What Does It Mean To Be An Army Spouse? (Part One)

These stories were all submitted by site visitors. Enjoy!

*****

as submitted by Misty

Being a military wife is EVERYTHING to me. It is not just the job my husband has, it is the way of life we have chosen to lead. My husband and I were married for 4 years and had 2 children before we decided that he was going to enlist. I have never regretted that decision. My husband is not the only one who enlisted, the whole family did. We put our hearts and soul into everything we do.

I now look at things differently. There are things that others take for granted but I don’t because I know of the many sacrifices the soldiers and their families have made over the years in order for all of us to be free. I am filled with a pride that I never knew before because of what my husband does. Being a military wife means that I stand tall and proud with tears rolling down my face as the Star Spangled Banner or any other patriotic song plays. I feel my heart break every time I hear of a soldier somewhere getting hurt or being treated poorly, regardless if I know them or not.

Being a military wife means I will spend countless hours washing uniforms, cleaning scuffs out of carpet from boots, baking things for FRGs, 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 will never complain. It means that I cannot be selfish. I know that he is out there fighting so that others can be free just like us. What better role model could I ask for for my children? I have experienced a kinship like no other because of the military. Military wives have a bond that hold us together. We may have never met, but five minutes after we do, we feel as if we have known each other forever.

Being a military wife means that we will move around a lot. I will have to find new houses, schools, grocery stores, daycares, etc. However, in my eyes, my life is an adventure. I would never have gotten to live in the places I have without the military. So when you say, “What does it mean to be a military wife”, it’s hard to answer. It’s like asking me what it means to live. I tell you that I could not ask for my life to be any different. I love my husband! I love my country! I love being a military wife!

*****

by Angelina Stallings
For me, it meant getting married halfway through my senior year of high school.  He was still in Basic Training but we didn’t know where he would be in June (which was when we wanted to get married.) So, we planned a small but perfect wedding in three days. It was two days before Christmas (so we could spend the holiday together.) I wouldn’t change a thing.  But I definitely got some raised eyebrows.

For me, it meant choosing a life full of the unknown but knowing that I didn’t want any other life.  Nothing else would make me this happy.  Yes, there are lonely nights.  Yes, there are times when I sleep on the couch because I can’t stand sleeping in our bed without him.  But I know at the end of the day that I am where I need to be.  He is the best thing that has ever happened to me and that could ever have happened to me.  I didn’t sell myself short by marrying into the military but gained a whole new experience and met people I wouldn’t know otherwise.  God has a time and place for everything.  So, getting stationed somewhere that’s not perfect just is a part of the whole process.  We grow closer knowing we are the only family we have at our post.

For me, it means being thankful because I know my husband stands for something.  I know he’ll always provide.  I know he’s always thinking of me.  And we both know to treasure the moments now because you never know what the future holds.  The military gave us a heightened sense of awareness.  It helps us treasure each other so much more.   It’s not always easy, but it’s where I’m meant to be.  Right next to my soldier.

*****

by Penelope

Before I met my husband, I had studied and lived abroad for over 8 years. I was used to doing everything by myself, moving around and starting all over again. But my life was pretty simple. I did not have a lot of worries, let alone having to cope with real fears and anxieties. Once you get married to a soldier, things are quite different. You have to face reality. Deployment involves risks, and brings along a mixed bag of emotions. When we found out my husband had to leave for his first tour of duty, we did not waste a lot of time. We had new wills written, updated our life insurance policy and got a power of attorney for me. I have to admit, I did cry a few times. It can be very overwhelming.

Once my husband had left, I decided to focus on the “perks” of deployment. Each deployment was a perfect opportunity to reconnect with my family in Belgium and catch up with long lost friends. The trips were a real treat – something to look forward to, and most of all, a distraction from reality. Of course I did not spend all my time in Belgium. During my husband’s absence, I took several courses, acquired new skills and started volunteering. In 2005 I finally started working part-time. Sometimes I wonder if I would have done all those things if my husband had stayed home. I might have, but I doubt it. I am convinced that his deployments made me more independent, and accelerated my integration as a new immigrant.

Despite the trips and my busy schedule, I missed my husband very much. I missed my husband very much when he was not home for Christmas – again -, when I found out what the gender of our baby was, when I was diagnosed with pre-term labor, or when… simply too many occasions to mention. We stayed in touch through email and letters, and often talked over the phone. The only downside: I could not call my husband, I had to wait for his phone call. What a concept, in this day and age of instant communication! I found great comfort in several blogs and also in the book “A Year of Absence,” by Jessica Redmond. A must read for all military spouses.

In 2008 we moved to the metro D.C. area. The chance that my husband will deploy soon is very slim. I am so much looking forward to “A Year of NO Absence!”

*****

by Cristy B.

This experience has been a complete adventure and still continues to be. My soldier and I married young and have a 1 year old son. We both made the bold decision for him to join as he expressed his desire to have a career in the military. Its not picture perfect but nothing in life is. It very often becomes a challenge but there is no other place I would rather be but by his side. Whether we are physically together or not. The army does present us with challenges but it has also given us many opportunities. Individually I have discovered my own inner strength and my husband has gained so much from the army that I would never take that away from him. I’ve dealt with many lonely nights, played the role of mom and dad, I’ve struggled to find something to call my own but despite all that I continue to be a proud Army wife. I’m proud to stand by a man who protects our freedoms, who lives by his warrior ethos, a man of honor, integrity, courage, a man who stands with many others just like him who dedicate their life to selfless service. To me this is more than a military organization but a family a place where many memories were built. Even after the years following the service I know these memories will last forever.

*****

by Alexis

Hello Stacey and everyone else taking the time to read my story.

I met my husband in AIT, I am also in the military which, in the beginning made things very difficult. Shortly after we finished school, he was deployed to Iraq. It hurt alot, the long distance aspect of our relationship was tolerable when we could talk as often as we wanted and see each other every few weeks, but not knowing when I would hear from him again after I said goodbye to him at the airport was the hardest thing I’ve dealt with. After he was deployed for about 6 months he came home for R&R, which was a godsend! 2 weeks after he left again I found out I was pregnant. We were both scared out of our minds! We had always planned on getting married but the baby news rushed things along, we got married by proxy about a month later.

I’m now 4 and a half months pregnant and it’s hard doing it alone. It’s not the same describing feeling the baby move to your husband over the phone when you can barely hear each other. He’s not only missing the entire pregnancy but he’ll be gone for the birth as well. I would much rather have my husband home in my arms and making fast food runs for me at 4 in the morning, but I know that he has a responsibility. I knew what I was getting myself into from day one and I don’t regret any of it. He may be a soldier, and as tough as he may like to seem, to me he’s the sweet caring man that I fell in love with almost a year ago. Communication is strained, and things aren’t easy, but we make due, and as hard as it may get, I wouldn’t trade my life or my husband for anything in the world. He’s my best friend and my hero, and I take pride in knowing that him and men like him care enough to do what they do.

Being an Army wife isn’t easy, and it’s not for everyone, but it’s something I’m proud of. I make it my duty to make absolutely sure that my husband knows exactly how much I love him, and how much he’s missed! I would live through a thousand deployments as long as in the end I still had the love of my life to grow old with. I hope you got a little something out of my story and I wish the best to every Army Wife!

*****

by Charity

Hi my name is Charity Ginter.  I am 23 years old and this is my story of love, hardship, deployment, and working through it all.

I never knew that I would fall for someone in the army.  My grandparents had been apart of the army.  I even have a great great-uncle known very well as General Robert E. Lee.  But anyways, I was 20 years old when I met Adam.  He had already been in the army for about a year when he met me.  He knew that he was going to have to deploy in the next year or so, but when we met it was an instant connection.  We were living together at the time we heard he had to leave in 2008.  We talked about getting married, but didn’t know if we should wait till he got home or to do a quick wedding.  He had been going to training preparing him to go overseas.  He was gone for a month and was supposed to come back on a Thursday.  Well it was Tuesday, a day that I go to my usual Karaoke with my friends and it was unlike any day I had ever had in my entire life.  When I showed up I saw all my family and friends there.  Before I could think on why there were all there.  I heard Adam call me up to the stage and he proposed to me!!  I was so happy!!  So surprised because he wasn’t supposed to be there and he tricked me.  I of course said yes!  That Saturday we got married.  He left 3 days later to Afghanistan.

I wasn’t sure how to feel about it at first.  I had been through the training process of him being gone for a month so the first month was ok.  One thing that was really difficult was the fact I couldn’t call him when something would come up at work that was stressful or just to say I miss him or I love you.  It was hard!  I would keep myself busy with work and friends.  I would work out a lot to get a nice body for when he would come home.  We would argue quite a bit about things.  I hated arguing with him because when you barely get to talk to the person you love; you don’t want to spend that time being angry.  It hurts.  Another thing that was hard was that since I wasn’t around him or could call him about what my plans were.  I got independent on myself whereas before we would talk about things before we would do them.  I made my own decisions and planned things on my own terms.  I would think of Adam of course in all my plans.  Like I would not go to clubs or bars.  I would not hang out with any of my guy friends just in respect that I don’t want any jealous factors in our relationship.  I didn’t want to make anything harder than it already was.

When he came back for his two week leave.  I pictured everything different than what it was.  Where I thought we would be more affectionate and kissing all the time.  There was a distance, because for Adam he knew he had to go back over there.  It’s hard to all of a sudden go 7 months without touching to all of a sudden turning that affection back on.  So most of the time he was here we had friends over, drank with family, and played games.  By the end of the second week we were affectionate and comfortable, but then we had to say goodbye.

I have two more months left until he comes home and we plan on going on a week getaway to rent a log cabin to spend alone time together.  It will be better because he is home for good then.  We can be at ease together and start our lives as being a married couple.  Which because he left three days after getting married we hadn’t really got to experience it.  I’m so excited to get to see him again and kiss the man I fell in love with.

Being an army wife is hard, but I wouldn’t change it for the world because I have a soldier.  I have someone who is brave and willing to fight the fight not too many our willing to fight.  I think that is extremely sexy!  I am strong and so are all the other army wives out there.  Thanks to all the soldiers out there keeping us safe.

*****

by Sarah

My name is Sarah.  My husband has been in the army since he was 21 (I was 20).  We met when we were Juniors in High School, and we fell completely in love with one another.  We got married when he was 19 (I was 18), and we had no idea how we were going to make it.  We already had one daughter together (she had been born just a few weeks prior), and although we had both graduated high school, we had no idea where our lives were going to take us.  When my husband decided to join the Army, I was completely against it, but I told him in my vows that I would support him in anything that he wanted to do, so he joined and left a few weeks later for Boot Camp at Fort Leonard Wood.  I thought I was going to die when he left because I missed him so badly!  Then we got to see him for a short while before he was stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado.  We decided that it would be best for our family to go with him.  So, leaving my friends, family, college (I was almost finished with my degree), and everything we had ever known behind, we moved to Colorado.  Almost immediately I got involved with the FRG.  I did a TON of volunteering including baking, becoming an officer in the FRG, doing a lot of research, becoming a POC, taking classes, and the like.  We lived with him in Colorado, and while we didn’t care much for the state itself, being together was enough to keep me happy.  Now, I am back in my home state, with my two little girls, unable to do anything but wait for this deployment to start because the sooner it gets here, the sooner it can be over and the sooner my husband gets to come home.

Some days are easy to get through, and then there are the times when I feel completely alone.  I miss my husband like crazy, and all those well meaning people who keep asking how I’m doing are not helping me at all.  Some days I want to scream, “How do you THINK I’m doing?  My husband is getting deployed!!!  I’m scared, I’m lonely, I have no idea what to think or feel!” but I refrain because I know that they mean well.  I can’t say to you that it’s easy, because it’s not.  I can’t tell you that it will get easier, because I don’t think it will.   And no matter how much you try to “prepare yourself” for deployment, you still feel the jab to your heart when he tells you that he is getting deployed.  I am one of those wives who always tries not to cry in front of her husband (it usually doesn’t work), and yes I have cried every time he had to leave, even when it was only for some class.  I’ve dealt with 2 NTC rotations, Eoka, WLC, R2C2O, and other classes that I can’t remember as well as numerous FTX’s and Staff Duty days.  It doesn’t get easier.  My husband has missed birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.  It really stinks!

But, I can say that it has not only brought us closer as a couple, but it has molded us into a team—especially when it comes to our kids!  My husband is a Combat Engineer—a bomb blower-upper (for lack of a better term), and I couldn’t be more proud of him.

He is my hero and he has my absolute respect!  I don’t have the intestinal fortitude to do what he does, to face what he faces, but I know that he does the things that are needed to keep this country free!  Whenever I am feeling low, I think about how he and I are sacrificing our time together, so that our kids can have a better future.  I think about how people that don’t know my husband exists can go where they want and do what they want because my husband helps to make it possible, and I smile because I know in my heart that he will come home eventually.  Even though it might seem really hard, and you might want to give up, just remember that our soldiers are the ones that are fighting for the freedom of absolute strangers, and that not all men are willing to do that, but ours are the few, the brave, the American soldiers!  So I am proud to say that I belong to the elite club called the Silent Ranks, the Army Wives.    HOOAH!!!

37 thoughts on “What Does It Mean To Be An Army Spouse? (Part One)”

  1. I am an army wife and it is all still very new to me. My husband and I met at a friends christmas party he has just returned from basic. We immediately hit it off but then he was gone again we lost touch for a few months until he returned from AIT at the end June. Once he returned he was stationed at a post very close to home so he would drive to see me daily and I would go with him to base on my days off. We found out he was deploying in the middle of July and we decided to make it official before he left for Afghanistan. We had only been dating a week before he was deployed a painfully long nine months. While he was away we decided to get married when he came home the following April. It was all very fast and unconventional we said I love you just a month before we were engaged (which occured on a phone call). It was all very tough on us but it made us so much stronger. We only had late night talks to keep us together for nine months. He came home April 7th and we were married on April 11th. I love my soldier and I can’t imagine life without him. The army has helped us in so many ways and so have the other army families, we all support one another.

  2. I met my husband online and we talked in the beginning and than sooner or later I figured I have met my soul mate. He was 25 years old and I was 23 years old, and on the second week that we were dating we finally met, he called me saying he was near by my home town and I agreed on meeting him. After that week went by I grew closer in love with him. As a month goes by he finally told me he was in the Army, I was clueless. I told myself that I will never fall in love with a man in uniform, just because I didn’t want to be dealing with all types of emotions and fears with him leaving all the time. But I was wrong I fell in love with him and less than 4 months later we both got married and are planning to have kids. I respect my husband so much and also with all the military wives out their I am proud to say I am an army wife and I love my husband for serving our country.

  3. Hi everyone. I have been reading these stories and I am truly amazed. I am a soon to be Army wife, 19 years old going on 20 in a few months. It’s amazing how we are all so similiar, in the fact that we love our soldiers so much and cherish every moment we get to be in their presence or even just talk to them. My solider has been away for over 4 months now. Did basic at Fort Benning, and is now in Missouri for AIT. He is going active when he gets home, and I just have so many questions. I support him so much and I am so ready for what our future has in store, even if that means constant moving around and him being gone alot. I can not wait for this chapter in our lives, and I can not wait to marry this man. He is such an incredible soildier and I could not be happier with our lives. We are in an apartment now, and we are waiting to hear what bases we would most likely be stationed at if he were to go active with the MOS he has. I know I will make it through his delployments after reading all of these incredible posts about how strong all of you woman are, it makes me SO PROUD to be a soon to be Army Wife and I am so excited for the adventures and support to come.

    Ladies, it takes a real woman to be a faithful devoted and supportive Army wife. Congratulations so you and your Soldiers!

  4. Hello, My Fiance and I met in highschool I was a freshman and he was a senior,I recently got a engaged and I’m only 17 (almost 18) and my fiance is enlisted to the Army & he is going to get deployed to missouri for basic training (ooh) and I’m scared I’m not a very strong person I am getting married on November but I don’t know how to tell my parents I don’t want them to think I’m rushing in life, Now I am a senior and I’m so excited planning my wedding I am pregnant I have 2 months & I’m worried that he won’t be here for our child’s birth:'(.I hope after we are married everything goes good because I will freak out and will bust out in tears. I love my honey soooo much he is my everything, I never ever want to lose him he’s all I have in my life #ARMYTOBEWIFE #ILOVEMYSOLIDER

  5. wow, I am amazed and truly honoured to be joined the ranks of some amazingly strong women. My fiancé is in the army and has been in the army for 8 years. He’s currently away re-training. He’s been gone for 3 months and has another 5 months to go. We have a 1 year old son. Once married we will be moving into barracks together. I think it will be much better for me living around people that understand and are going through similar things. However I’ve never lived on an military base. Can anyone share their experiences? Thank you

  6. Miranda Morales

    Reading these stories does make me feel a whole lot better and reminds me how I am feeling is more than okay. My fiance is in Airborne school right now. I recently went to go visit him a month ago to see him graduate for AIT and he purposed. Not knowing yet where he is going to be deployed does have me at on my toes & it is very hard being so far away from the love of my life but I do know it will all be worth it all. I am 22 & he is 23. These stories give me some comfort to how i feel sometimes. Super grateful & couldn’t be more proud of my fiance soon to be husband! Thank you to all the brave men out there & of course my own personal soldier. HOOAH!

  7. So I’m Kinda new to the Army life, most of the males in my family have enlisted into the Army. My husband is about to enlist and I’m kinda struggling with it all we have two small children. My oldest is really attached to our family and I’m so worried she will have a hard time adjusting. I’m super proud of my husband and his descion to do this but change is hard…

  8. Hi everyone I just read all the stories and they made me feel happy and sad at the same time
    I’m an army girlfiend for now , but my man is not an American Soldier , actually I’m french , so sorry for the mistakes) so I understand all of that

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.