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The Young Bride's Guide to the USMC
Before I said "I Do"...
I had never expected to be in the position I am in currently (do any of us?). I am lucky in that I can truly say that I married my best friend; having had a six year relationship before we even became a couple gave us a strong foundation for our marriage. Even so, no one could have prepared me for this role.
Of course, my then-boyfriend informed me that he had enlisted with the Marine Corps, but really, I had no idea what that meant. But, a few months later, I was learning, and very quickly.
The Next Few Months...
...were most definitely some of the hardest I've ever experienced. Not only were we a new couple, but we were also 600 miles apart. Thirteen weeks separated, with no communication, except for the precious few letters we were able to send. No phone calls, no emails. There were days when I struggled with whether or not the relationship was even worth this sacrifice. I was surrounded by our friends who were able to enjoy their significant others' presence. But my guy was surrounded by Drill Instructors and sand fleas. I was able to do anything I wanted, when I wanted, whereas he was living in a nightmare. But, as I wrote to him once, this was all temporary. I just had to keep reminding myself.
Yes, I'd say we're overall 'happy'. But, boot camp wasn't the only sacrifice we both had to make. There was (and still is) much more training that he had, that obviously meant more time apart. Fortunately, during the Christmas season, the training facility closed, and all Marines we allowed to go home and visit family. It was during these brief two weeks we decided to not wait any more than we had to and get married. Really long story short, there was more than just signing a marriage certificate involved. The red-tape and paperwork to list me as his dependent was beyond tedious...but worth it.
He's still training, usually gone for twelve hours, sometimes longer. But guess what? He comes home to me every night. We spend the weekends together. The sacrifices now? We're stationed 2,000 miles from our family and friends. And there is still the impending doom, that dreadful word...DEPLOYMENT.
Marriage is hard work. Military marriage is twice as hard. It's not just a matter of cleaning his dirty socks and what-to-make-for-dinner, but where we might find ourselves in a few months, and will his orders change without warning. Not to mention all of the things that I don't know, again, I'm still learning in in's-and-out's.
Even so, throughout what we've already experienced, the uncertain future, and the obvious hardships, this relationship is worth it. Being married to the USMC is worth every minute.