Saturday, July 23, 2011

Five Questions-- Body and Mind (Kat)

Sometimes, in the craziness of military life, spouses will decide big changes are in order. Some go back to school, some repaint whole homes, some seek self-improvement in a search for something that they can control.

Beginning in early December 2010, Katherine W. decided to make some big changes. Since then, she has lost more than 40 pounds and reduced her body fat from 35% (morbidly obese) to 15%.

You can look at her progress on her fan page, which she created to show others that they can do amazing things if they put their minds to it. She has even competed as a body athlete, which requires great focus and dedication.

You can see other amateur and semi-pro athletes on Team Snappy Cow.

All this time, things were incredibly challenging for this military spouse. Her husband had an extremely serious head/neck injury during the training that would have prepared him for his fourth deployment, sending him home early in order to recover. She lovingly refers to him as "Captain Delicious" and says he's epic--

"I mean really, who else heals up so well after a broken neck that he charges back into combat because his soldiers are in danger? The man is captain america incarnate."

"All joking aside though, I'm really not anything special. I had to work around his schedule, around his surgeries, on a single income budget with all these kids running crazy. And if I can do it then anyone else can. And if they don't think they can, send 'em to me and I'll prove them wrong. My whole goal in life changed after this experience and I want nothing more than to show other military spouses and soldiers what amazing things they are capable of. I want them to believe in themselves the way I believe in them."

I think these words make her special. This is the kind of spirit that embodies strong women, and especially strong military spouses. There is so much that we face, so much that we endure, and still there is this indomitable spirit.

Five Questions--

1. What are five things you know now about military life that you wish someone had told you?

* That they can control every aspect of your life.
* Whenever you think, "they can't do that!", remember, yes they can.
* That there is no sadder and horrific sound than the seven gun salute.
* That the support you find in internet groups will sometimes be greater than the support you find from RL (real life) friends.
* That as awful as your PCM (Primary Care Manager) may be, if something happens to your soldier, they'll do everything they can to make sure he or she has the best.

2. What is the most important thing you'd like to tell new spouses?

Stay away from the commander. I don't care how unfair you think the schedule is, how much your spouse works or how many times he's had duty. Going to the commander will make his life worse and if things are that bad, your spouse knows how to access IG. Don't be "that wife".

3. What do you love the most?

Traveling to new places. Sometimes it seems like you're going someplace horrrible, but you'll find something to love eventually and by the time you PCS, you'll find yourself missing your last base.

4. What do you find the hardest?

Deployments of course. Having your soldier so far away and in danger, knowing there's nothing you can do to protect them and that you have to dig deep to find the person that you are capable of being, because you really do need to be everything to everyone at that point. But you'll find out quickly that your spine is made of steel, that if you cry in the shower your eyes don't puff up, and that you are far handier with a wrench than you ever thought you could be.

5. Tell me a story that sums up military life for you.

That sums up military life for me? Wow. During hubby's last deployment, we came down on orders for Fort Polk. We both breathed a big sigh of relief because he was deployed until three months after his report date. They'd have to cancel them and we had nothing to worry about. His dog got sick and he was sent home six weeks before that report date and we had to report after all. Six weeks to PCS from Europe to Louisiana is NOT easy, it was unexpected and disapointing, but we got it done and have had a reasonably positive experience here. Never ever think you know what's gonna happen in the army because it can change in an instant, so be ready for ANYTHING.

Do you know a military spouse with an interesting story or a unique outlook? I always welcome comments, too. Please share this blog (facebook, email, smoke signal) any way you can think of. :) Thank you!

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