My Life as an Army Wife
Like most Chicken Soup books, this book is collection of stories written by military spouses who face the many challenges, fears, and anxieties of military life.
This book is a guide for military spouses separated by duty. Written by a military wife that was married to the army for 20 years. She shares her stories and practical advice for facing the demands of being separated by duty
This book gives a glimps into the many real life struggles army wives face.
What does it feel like to be an army wife?
When I first got married, three years ago, a friend of my mom's asked me how it felt to be an army wife. At the time I could not begin to fathom what it meant. I had read plenty of quotes and poems describing a military wife, but none of them seemed to fit me. I felt like I couldn't be as strong as the women described in those quotes poems and that there was no need to be that strong. At the time, I was looking at the first month of a fifteen month deployment and I had only been married for three months. It was my first trip back to my parents since getting married and everyone wanted to know why I didn't just move home for the duration of the deployment. When my mom's friend asked how it felt to be an army wife, all I could say was it feels normal, it feels like my marriage. I still hadn't come to terms with spending the next fifteen months without my husband. I had just found out that we were expecting our fist son and I was in denial of that as well. Being home made everything that had happened the last three months feel like a distant dream, like I had never moved away from home and that there was no way I was on my way to becoming somebody's mother.
Looking back now, I see that I just didn't understand what fifteen months was and all the things I was going to have to do by myself. When I finally got home, all of the things started to happening and I grew into an army wife, maybe not the one from all the poems and quotes, but one that had a better understanding of why they say, “when you marry a soldier you marry the army.”
A lot of things have changed in the three years since the beginning of that first deployment and now I am at the beginning of our second. This time it is only a year long and I realize that when I say only a year long, I am being optimistic that it goes by faster than the eighteen months my husband was home with me, something I did know the first time around. This time I have a paper chain with three hundred and sixty five rings in hopes of explaining to our two year old that daddy will be home when the chain is gone. I am also hoping that chain makes that two year old understand that when daddy comes home for R&R he will have to go back before he can come home to stay with us. This deployment is a whole knew ball game for me. I am not allowed to curl up in bed for a week to digest the fact that my husband is gone because my son needs breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and diaper changes, and a ride to gymnastics on Wednesdays. Our new son, who was barely five weeks old when my husband left, doesn't even let me have the night to fall apart and pull myself back together to face morning, and, to top it off, our two dogs need to go out and have breakfast and dinner and daily walks. It is safe to say, I do not really have a moment to think about how sad it is that my husband is going to miss our newborn's first laugh, first time rolling over, first time sitting, first solid foods, first time crawling, first time pulling himself up to stand, and most likely first steps. He has already missed his first Christmas and first New Year along with the opportunity to introduce him to the family with me, which was done during Christmas.
So to answer the question that I have now been asked countless times by my friends and family alike, what it feels like to be an army wife, it feels like nothing a person who has not been through it could imagine. It is a lonely life I live that is filled with more happiness and appreciation for what I have than most people could understand. I get to look at our children and see my husband in them every day and appreciate the fact that I get to see all their firsts and be home to spend my time teaching them. I have enough pride in me to make me cry. I am proud of my husband no matter how much I wish he would give up the army and live with us. I know he is doing what he thinks is right. He knows he is making the lives of other, less fortunate people, safer. I am angry because I know the people he is fighting to make safer are fighting back, making our little family unsafe. I am scared because there are times I do not hear from him for a week or more and I do not know if the next knock on the door is going to be the one that tells me he is not coming home or he will never be the same. Being an army wife is the same as being a roller coaster. When he comes, there is no better feeling in the world. It is being on the top of that hill, but I always know that in a short time I will have to let him go back and that there is no worse feeling than not knowing where he is or if he is safe, but I would never trade him for any normal husband because I live for the highs and know I can survive the lows. I am an army wife. I was not born that way, but I have found a way to make it me.
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