Friday, August 26, 2011
Five Questions-- New Friend :)
Modern Army life is so different from anything our mothers or grandmothers got to experience. We can meet and learn from each other before we ever move to a new duty station, and suddenly this "new place" isn't so scary. I am so grateful for the chance to know, support, and learn from fellow Army spouses.
Jarita is just that type of new friend. We met on an Army Wives forum, and then when Facebook exploded we "friended" each other. Now she and her husband have PCSed close by, and I am so excited. I feel like I already know her. Even though virtual personalities are sometimes different from the way people seem online, their words and advice and attitudes still shine out through their posts and comments-- I can't wait to really meet her face to face.
Here are Jarita's Five:
1. What are five things you know now about military life that you wish someone had told you.
* Learn how to hook up a washer and dryer. Better yet, know how each tool in your husband's tool box works. Eventually it'll be YOUR tool box. You'll fix a lot while he is gone.
* Learn as many military acronyms as you can. At first it sounds like some secret code that everyone knows but you. Before long you'll be fluent. You'll see you will slip these every day acronyms into your daily conversations especially in your phone calls home.
* As soon as you unpack the last box in your garage two years after being at a certain duty station most likely your husband will bring home orders to PCS again.
* Learn your husband's rank, unit, commanding officer, or anything else that pertains to his job. That way when someone asks you what your husband does you'll be able to answer and not stare at them hoping the information will magically appear on their forehead. This happened to me when I first got married.
* You'll hear rumors that FRGs are drama-filled military wife gossip groups. This isn't always true though I have seen it in the past. Go in with an open mind and after a few meetings you'll know if it's right for you or not. You don't have to be active in an FRG to be a part of it either. Just make sure they have your information so you can be contacted with news, events, and information.
2. What is the most important thing you'd like to tell new spouses?
* Be independent. Military Spouse Life will be much harder if you are not. Build a life outside of your husband. If you don't you'll be lost when he is gone. Never be too proud to ask for help but be prepared to do most of it alone. Know that you have that strength in you.
3. What do you love the most?
* The opportunities to see different parts of the world and meeting new people.
4. What do you find the hardest?
* Starting over at a new duty station. Making new friends. Being the new wife on the block. I just remember to have an open mind.
5. Tell me a story that sums up military life for you.
* I have been an Army Wife for almost six years. In those six years I have had nine different addresses (that doesn't include months in furnished apartments or times in hotels). I have stood by my husband for two deployments and one full year in schooling for him to become a CA Operator. I've logged 13,500 miles of driving for three different moves from one side of the country to the other. I have had two children who have lived and moved from more places than any one we know back home.
It sounds like we lead a crazy life but it isn't. I am not crazy about the moving process but I love to move. I treat this life like an adventure. It's exciting and it feeds that adventurous spirit inside of me.
I do it because I support my husband and because I love him. There are times I get angry with how the Army does things or I get upset and miss home. It happens to all of us at times. I just take a big deep breath and remember that some things I can't control. I just take care of things I can.
I have watched my husband go from a private as a combat engineer to a staff sergeant as a civil affairs operator. I am incredibly proud of all he accomplished but I am even more proud of what I have accomplished. I have learned how to hook up a washer and dryer, I can unpack a house completely in a week (with a newborn and preschooler by my side while my husband is away for training), I have coordinated moves and moved our entire house while my husband was deployed, I can handle most anything without him, and of course I know how to use every tool in MY tool bag. I even have my own drill. I can't wait to see what we both accomplish in the next 13,000 miles!
Thank you, Jarita. Can't wait to meet for coffee or walks or... :)