I Almost Forgot, We’re Moving

The movers are here. They showed up yesterday, but apparently, we have a lot of stuff, so they needed 2 days. I hadn’t planned on being home on Thursday, but I was getting severe anxiety at that thought of not being home. My husband is perfectly capable, but still. 

Oh yeah. We’re moving. To Texas. We had like 3 weeks notice on that one. We’ll officially be out of here in 2 weeks. I swear I can never get a normal PCS. One where we have like 9 months to slowly get everything ready. I guess my first PCS was like that, but I didn’t do anything. We just did a partial DITY move to get my stuff to base. Moving to Okinawa was crazy because we did a tour conversion and moving to California, we had 32 days notice. I’m awesome at getting it all done fast though. 

The husband wants to go to Texas. That’s fine with me. I’m kinda open to whatever. It took us a while to decide on the exact place in Texas though, but it’s San Antonio. We both have friends down there, plus I have some friends at Ft. Hood, which isn’t too far. 

My big concern was jobs. He’ll be getting VA disability, but that takes a bit to kick in. I was worried about both of us having to turn around and get jobs right away. When I gave my notice to  my boss, she told me I didn’t have to resign. She offered to let me continue my job and work from home. I don’t think I have to tell you how thankful I was for that offer. The company has locations in multiple states and they have been working on branching into Texas. One of my other bosses got super excited when he found where we were going, because that had been specifically looking at San Antonio. 

I’m excited about this. It seems like our last adventure, but I’m trying not to look at it that way. We are all excited though and ready for the next chapter of our life!

 

How To Be A Good Military Spouse

As the wife of someone in the military, I’ve heard it all, especially in our age of the internet. People, including other spouses, like to hide behind their computers and voice their opinions about what us spouses do or don’t do. I either ignore it or read it as a form of entertainment. You should try the entertainment part, it will seriously provide endless hours of fun. I promise! 

Some military spouses like to play the one upper game. You know, my husband has been on more deployments than yours or my husband missed the birth of all 8 of our children, yada yada. Like that somehow makes them better. Others feel that they are actually part of the military and hold the same rank as their husband. Then their are the ones who feel that their role as a wife is somehow harder than the wives of civilians. They are sadly, Sadly, SADLY, mistaken.  They want to complain when their husband has duty or works past 4. Apparently they’ve never been to this place we call the real world. Then there are the ones who stray the minute they have duty or deploy. The ones who clean out their bank accounts while their spouse is fighting for their country. They give spouses a bad name, which gives us the stereotype of being cheaters. I bet 9 times out of 10, there isn’t any cheating. The marriage dissolves due to the added stress in our lives or it just ran it’s natural course. We just always manage to hear the crazy stories. We hear and read about all the things that spouses do wrong, but how do we know what to do right? How do we avoid being on some of those Facebook pages? Well, common sense for one, but we all lack that at times. Ask my husband, he’ll tell you how often that one leaves me. 

So, how does one become a good military spouse? 

I’ve got 2 pieces of advice for you. 

Love you spouse and have the desire to want your marriage to work.

If you marry for the right reasons, meaning love, and not for the benefits or because he is leaving for basic or PCSing, your marriage has a fighting chance! If you love your spouse, you’ll support them in their job. You’ll be their cheerleader and act properly at functions because you don’t want to embarrass them or get them in trouble. When they deploy, you’ll keep yourself busy with a job, the kids, or volunteering with the unit. You’ll be more than happy to send all the care packages you can. All that extra money? Sure, you might spend some after you’ve discussed it with him, but for the most part, you’ll save it for something you want in the future, together. Your marriage may have extra stressers thrown at it, with the moving and absences, but really, our marriage isn’t any harder or any better than anyone else’s. It’s not a competition. The love combined with respect for your spouse and wanting to make your marriage a success, means you’ll be fine. 

My sister told me once that she couldn’t marry someone in the military. She didn’t think she could handle the lifestyle. It’s not easy. It does happen that someone knows what they are getting into, but once they are actually living the life, the realize how much they hate it. If they want to make their marriage work, they’ll figure it out. It won’t be easy and they’ll both have to make sacrifices, but it can be done. Don’t we all make sacrifices anyway?

*I know I refer to wives as being the crazy ones, but I’ve never met a crazy military husband. They’ve all been totally normal, supportive, and drama free.

 

Hurry Up And Wait

Hurry up and wait. Isn’t that the military’s unofficial motto? For the last year, that’s been our life. Hurry up!!! No, wait, we aren’t ready yet. Hurry up and get all this done! Now, wait on us to get our stuff done. 

When we moved here a year and a half ago, it was with the intention for the Marine Corps to fix my husband. We weren’t sure they were actually going to be able to fix him, but that was the goal. The Marine Corps failed. They actually diagnosed him with more issues than when we moved here. For the past 9 months or so, he’s been going through the medical board process. We knew it was coming. We knew he was going to be medically retired. It was just a matter of when. The anticipation was killing us. What if his rating wasn’t high enough for him to get disability? If he does get a high enough rating, can we live on it if need be? He has 18.5 years in the military at this point. Does that count for anything? He’s this close to retirement. We had planned on that retirement income in our retirement planning. 

Right before Christmas, I was on the computer and looked up when he came around the corner. He was on the phone and almost crying. I’m wondering what the heck is wrong. Did someone die? Turns out they were almost tears (I can’t actually say my husband was crying, he might hurt me) of happiness and relief. His ratings came back. He is 100% disabled, with 80% of that being combat related. I don’t think I have to tell you how relieved we were. He was thinking they’d come back at like 10% (which essentially means nothing) and I was thinking more along the lines of 60%. The military disability system is different than one would think in the civilian world. His injuries, physical and internal, were apparently enough and bad enough, to give him that rating. 

Then we waited. Again, we knew it was coming, but we still didn’t know when he would actually be retired until we were given his EAS (End of Active Service) date. Since he hasn’t been able to re-enlist because of the med board process, they just kept extending his EAS date by 90 days. Now we waited for the final date. We had hopes for when it would be. Hopefully April, maybe even May. That would give him plenty of time to use all his terminal leave. Nope. He told me on Monday that it’s March 30. 76 days. He has 76 days left of active duty service and then he will be officially retired. He’ll retire with 18 years and 10 months in the Marine Corps. 

Now the crazy begins. Heck, it’s already began, but that’s another story.