I wrote a blog post once about what deployment is really like. In that post, I talked a little bit about the contrast between civilian and military life.
Friday, I had another “We’re not civilians, anymore” moment when I got a mid-day call from my husband.
Before I tell you about it, let me give you context on our life at the moment:
- We arrived in Germany in May 2013 after about 1.5 years at Fort Carson, most of which my husband spent training for or on a deployment.
- Our first baby is due any day.
- We’re moving again in either April or May to another duty station in Germany.
- We don’t yet know how long we’ll be in that assignment — just that it’s a minimum of 1 year.
- While we’re there, he’ll be up for in-the-zone promotion to the next rank. (He’s currently up for below-the-zone.)
- If he makes below-the-zone promotion, our next step will involve a career course in about 14 months.
The phone call went something like this:
Him: “Hey there!”
Me: “What’s up?”
Him: “Well, I have one question and a couple of things to run by you. First, the question: there’s no baby yet, is there?”
Me: “Hahahahaha. No, no baby yet.”
Him: “Okay, good! Well, the other thing is that I just found out that I have to submit my career course preferences…And they’re due today.”
Him: “I have to give them my top five choices, so I was hoping to share what I’ve got with you to make sure that you don’t have any objections.”
Me: “Okay, what’ve you got?”
He gave me a list of and rationale for five preferences that ranged in length from 10 to 12 months, and that ranged in location from the Midwest to Ireland.
Me: “I don’t have any objections. At this point, I sort of feel like we’re going to get to live in all kinds of strange places before your career is done.”
Him: “Really? You’re good with the list?”
Me: “Yep, sounds good to me. Thanks for running it by me before you submitted it.”
Him: “Okay, great! I’ll see you tonight. Love you!”
Me: “Love you, too. Have a good afternoon.”
This entire conversation took exactly 4 minutes.
Welcome to Life Married in the Army.
I know where we live right now, and I know what town we’re moving to in a few months. I don’t know how long we’ll be there, where we’ll live when we get there, or where we’ll go next. In essence, I have a view into the future that becomes very foggy any further out than 12 months.
In the Army, we move when we’re asked to move, and at some stages in a soldier’s career, those moves are more frequent.
I can chose my stresses, and some things aren’t worth stressing about. One of my approaches to managing military life is not to worry too much about where we’ll be more than 8-12 months out from where we are now. It’s a pragmatic approach, and it’s one that can prevent a lot of emotional ups and downs.
When the official orders come through, we’ll make our remaining plans. Until then, we’ll welcome our baby girl and enjoy our last few weeks at our current duty station.
In the civilian world, a conversation about moving your family to one of four different states or a foreign country would probably be one you’d have face-to-face. Also, it would probably take more than four minutes. 😉
In the Army, I’m just thankful that I got a phone call. During deployments, spouses aren’t always so lucky.
And you know what? It’s all okay. It’s not big or dramatic or honestly even exciting. It’s just another day being married to an officer who’s at a stage in his career where we need to be able to go where the Army sends us. And as cheesy as it sounds, as long as we’re together, I’ll make the best of wherever that is.
Can you relate? Have there been points in your spouse’s career when you’ve moved more frequently? Leave a comment and share with other spouses what your experience has been like.