In early 2003, my husband came home one day and announced he wanted to join the military.
I thought he was joking.
Very shortly after that initial conversation, we were both practically interrogating recruiters along with various members of my family who served. And we also made a deal – he could join the military if I could quit my job and start a business.
In March 2003, the day after we invaded Iraq, we visited his parents to tell them he had signed on the dotted line. He was due to leave in October with an Option 40 contract, which gave him the possibility of making it to Ranger BN.
I began seeking information on what the transition would be like for us as a couple.
I came up short time and time again. While there was plenty of information online at that time about being a soldier, there was practically nothing about being married to one.
I had tons of questions like:
- Would he be able to call me while he was in training? (Very little, but those were the best phone calls.)
- Would he get to come home for Christmas? (Yes, Exodus became the sweetest word I’d ever heard!)
- Would he deploy right away? (In most cases, no. In our case, yep.)
- Would we have to move halfway around the world? (We moved two hours from our hometown. But is it possible? Most definitely.)
- Would we really survive this? How would I ever deal with a deployment? (We did, and you just do. And so will you.)
I decided to tackle that lack of information by starting this website, which led to documenting my experiences through his basic training, AIT, Airborne, and then RIP. After graduation, he was then assigned to Ranger BN and promptly deployed overseas.
While enduring our first deployment, I quit my job, moved to a new town, and started my business.
I think I was deliberately trying to see how much change I could handle at once. 🙂 Three more deployments after that, and I felt like a pro.
The Mission of Married to the Army
The mission of this site has always been to provide information, resources, and support so no one else would ever feel as unsure and scared as I did when we started this journey with the Army.
Throughout the site, you’ll find many articles from numerous Army family members that seek to give an insider’s look on topics ranging from insurance coverage and PCS tips to deployments and PTSD.
I’m proud to say MTTA has been recognized in numerous publications and websites, as well as in a PBS documentary. As we’ve grown, it’s allowed us to reach even more family members and show our support as they support their soldiers.
But what makes me most proud is when I hear from you that it helped you somehow.
Sappy as it may be, it still can make me teary-eyed to get those emails. I know how it is to feel so completely unsure and uneasy about everything.
So it just means so much to me that I am able to help alleviate that in some small way for someone else.
The Unexpected Gift of the Website
The website has introduced me to so many amazing people. There are many women I met because of this site who are still part of my inner circle, and there are quite a few of them I’ve still never met in person.
But the bond of Army life has connected us all. We have supported each other through the happy times of the birth of a baby and homecoming from deployment as well as the struggles of medical issues and, sadly, even that dreaded knock at the door.
No matter what, we’ve all been there for each other. And without this site, I may not have ever met these women who have had such an enormous influence and impact on my life.
I’m thankful for all those who choose (and have chosen) to serve and for the families that choose to support them. The Army experience can be an overwhelming one, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.