Where do I fit?

There are times when I just don’t know where I belong when it comes to being a military wife.

Meaning, I AM a military wife. That much I do know. But really what does that mean?

If it means my husband is in the military than I guess that I fit that criteria.

If it means my husband uses alphabet soup on a daily basis and I understand most of it, then yep I fit that.

If it means my husband has an “E” grade, well then I fit that one too. But I can’t help feeling that that is where it ends.

My husband is an active duty Guardsman; an active duty Air National Guardsman to be exact. He’s been active duty for about 4 years now and before that he was a drill status guardsman. When he first signed up I was pregnant with our son. All was fine and dandy and then we found out that he needed to go to a tech school, he would be gone for 60+ days and he would have to leave exactly 1 month after our son was born. It was a very hard time for me, one that I think about now and still tear up over. But I survived, and I tried to keep my husband updated about our son as much as I possibly could. Whether it meant daily pictures or just an email describing 5 week olds first smile. I knew it was my job to make sure he knew he was on our minds every second of every day. I tried in earnest to keep my fears, sadness, and failures to myself.

And when our time apart was up, I was the first person in his arms when finally exited the gate area of the airport.

I feel extremely fortunate that that is the longest taste of deployment we have ever had to endure. Perhaps, that’s way I feel displaced amongst other military wives.

I read posts about 18 month deployments, cross country moves, and even going through childbirth alone. And I can’t relate to any of it.

Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying that I wish I could relate to all of that, I’m just trying to find my place.

proud air force wifeMaybe, I’m just trying too hard. Maybe I need to just focus on the things that I can relate to when it comes to military wives. Maybe instead of focusing on what it means to be a military wife I need to focus on what MAKES a military wife.

If a military wife is a strong supporter of her husband, that’s me.

If a military wife defends her husband and his choice to be in the military at all costs, that’s me.

If a military wife stays strong when her husband is gone (even if for just 60 days), that’s me.

If a military wife is the first in her husbands arms at any accomplishment he procures, that’s me.

And above all, if a military wife can’t help but tell everyone what their husband does and how proud they are of him, than that’s me.

I guess we’re not that different after all.

Comments

  1. I’m not a military spouse, but we are State Dept … and this post hits close to home as my husband just left today for a year tour in Iraq…. and all so we could leave our last posting in India.

    Like you I’m quite proud of my husband, his work, and I always stand beside him … though until recently I couldn’t understand how someone could do this. How a husband could do an unaccompanied tour and how I should just accept it.

    However, after our horrible 2 year tour overseas… I now understand. And encouraged it. It’s definitely not something everyone can relate to … but I’m now ‘getting it’. Sort of. Ask me again in about 4 months.

    • Tina Kelley says:

      When my husband first joined I learned that all deployments would be voluntary. Once we started having kids I made him promise that he wouldn’t deploy somewhere overseas.
      It wasn’t until I realized the deflated look on his face and had him tell me that he was eager to travel and see the world and that it was his hope that we would be able to go with him on some of the deployments that my mind started to change.

      He now has the green light to accept a deployment if once comes up. Of course like you, ask me how I feel when he actually takes one.

      I wish you all the best in your next 53 weeks. I’m betting that you will surprise yourself.

  2. You are so amazing!! After such great talks at EVO and this great post, I wanted to tell you, you are inspirational! As a mom, a wife, and even a blogger!!

    Thank you for sharing!!
    Pepper´s last blog post ..Recording my Youth- 5th Grade

    • Tina Kelley says:

      I think I must be severely emo tonite! I’m bawling like a baby over here!

      Thank you so much for your wonderfully sweet words. I know I’ve said it before but that Saturday night was so great and I’m glad we decided to head back to our room early and just chillax and bond. *HUGS*

  3. I admire what you’re able to do. Being a military wife must be difficult, especially with extended separations. My 20-year-old daughter lives in England, and that’s hard for my husband and me – even though we talk to her every day. But my husband actually worked out of our home, so we were lucky to always have him around. You truly have my respect.
    Deb Chitwood @ Living Montessori Now´s last blog post ..Activity of the Week – Walking on the Line

    • Tina Kelley says:

      Thank you very much.

      Like I said I’m very fortunate. My husband works just 30 minutes away and typically he only travels for conferences or training. I would love for him to have the opportunity to travel somewhere he’s never been. (But not for long.. lol)

  4. I get it…I was a military wife for over 20years. One thing I did not have to deal with was separations for a long periods of time. Hubby went to Korea for a one year unaccompanied tour, However I do go visit for 3 months. We had other separations but they were not that long and I was able to be with him most of them. I think Today’s military is very different. Most tours are overseas where the wife can not go. Hubby was both Enlisted and an officer. Going to the OCS school half way through his duty. I always felt different because of it. Looking back I think I was just a good wife to a military man. I really never fit into the officer wives group. I still consider myself a military wife even through hubby is retired. Being a wife is the same weather he is in the military or not. However the Military can grow a better marriage if you let it. The things you go through together strengthen your bond to each other. I really am indebted to the military for making my marriage what it is today.

    • Tina Kelley says:

      I love your comment.. “However the Military can grow a better marriage if you let it.” I couldn’t agree more. In the 2 months my husband was gone after our son was able to find a strength in myself that I didn’t know was there.

  5. What an awesome military wife you are. I think you nailed it on what it really means to be a military wife. And for you to be able to be without your husband for 60 days is AMAZING to me. My husband has been out of town for a week and I’m dying for him to get home.

    Great post and I think you have found your “niche” 🙂

    • Tina Kelley says:

      LOL.. my husband has been gone for 10 days and I’m going a little nutso also! 🙂

      Thank you so much for your kind words.. this challenge is really socking it to me!

  6. I TOTALLY get what you mean. We’re AGR – Army Ntl Guard. You have active duty status, but you’re still Guard. You don’t really fit in with the families whose soldiers are only M-Day soldiers, and you don’t really fit in with active duty either because the Guard is a whole different monster. We live in this weird state of limbo. I think it would help if the DoD would recognize the Reserve Components and their families for what we do and stop treating us like gum on the bottom of their shoes. This has been one of my main complaints during my 10 years as a milspouse.
    Amanda´s last blog post ..The MyCAA Program is Coming Back snort

    • Tina Kelley says:

      It is definitely a strange environment.

      I have noticed that although the government may not fully recognize the service of National Guardsman and their families, communities do. But even at this I fall into a different category because my husband will deploy voluntarily (unless the end of the world occured.)

  7. I know nothing about being a military wife, but this post tells me you know where you fit in!
    Erica´s last blog post ..Why yes- I do drool over cameras Pictures too

  8. Geek.Girl.Wife says:

    Former military wife. Hubby got his honorable a few years back. Yep, I can relate. Great post.
    Geek.Girl.Wife´s last blog post ..SHEROES Series- Lessons On Power And Strength From Buffy- The Vampire Slayer

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