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When thinking “Army” or any branch of military service, most civilians think war, deployments, and foreign countries. Most of the time the realities of the military lifestyle go unnoticed thanks to social media and the way the armed forces are portrayed. As the wife of a United States Army soldier, I’m here to set the record straight... or at least retell my experiences for those who have wondered, and those who share their life with the military. Throughout this little article, I’d like to address the fact that I make sacrifices just like my husband.
I married my wonderful husband and shortly after discovered that we were expecting our first child. This news came as a complete shock, and if I’m honest... it was quite terrifying. My husband deployed to Poland three days afterward. Now, most people think that he has it bad because he’s in a foreign country defending our home and freedoms and I do not wish to take anything away from the bravery of our armed forces... but I also feel like I’m brave. I feel like a soldier too. Marching to every doctor appointment alone, braving frightening new milestones as the months go by... This is no easy feat. Granted, there’s no threat of bullets or attacks, but I am an overly emotional pregnant woman! Every day obstacles have become life altering issues, and I am holding down the fort here on the homestead so that my husband can do his job without extra stress.
Another thing that I have come to accept as a sacrifice is my time. My husband leaves for physical training most days by 5:00 a.m., and tends to be kept late into the afternoons. I have become accustomed to text messages that read “I’m sorry sweetheart, they’re keeping us late today.” Marriage in and of itself is a hard thing to tackle day by day, and sharing my husband with the military is a huge task some days. We cannot take vacation spontaneously, nor can I visit him at work. I have sacrificed what social media has led me to believe is a “perfect relationship” for a real one. One that requires extra effort. Being an Army spouse has taught me many things, but most importantly? It has taught me to value my time. My husband and I never take our moments together for granted. Every minute I have with him is a gift because I know that his phone could ring any moment, sending him back to his duties. I am grateful for every night I get to tuck away into bed with my spouse beside me.
Being married to a soldier has also taught me that change is inevitable. With moving every three years, the military lifestyle has taught me to be malleable. I am capable of putting down roots anywhere, despite my length of stay. As a military spouse, I have sacrificed longterm stays in every state we have and will live. I have sacrificed making friends for fear that I’ll be up and say before the relationships have time to develop. I have sacrificed, but I have gained. There are none more supportive or giving than the people I have met during my time as a military wife. I have never met so many people willing to cook a meal, offer a ride, or simply offer a phone call. We are often moved to a new location too soon to settle down, but we are never without friendships.
The military lifestyle is not an easy path to take, whether it be serving as a soldier or as a spouse. It is heartbreaking, stressful, painful even.. but I have not found anything more rewarding or fulfilling. I want to give thanks to all of our serving Americans: Soldier, spouse, family member. Life is full of give and take. I am proud to be a part of something bigger than myself, and I would gladly do it over.