in laws thankfully are very respectful and so are my parents and completely understand. Although we just now are starting are family which I find it even more important now that it will be just his immeadiate family or when I come back from deployments just my immeadiate family (husband, kid) . You should always consider how your significant other feels there is always a way to compromise.

  • Debbie May 28, 2011, 7:13 pm

    What about parents of the deployed soldier about to returrn that had a slutty wife who screamed for a divorce, spent all the cash and bar hopped for the entire year….in between paychecks of course? I assume we are an exception even though she’ll be there?

  • Cheyene Schraft June 4, 2011, 4:38 am

    i completely agree with you on the ceremonies they are miserable and i felt like at my husbands that the buses where just going to pull up and he would have to leave every two mintues. I definately prefer immediate family only going like children and spouses. Cause it seems like you dont get any time with your spouse or loved one. my husband returns home from deployment in october and i dont know yet if they are having a welcome home. if they do i would just want to go instead of family and cousins and such.

  • Juli July 13, 2011, 11:07 am

    Thank you, I completely agree! I’m sure my mother-in-law wouldn’t, though. When we’ve done deployments, they’ve been short and I have been lucky to go alone. But I feel it wouldn’t allow us that moment of reconnecting if his mom is standing right there, waiting for him to come hug her and him feeling like he has to let me go.

  • Katelyn Staton October 26, 2011, 8:41 pm

    Going through my first deployment (other than his short GRF deployment to Haiti) I can only say that if my husband would like his family there then that is his choice. Of course deep inside I want to be selfish and say that no one else can come but if that decision would then in turn hurt/upset my husband then what good is to come out of that selfishness? As an Army wife you’re constantly waiting for that day that your soldier gets to return home and have that amazing homecoming that you’ve been thinking about every day that he has been deployed but ultimately it is the soldier who get to decide who is there; seeing as they were the one with only their comrades to see day in and day out. They are the ones who go through the true grief so if it is their choice to see the ones the love, ALL of them, then so it shall be.

  • dominique delarosa December 13, 2011, 3:31 am

    I am in complete agreement…even when you live with the parents, as I do. He have a very tight nit family and although I understand that his sisters love him and his parents..as his wife I need my alone time with him and I really hate that they are ALWAYS there. Dont get me wrong I love their help but when it comes to coming home it should be all about my soldier, my son and I…. His sisters get offened when when I say anything…how do I handle this?

  • Katie January 23, 2012, 10:35 am

    I have to agree. Homecoming is very emotional and much easier without the added drama of extra family members, especially because you and your soldier are just getting to know one another again after a year of separation. People can grow and change in a year, and it’s just that much more difficult because we are doing this separately. In the past, my soldier and I would have to keep it a secret when he was coming home from deployment, because at the slightest hint, his family would drive all the way down to see him home. However, I think that it’s something that should be discussed by the soldier and his wife as to if the soldiers’ family should be present or not, don’t just make this decision on your own. Right before my husband came home from his first deployment, he asked me if I wanted his parents and siblings there. I told him honestly, that I would prefer that it was just me and him, but it was his family in question, and he was the one coming home, so ultimately, it was his decision. He is the one that just spent a year deployed after all. He was glad that I gave him my honest feelings about it, and he decided that he would be happier if it was just him and me as well.

  • Angel April 2, 2012, 9:51 am

    I have to say that I hate homecoming ceremonies! Last deployment when they released the soldiers to their families his sister raced out and jumped on him before I could even get out of my seat. His family brought about 10 people with them and I just got pushed out of the way till they got their hugs from him first and to top it off my mother in law got mad because he had a rose for me but not one for her. It was awful! He’s on his 3rd deployment now and I asked him before he left if it could just be me and our son when he comes home. He’s worried that his family will be mad at him if we wait to tell them he’s coming home, but if we tell them when he will be home they will come no matter what our wishes are. I agree that it is my home that suffers the loss of his presence. Our son that doesn’t have his daddy everyday. I believe that they should respect our wishes and not cause drama because they don’t agree. I refuse to suffer a repeat of the last homecoming. This was our homecoming nightmare. I hope that parents and siblings realize that it doesn’t mean your soldier doesn’t love you if he ask you to wait a few days to see him. He just needs time to get used to his wife and children first. Please respect your soldiers wishes and don’t make deployment harder than it has to be.

  • Gaby April 5, 2012, 12:48 pm

    Stacey i do the same thing for my husband like you do. Just drop him off at his company and that is it. My husbands family has never really been there for him so i guess im kind of lucky to not have to share that one on one time with my husband as bad as it sounds, but now im upset at the fact that one of his units friends wife wants to be there. I don’t know how to handle it. I know my husband wants support there but like you said I and my children suffered through the deployment so i just want time with my hubby. Plus she has her husband so what the heck is she so worried about mine

  • Sara April 30, 2012, 4:41 pm

    Homecoming ceremonies are torture, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s hard no matter what, so I just do my best to show as much love and support as I possibly can. I know many military wives don’t make a big fuss over it, but it is such a huge deal to me and to my husband that I simply can’t imagine treating it like any other day.
    I don’t particularly get along with my MIL, she drives me bonkers. But I know she loves him too, and has missed him too. So I have never asked that she stay away. So long as she’s not pushing me out of the way, I try not to do the same. LOL. If my husband did tell us he wanted only certain people around at first, or to be alone even, it would be hard, but I would respect his wishes. I can totally see my MIL blaming me somehow, but I hope that wouldn’t happen.
    I know we’re dying to see them ASAP, but it should be HIS call. I think a husband-wife discussion about it would be good, so that both are on the same page about things. But wives, if his choice is not the same as yours, you will only cause more tension and problems by insisting your way be done no matter what he wants. Sometimes you just have to give a little more and be patient.
    I saw one comment about how a wife or GF is making her soldier choose between her or his mother. BAD IDEA. Unless there’s some really really strong reasons for him to, it’s not likely he’s going to just abandon his mother for you. Asking him to choose is a bad idea on so many levels. It causes stress between you and him, stresses the relationship with the MIL, and it’s very unlikely to turn out well. If you love this man, and can’t stand his mother, you better learn to suck it up and get over it. Chew that tongue. She is a major part of his life, and if you want to be a part of that, then you have to learn to accept that you’re not going to get along with everyone in his life 100% of the time. You don’t have to be her best friend, but you don’t have to make the situation worse either.
    And the same goes to that mother who so harshly described her DIL! Whether you like her or not, that is who your son wants to be with. You mean well, that’s clear. But this is his choice to make.

  • CHAKA June 23, 2012, 6:09 pm

    Question been dating a soilder for a few months now and he is currently deployed, he stated that he would be home in December, but woudnt know a definate date till November, he states he wants me to be at the homecoming ceremony , he states that the base at FtLewis usually has one and he wants me there, problem is I live in another state , my question is how do I go about findning out if and when the base will have one, he gave me is unit name and all the info pertaining to him. And if Im able to go will I be able to get on base to attend. He states he doesnt want me stressed cause he knows when he gets the date of his arrival home it gonna be short notice , what do I do?

    • Courtney June 29, 2012, 9:43 pm

      He’s right about not knowing dates/times until the last minute. I’m not sure how the FRG works if you’re not a spouse, but they are helpful with these things. You should be able to get on Ft Lewis but will have to get a pass. They usually will have tentative dates so you should be able to get an idea of when to be there. So bottom line is if you can get there, you will be able to attend.

      • CHAKA June 30, 2012, 3:51 pm

        Thanks for the information , I guess I will contact them closer to the December.

  • Army Fiance August 7, 2012, 1:42 am

    My fiance is currently deployed and he won’t return home until next year. It’s supposed to be a nine month deployment. Before he deployed, we were living together and are planning on getting married a month after he returns home. Since he has been gone his family has done nothing but ask him for money and tell him everything that’s wrong in their lifes. Never anything positive. He finally told them he doesn’t have the money to give them because we are getting married and that we are wanting to save money so when we decide to have our own family we don’t have to worry about money. We did enough of that having an apartment on single soldier pay and my checks. His family knew he was deploying but he didn’t invite them to come so of course they blamed me and said I was the reason he didn’t invite them to go. They expected me to invite them. Since we no longer had our apartment, we had to stay at his buddies and his wife’s house, along with his family. It was nothing but their family drama and we did not get to enjoy our last few days together. I know if my fiancés family comes to his homecoming it will be just like his buddies family and I felt so sorry for his wife and baby. It’s like a competition or something. I’m getting a hotel room for his homecoming and if his family goes they can get their own room and drive themselves . Sounds mean but I want to enjoy him coming home since I didn’t get to enjoy my last few days before deployment with him. His family hasn’t been to anything since he has been in but now that he’s engaged, they wanna be.

  • G.I. Mo August 25, 2012, 9:21 am

    Under the conditions you wrote, I would agree the wife and children be at the homecoming. But in my case, my son got married 1 month before he left. They never lived together. His new wife has lived with me for 2 years, before the marriage and after. My son was deployed when his daughter was born, again I was there and now new wife and new baby lived with me. I wanted to be present at his homecoming to see my “baby” and to see his face when he looks and hold his own daughter for the first time. My husband and I were staying at a hotel and staying less than 24 hours.
    They planned their wedding so quickly we could not be present for that either.
    One hurt Momma

    • Stacey August 30, 2012, 7:39 pm

      I’m sorry. I completely agree that you should be there under these circumstances.

    • SJ April 15, 2013, 6:52 pm

      I realize I’m late to the party here, but I can’t stop myself…

      Frankly, it shouldn’t matter if they married 2 hours before he deployed, they are MAN and WIFE. Is their union less scared than yours to your husband? Would you have put up with that nonsense if you had JUST married your husband before he deployed, and had to carry and birth his child without him? Do you honestly see yourself as an equivalent to your son’s WIFE in his life?? How selfish. Your poor daughter-in-law.

      I married my soldier less than a month before he deployed, and carried and delivered his son while he was away. It was awful, heartbreaking, and incredibly difficult. My husband and I made it through because of the strength of our commitment and our unwavering love for one another.

      Like you, my mother-in-law felt ENTITLED to be at his homecoming ceremony. She caused such a scene in the days after he returned that she has ruined our relationship with her, and we no long speak with her.

      Please stop and consider how you might feel if it were YOUR husband, and you had carried his child. Try to consider the strain you might put on your son’s marriage by asking him to put you above his WIFE AND BRAND NEW BABY. Would you have felt that his mother had as much right to be there as you? Probably not.

      They made vows. One of those was likely to forsake all others… that includes you.

  • Former Sailor September 8, 2012, 12:59 pm

    Been there, done that. Don’t be selfish when your service member comes home. It is a BIG event and everyone is different. If you have M-I-L issues, that’s too bad but get over it. If he/she wants Mommy there, you need to put your big girl panties on and smile, smile, smile. Your soldier/sailor/airman should call the shots on this. Ask them what they want and PLEASE do not lie about it to other people who are asking. If they want 50 people there plus the dog, that is A-OK. And if he/she really wants just the spouse and the kiddoes, that’s okay too. It’s not about you.

  • PJ September 14, 2012, 8:35 pm

    Sorry but when you’re married it’s NOT just your call anymore. Mommy needs to cut the cord and let her child have his/her own family. Coming down later is okay, but I believe the actual Homecoming is for immediate family only. When our guys come home there is a reception for the families then everyone goes out to see the ship/helicopter. Mommy and daddy don’t have to adjust their household when their kid is gone, the spouse does. It’s the spouse that takes care of the children and pets when their husband/wife are gone.
    My big girl panties were on when I got married. Looks like mommy is the one that needs to put hers on.

  • Araceli Hernandez September 20, 2012, 11:31 am

    It may not be about me, but it is about US. Those are the vows we took. I think it should be up to both partners to agree. And if they can’t, then that’s just sad. I’m totally with Stacy on this one.

  • Devon October 9, 2012, 6:33 pm

    My husband comes home soon and his mom wants to be there. DH and I both have confessed to each other that we would like it to be just us. But I said, and he agrees, that if his parents want to go then I will not try to dissuade them but I wouldn’t encourage it either. As a mom, I try to empathize with how I would feel if my son were gone. I’d want to see him. I hope that I would understand that wife and kids get first priority but I am not going to hold it against my mother-in-law for not understanding that.

    So, I am going to just grin and bear it.

  • Barb September 2, 2013, 6:37 am

    im confused b/f is coming home from Aghanistan he asked for a transfer home Canada received and email here is what he said
    “it seems the military are going to contact you thru email or phone to make some verification about us cos they are always concerned about our welfare. Actually I don’t know what they are going to ask”

  • MossyArmyWife September 5, 2014, 4:24 am

    My husband was granted paternity leave after the birth of our son during his deployment. When he got his orders he told me not to tell anyone he would be home. I picked him up from the airport and we spent 2 days together bonding as a family before we drove to his parents house to surprise them. They were overjoyed and the fact he had already been home for 2 days didn’t matter to them but I have amazing in-laws. My husband has requested from me that we approach him coming home from deployment in the same way. Only this time after he gets settled we plan on having a big dinner with the whole family. I think its up to the soldier what they want and everyone needs to respect that lucky for me my in-laws were not hurt by us not telling them they were just happy to see him and I was happy to let them pass him around because I had already gotten 2 undisturbed days with him 🙂

  • Kacey November 11, 2014, 4:19 am

    Although I haven’t had to deal with this yet (my boyfriend just left for bootcamp) this is a good thing to keep in mind. I personally feel, having zero experience what-so-ever with army life, that it should be who he wants there. If he wants his parents, wife and kids there, great. If he only wants his wife and kids or just his wife, that’s great too. I feel it should be what he wants. Personally, I know I would rather it just be me, but for the time being, his parents should be there if that’s his wishes. If it ever comes down to this for us in the future, I hope that it does end up just being who is under his roof. I’m thinking that this won’t even be a big problem for us though because both of our families are from MA and I don’t think flying wherever to see your son come home would be polite unless he asked for you to do so (and got clearance with the wife).

  • Veronica March 30, 2015, 10:48 pm

    I completely agree with this… When my husband left for deployment his family was with us I almost felt like a third wheel if his dad wasn’t talking to him then his mom was talking to him I didn’t get to tell him the things I wanted I didn’t show him how much I’d miss him it was more like saying goodbye to an acquaintance and his mother cried so I held back my tears because I fe as though my last moments were stolen from me now… Now here we are 11 months later counting down days for his return and now his family wants to be here for his return. I don’t want to be the one to have to tell them that!

  • Trace July 19, 2015, 8:17 pm

    I feel it’s up to the couple in particular but I don’t think I’d want to stir up trouble if my guy wanted to invite people I didn’t care for. I would expect to be able to voice my own concerns and feelings on the matter but ultimately if that’s what he wanted, then I’d go along with it. We aren’t married yet and I believe his parents do hope to be there when he returns from his upcoming deployment, but that’s okay with me. I’d prefer it be just us on that day but at the same time, I’ll be flying in from across the country and I would be open to having them there to coordinate with, such as us 3 renting a car and a place to stay together.

    I met my boyfriend online over a year ago when he was in Afghanistan. He and his previous girlfriend had broken up just a couple months prior and he was really in need of someone he could trust to talk to. So, with that previous relationship ended (since before it’d been assumed that she would greet his return), he had no one waiting for him. It was incredibly hard on him and he is still so grateful that I was 100% available to him that evening, though several states away and limited to phones. We’ve been together over a year now and he’s preparing for his second deployment and I fully intend to be there to greet him upon his return.

    I read a few stories on here of women who are able to see their guy every month, or even every week. That would be amazing, but the reality for me is that I see him a few times a year. We lucked out in some ways – while his parents and one sibling still live in MN, his two other siblings have relocated to central Texas (where I am). We were able to meet when he was visiting his brothers post-deployment, spend his winter block leave together visiting both here and Minnesota, I visited him in May for a week, and then he spent his summer leave (2 weeks) here in Texas again.

    I also read some stories about rather quick marriages, and I do want to say – I know it’s really hard being apart and not being recognized by the Army as an official partner to your soldier, but be careful of rushing into marriage for arrangements to be more convenient. My friend married her college sweetheart-turned-Army-Ranger and, though he’s now a firefighter and they have purchased a home in Colorado together, she and I agree that we’d rather take the time to feel fully committed. I love my boyfriend, but we aren’t ready to get married before this upcoming deployment. It would make me feel uncomfortable but then I’m a fairly cautious person. The current timeline is to get engaged when he returns, see what course his Army career takes (he’s very interested in Green to Gold for his Masters degree), and go from there.

    Another issue is my career – I’m very open to just working part time or even just managing the household, but as we are currently undecided regarding future children (we definitely don’t want any for a while at least!), that would feel like a waste of my time and not worthy of his long hours while I sit at home. I haven’t been able to get my career started yet and I don’t NEED a shiny career of achievements, but with no kids at home I worry it would be frustrating to be unemployed due to no job opportunities for me wherever we are stationed. So, in the year or two (or more) before we could be married and live together, my focus is to support him and work on my career. Hopefully if I can find either GIS or wildlife biology employment somewhere in the meantime (as I have education in both) then I’d be better qualified to find similar work wherever we are sent for PCS. Part of it is keeping me busy and being an equal partner in how much I contribute and work and, related to that, the other part is making sure I am contributing financially, especially as he doesn’t earn much and we both have student loans. I don’t want to assume that I could hitch myself to him and expect him to provide for our household AND whatever I may need. I have my own car, my own student loans – therefore both the means and the education to at least TRY for my own employment!! If he was higher ranked, then perhaps I could ‘keep busy’ with volunteering, but maybe I’m just a ‘modern woman’ in that I find it ridiculous to expect him to provide 100% when I’m educated and perfectly competent, myself. That said though, I dare not EXPECT to get employed anywhere we move. Too many Army wives are unemployed because there simply aren’t any opportunities in that area for them.

  • Angelica August 19, 2015, 11:44 pm

    This is exactly the kind of thing I stress about. Don’t want to hurt feelings but no one seems to really get it. I’m glad someone is on the same page as me as as fellow army wife. Thank you for posting this.

  • Tanya Blossom May 15, 2017, 11:36 am

    Question not comment. Yesterday, Mother’s Day, my son left for his first deployment. He came by Saturday only because he was returning a vehicle we loaned him prior to deployment so he didn’t have to buy a new one/repair a problem with old one. No big deal you do these things for family. I asked for probably the fourth time if there was a ceremony for family to see them off and he said no that they would car pool over and leave and say goodbyes at home. I hugged him and told him I loved him. The next afternoon, while being sad but stoic about the deployment, I look at FB and find all these pictures of our troops with their families at a big send off. My son’s wife and daughter were there as were his best friend (also deploying) his gf and mother and brother. I called my sons dad and said did you know about this and he said yes he’d been invited. I’m hurt and confused. Please advise how to handle this.

    • Stacey Abler June 19, 2017, 10:10 pm

      I’m so sorry. It’s one thing if a soldier only wants his spouse/kids at the ceremony but wants to say goodbye (or hello upon return) separately and it’s completely another to expand beyond that and include one parent and not the other. I’m very sorry that your feelings were hurt by this as I would feel the same in your situation. I’m glad you were at least able to see him before he left though.

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