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

These stories were all submitted by site visitors. Enjoy!

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Misty’s Story

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 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 holds 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!

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Angelina’s Story

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, sometimes 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.

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Penelope’s Story

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 much 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.

Then 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 greatly missed my husband. I missed my husband very much when he was not home for Christmas (again), when I found the gender of our baby, when I was diagnosed with pre-term labor, and 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, and I had to wait for his phone call. What a concept in this day and age of instant communication!

A few years later, we moved to the metro D.C. area. The chance that my husband will deploy soon is very slim. I look forward to “A Year of NO Absence!”

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Cristy’s Story

This experience has been a complete adventure and 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.

It’s 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 and 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.

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Alexis’ Story

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 a lot; 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 to do it alone. It’s not the same as 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 he 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!

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Charity’s Story

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.  When he met me, he had already been in the army for about a year.  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 when we heard he had to leave.  We talked about getting married but didn’t know if we should wait till he got home or 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 return on 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 of why they 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 for 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 really difficult thing 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 in 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.  I would not go to clubs or bars.  I would not hang out with any of my guy friends because 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 differently than what it was.  Where I thought we would be more affectionate and kiss all the time.

There was a distance because Adam 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 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 brave and willing to fight the fight. Not too many are 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.

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Sarah’s Story

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 would 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 would 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 would die when he left because I missed him so badly!  Then we saw 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 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 tell 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 in 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 FTXs 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, 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!!

Read part two of what it means to be an Army spouse.

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This article was written by a visitor to the site. All of our contributors served in the military, are married to someone who serves in the military, or have a child who serves in the military. These Army soldiers and/or family members enjoy helping others by sharing their experiences.

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37 Comments

  1. hi im new to this.. my husband is wanting to enlist into the army and I have been getting some insight on how it is to be an army wife. I know it is tough and it requires tough decisions but it is something my husband has been wanting to do and I am not gonna let him turn down one of his dreams of being in the army. I tell him everyday how I proud I am of him and his decisions and that I would be behind him 100%. We have one daughter & another little girl due in December.

  2. Hello 🙂 Im an 18 year old army wife.. Yup im only 18 years old. We were dating for 3 years before we got married i was half way through my senior year… Before he got deployed to Afghanistan i wasnt even 18 i was a month away from turning 18 but i couldnt wait because he was getting deployed so we married november & my parents had to sign the papers & it wasnt much of a big wedding just court bt all because i love him & i wanted to prove to him i was gona be here for him through out his whole deployment & now he’s only a month away from coming back. But throughout his deployment i became so much stronger & made me realize the work all this mans & womans put for our freedom so many people dont appreciate their work as in they dont even care about the army but when the one you love is over there the army becomes everything to you & always looking foward to the news to see if everything is ok & whats going on… but im happy to say his deployment is almost over & in a few months for our year marriage ill be moving in with him & support him with everything i can & finally be with him again…. I dont regret not one thing i did because my life is just starting & i want it with him & the army has involved in… & ikno once i move into base with him i will have a new family waiting because iknow nobody will understand us better then having someone living the same life as you, the life of an army wife <3 // Just loving a soldier makes you different & a much stronger woman like they say THERES ARMY STRONG & THERES ARMY WIFE

  3. I have enjoyed reading every single one of your stories ladies. I meet my boyfriend about two year’s ago and now I’m almost 20 years. I started talking to my boyfriend through my cousin, and fell hopelessly in love. The thing about us is I’ve been sitting for two year’s waiting for him to come back,but we haven’t had the time to meet in person. My whole experience with my solider has been through constant emails and web cam dates. We have yet to meet, his family however I have had the opportunity of meeting and they are wonderful. After year’s of waiting he is coming home next month from Korea. We will get the chance to be together get to know each other a little more. Thomas and I have gone through separation, heart breaks, people trying to keep us apart but no matter what life try’s to throw at us we always find our way back to each other. My story might sound crazy but for some reason I fell in love with this man. I just finished my first year of college even though my solider is almost home getting ready to go to his next duty station we are thinking of getting married. There are so many sleepless nights where I stay up an think about how our life is going to be when he returns. It’s very hard having the one you love gone, it’s a lonely life having to be at home waiting every single day. Our plans are to get married this coming October and move to Fort.Hood for his next duty station. I want to be married to him I just hope we wouldn’t be rushing anything since I’m so young and still barley know each other. He is ready to settle down, as am I. We agreed if we got married that we wouldn’t have kids right away. It would give us a chance to finish school. But, if he gets deployed then that’s when we would hope for a baby. The military life is not for most females.Having your boyfriend/husband gone all the time is a hard thing. I am very proud of him but in my heart I feel the only way for us to be together would be for me to leave my friends and family get married and move to Texas. ?

  4. I was feeling like I was alone in the world today so i got online and started reading these stories (which I love). I married my husband June 22 2012 a month after I graduated highschool.2 weeks later he left for basic. This was the hardest thing i’ve ever done we have been together for 2 years and was never apart for more than a week. A lot of people look at me like I’m stupid because im so young (19) and married. Its really hard sometimes sleeping without him in the bed next to me. He always tells me hes doing it for us and that always puts a smile on my face. My family supports us which helps alot. I also attend college full-time and work full-time. We dont any kids yets and havent planned to have any yet but in the future we will have a few. In dec. we will be stationed in colorado and I cant wait. I havent see my husband in 9 weeks I cant wait to see him. I hate when their at basic and they are told that if they are married their wives are cheating ugh. I will never cheat on my husband he means the world to me. I’m SO PROUD OF HIM

  5. WOW . All you woman amaze and inspire me. My husband just enlisted 4 days ago. (pause)

    We have been married for 4 years. He leaves to basic training in November. So the reality of him actually not being here everyday is just starting hit me. We have a beautiful 2 year old daughter and i`m currently expecting our baby boy. My due date is next week. I have been no farther then 2 days maybe 3 without seeing my husbands face.

    my husband is due at boot-camp after our newborn son turns 2 months old. Just the thought that we can have those moments together before he leaves has been a emotional blessing. I don`t know anything about the hardship of being an army wife… but i can promise you that reading these stories made me feel so proud of all of you. It made me remember ” what difference can time make if there is true love”

    THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING ANONYMOUSLY INSPIRING.

  6. My names Nia. My promises just joined the milica and I’m afraid of losing him in many different ways. He proposed to me two days before he signed his paper work and sworn an oath of allegiance. I told him it was to early so were still promised. I am an army cadet so i understand the felling of belonging when your on a base of people you trust with your life. So being an “army wife” is hard but if you think about it it is also fulfilling. I just wish it wasn’t to hard when they left. But then how would you know you loved them so much if didn’t miss them/

  7. WOW! Reading all these stories make me wonder. Im 17 right now and a senior in highschool. I recently just got engaged and am planning to get married in March to the most wonderful guy ever. He will be leaving for basic training in June. I felt like it was going fast but I couldnt wish for anything more. Reading these makes me realize that im not the only one geting married in highschool just because hes leaving in June. Thanks everyone for opening my eyes!

  8. My husband is in the process of joining the army and I am 100% supportive I love him more than anything. I am very curious about things to do to keeps myself preoccupied while he is gone??? What is FRG???

  9. Wow All Of You Woman Are All Strong! Me and My Husband Recently Got Married 3months ago and It’s Hard! He’s been Gone For JRTC Training For a Month and I’m Trying To Get As Much Stuff Done As I can with CS. Having my husband away is the hardest thing ever not Being Able To Have No Contact At All is Hard but I know he’s okay and Safe. Were PCS here In Fortwainwright Alaska and It’s Cold Hardly Any Places here and it gets Lonely when he’s Gone. But What I Can Tell You all To The New Army Wife’s TO BE get Ready for your life to change In A Really Good Way and what You need to be Is #ArmyStrong for you and your family and Especially Husband. I am Proud to Be a ArmyWife and I Love Our Country.

  10. Hello ladies! I love all of your stories and I’m hoping to create my own with my soldier. We met about 5 years ago in high school. And currently dating for 2 years. I’m 19 and just recently got engaged. He’s 21. He proposed to me in one of his letters to me while in basic. Its August 2014 now and I’m hoping to go visit him in October while he’s in AIT for satellite communications in Fort Gordon, Georgia. We are planning to get married when he comes home for Christmas so he can put in for on base housing. I’m trying very hard to understand Army wife life. I can’t even begin to imagine deployment. Is it easy to make friends with other army wives while on base? I feel like that would be the only way to numb the loneliness. Thank you guys so much for all of this valuable information. ARMY STRONG!

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