Monday, March 31, 2008

Military Mondays - Andrea in NV

Andrea recently got married and moved to Nevada from Texas. I have actually never met Andrea but her husband, John (USMC), is a good friend of mine and I feel like I know her since he talks about her alot! When I used to work in Key West, he would fly into town every now and spend alot of time using our equipment to run the missions. It's not everyday that you have controller that comes through that can hold an intelligent, witty conversation without talking about the wrestling match on tv last night or make a South Park reference. So we would always have a good time working together. And any wife of John's is a friend of mine. They got married in June and are on their way to Japan for the next few years. Here is what she has to say on Military Monday...

"Well, I am a new military wife. John and I got married in June of 2007, but in my few months of being married to a Marine, I have learned so much! I grew up near an Air Force base, and my mom has worked on the base for over 28 years, so I knew what I was getting myself into when I decided this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

Because I grew up around many military personnel, I thought I knew what to expect and I did, to a certain extent. Military life is completely different that civilian world. It’s almost too hard to explain to others who aren’t in it. Before we got married I never thought that I would have to think about trying to “schedule” when to have a baby around deployments. I didn’t know how often my husband would be gone, or the insane amount of hours he would work.

To most other wives, that is just a way of life, and I never thought I’d be one to get used to it, but it seems like I am starting to. I believe it takes an incredibly strong woman to be a military wife. Don’t take that the wrong way, I'm not tooting my own horn or anything, but it’s true. Not very many people consider “the wives”, or even the husbands left behind, for that matter, when they deploy overseas. When you think about it, it is the spouses who have to go on with their every day lives and take care of the household, the children, and whatever needs to be done in the absence of their husbands or wives who are gone for six months, a year, and even eighteen months at a time. That’s the part you don’t really think about when you say your vows. I have heard of so many divorces that happen for that reason.

I am quite fortunate to have not experience a deployment yet, but I can fully understand how difficult it must be.You kind of have to be an independent person to be married to the military. You are always away from your family, and your husband is gone quite a bit. There is no whining allowed! Now I am not trying to say you must be tough as nails all the time, but it seems as if a thicker skin is developed. Don’t get me wrong, I have shed my fair share of tears because I have missed my family, or for two whole weeks I was sleeping when my husband left for work, and sleeping when he got home; but it’s a part of the job. Being a military wife is a job in itself, but for the rest of my life, I am willing to accept it.

Speaking of being far away from family, we just found out we will be moving to Okinawa, Japan in July. After the initial shock of it, we are both thrilled that we are able to have this opportunity. I can’t wait to see if I take my own advice and develop tough skin being in a completely different country with different customs and an entire new language. This is a whole new ballgame! "

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