My husband and I began dating when he was enlisted in the Marine Corps… exactly eight months before he deployed for eight months. I was just a Marine Corps girlfriend. I didn’t have a ring. I wasn’t on the Family Resource Officer’s list. I was just the girl with her entire world hanging on every.single.phone call, email, or text he could manage. I felt committed to this man, fully, but we had no documentation to prove it. I cried. I prayed. I waited. I worried. I woke up at ridiculous hours to read emails from across the globe. I held on to the hope that he would come home safe, still as committed to me as I was to him.
*Spoiler alert- he did!*
That was seven years ago, almost to the day! We have been married now for five years and I want to take some time to shout out some appreciation for the Military Spouses… even if you’re NOT actually married.
This one is for all the people who wait.
You wait for them to text back.
You wait for them to graduate boot camp.
You wait for a letter in the mail.
You wait for the plane to touch down.
You wait for their commitment, their last name, their kiss.
You wait for the voice on the other end of the unknown number calling.
You wait to hug him after his mom and little sister.
You wait to hear news about him from third parties because you’re not next of kin.
I know there are plenty of women who take advantage of military men and the amazing benefits they can offer, but I’m not speaking to those people… I speak to the girls (and guys) who have fallen deeply, completely, irreversibly in love with someone who has chosen the life of the US Military. I speak to the people who won’t wear any jewelry except the dog tags around their neck. You are the almost-spouses who cry themselves to sleep at night wondering if you’ll even have the opportunity to become a USMC wife someday. The “can’t stop looking at my phone” women who have no social life because all of your friends are sick of hearing about how much you miss your boyfriend.
It Started in the Marines
My husband got out of the military before we got married, but our life started in the Marine Corps and gave us an incredibly strong foundation of communication, trust, and respect. We now have four children and he has joked about going back in, to which I always reply, “NO!” I take great pride in the strength we had to endure a deployment and him transitioning out into civilian life, but I wonder if I would be capable and strong enough to jump back in and live that life with our kids. The answer, even if it isn’t a happy one, is yes. I would do whatever it takes to support this man and we would figure it out.
The flexibility and resilience of a military spouse are what we should applaud every day. These men and women give up their homes, jobs, family, support systems, and more to be with their service member, and they do so without too much chagrin. They pack up their entire families and relocate more during a four year span than most civilians do in a lifetime. They go months without goodnight kisses and more holidays pass apart than together. These spouses should be admired for their sacrifices, even if they are too humble to accept or acknowledge it.
Military Spouses deserve an appreciation day without question- and I am grateful and proud of the men and women who stand and silently support our nation’s military.
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