Being a military wife definitely has its challenges. Deployments, PCSes, TDYs, long work days, and so much more can be very difficult. But there are a lot of great things about being a military wife and family. For this blog post I want to focus on some of the good things about military life.
1. Men in uniform
A man in uniform always looks good. Being a military wife means you get to see your man in his dress blues (whites or whatever) almost every year. Usually, at least once a year you get to dress in a gown, feeling like a princess, and go to a Ball full of men in uniform. It is the thing of fairytales.
2. Good duty stations
Not all duty stations are good, but there are some that are amazing. After Jim and I got married the first place he got stationed was Oahu, Hawaii. I was twenty-six years old and had not previously done a lot of traveling. Just six months after getting married I found myself driving west on the H-1, surfboard on top of our Jeep with our dog in the passenger seat, and me in board shorts and a bikini top. In my wildest dreams I never thought I would get to travel to Hawaii, let alone live there, surfing, snorkeling, and hiking the island, but thanks to the military that was my life for about two and a half years. We also got to live in Monterey, California, for about eighteen months. The scenery there is spectacular, and rivals just about anywhere else I have ever been. We also had the opportunity to live in Tampa, Florida, for three years. The weather and the beaches there were amazing. Yes, a few hurricanes passed close by, but for the most part it was three amazing years. We got to spend most of our free weekends at the beach, boating, or at the pool.
Thanks to military life I have life long friends all over the United States, and even around the world. Every duty station we moved to, I quickly made friends with other military wives. We bonded over similar PCS stories, deployment experiences, and our husbands having similar careers. I feel truly lucky to say I could go nearly anywhere in the United States, and I have a friend there thanks to being a military wife. I have friends stationed in other parts of the world as well. I even have a dear friend named, Trude, who lives in Norway. Even though I don’t get to see many of them anymore as duty stations and retirement have scattered us to the wind, we still have life long bonds. When I do get to see some of these friends we pick up right where we left off. I treasure all of these friendships and am so grateful for all the amazing women and families I had to privilege of knowing throughout my time as a military wife.
4. Resilient kids
Military life can be very difficult for kids. Even though it is hard, military life has helped mold my kids into the amazing people they are becoming. They are amazingly resilient. They had to move many times, experienced a number of deployments, and spent a lot of time apart from their dad, but they developed resiliency that not every kid gets to learn. They also learned kindness, compassion, and respect from being military kids. They know what it is like to be the new kid, so they are kind and accepting of new kids that come into their lives. They have experienced hard, sad times that make them compassionate for others. Respect is a must in the military world so it is something that they witnessed often and learned for themselves. Being military kids also allowed them the opportunity to travel and have experiences that a lot of kids never get to have.
It might not all be good or glamorous, but when focusing on the good parts of the military there are a lot of positive aspects to it.