As military spouses, we often find ourselves having to know a little something about practically everything at any given time. Or, at least, we have to know where to go to get that knowledge. In the old days, we either relied on the chain of command or on other spouses for any nuggets of wisdom to help make our lives easier. Thankfully, times have changed.
Being a Military Spouse is said to be the toughest job in the Military. It is a hard job and has big shoes to be filled. But it CAN be done. We hope you find this section helpful. Remember that you are not alone in all of this. Be proud that you are too one of the few.
What does it take to make a military marriage work? Between spending months apart, being uprooted every two years and dealing with his unique job pressures, life and love in the military can be exciting — but also overwhelming. “There are times that you just hope for a phone call or an e-mail from your loved one, and you are really scared,”
WHAT TO DO ABOUT BASIC TRAINING:
Learn about the military
“Educating myself was a huge help. I read everything I could find on programs that pertained to my husband. He bought me a book about pilots, and what their lives are like. This all helped me to be more understanding when he couldn’t call as often as we both hoped, or when we’d have to deal with last-minute travel changes.”
“Being a military spouse is not easy, but staying as positive as possible can really help you through it.”
Don’t “rank” friends or others
“Hold your head high no matter what your husband’s rank is. Each and every job is important. They depend on one another! When my husband and I move and meet new people, rank never ever comes into the picture. The friends we make are dear to us because of who they are in the inside, not what is on their shoulder or sleeve.”
“My favorite quote is, "Semper Gumby" Always Flexible.... We have to be. As an example, I had chosen a wedding date and planned our ceremony, but it wasn’t until 2 days before my birthday (which was 5 months prior) That’s when my husband came home.”
Learn when to compromise
“While all relationships are difficult at times and compromises have to be made, women should not compromise beyond their limitations to make the relationship work. There is a line between compromises you have to make because your boyfriend or husband is in the military, and compromises you are asked to make because of unfair expectations he expresses about a relationship. A woman dating a military man [or married to a military man] should be strong enough in her character to recognize that line.”
Make new friends, but keep the old
“Don’t turn your back on your old friends just because you have a new life. It will get harder to stay in touch, but the time you take to work at those friendships will pay off when you do get to go ‘home.’” i have my best friend of 10 years back home, and if i feel like there is o one who understands me, she ALWAYS has my back.
“When it’s time to move, I always make a folder with information I’ve printed from the installation’s Web Site. It’s filled with emergency numbers, command numbers, information on utilities, the claims office phone number, the inbound shipment’s phone number and more. Then, I throw in a couple of sheets of paper and a pencil. That way all the information we need is in one place.”
Separate the needs from the wants
“Make a checklist of things you’re going to want. Depending on how long your things will be in storage and where you’re moving, you may want or need seasonal items.”
Check the local news
“Find out if the newspaper from the area is online. You’ll be able to look up apartments or houses to rent, as well as jobs if you want to work. Most times you can have it emailed daily.”
“Ask your landlords for a written letter of recommendation. Keep the originals in your files, and make copies for potential future landlords. Be sure, also, to keep a list of their phone numbers, addresses and management company names for quick reference. You don’t want to lose out on a great place because you don’t have that information handy.”
THESE YES ARE WHAT MARINE WIVES LIVE BY…. this is what i lived by buT i do strongly believe that these can be used for any military spouse being that we all go through the same EXACT situations:
PLEASE TAKE THE FOLLOWING AND APPLY TO YOUR SITUATIONS AS YOU SEE FIT.
Marine Wife Prayer
Give me the greatness of heart to see,
The difference between duty and his love for me.
Give me understanding so that I may know,
When duty calls him, he must go.
Give me a task to do each day,
To fill the time when he’s away.
When he’s in a foreign land,
Keep him safe in your loving hand.
And Lord, when duty is in the field,
Please protect him and be his shield.
And Lord, when deployment is so long,
Please stay with me and keep me strong.
Ballad of a Marine Wife
Submitted by: Wendy
I wake in the mornin, runnin outa bed,
Chasin hungry babies and tryin to get em fed.
Get em ready for school, all dressed and set,
Haven’t forgotten anything yet,
Push em out the door so they won’t be late,
Gotta get one to daycare, and set the oldest one straight.
I sit back in my chair, run my fingers through my hair,
Wish you were here, but I know why you’re there.
Well the days gone without a hitch,
No sickly younguns, or excuses to pitch
Cattle are in, and the dogs are fed,
Kids bathed and tucked soundly in bed.
Dutch wonders where ya are and I tell her all I know,
It takes my breath away, when she says I miss my daddy so.
I crawl into bed, hold your ol shirt tight,
I smell ya like ya next to me and I somehow feel alright.
Some days are maddening and the world seems all-wrong,
Every hard thing happens and the radio plays every sad song.
Deep sighs and long cries don’t seem to ease the pain,
Then comes the weather with its never-ending rain.
What Military Wives Are Made Of
It was just another harried Wednesday afternoon trip to the commissary (grocery store on military bases). My husband was off teaching young men to fly. My daughters were going about their daily activities knowing I would return to them at the appointed time, bearing, among other things, their favorite fruit snacks, frozen pizza, and all the little extras that never had to be written down on a grocery list. My grocery list, by the way, was in my 16-month-old daughter’s mouth, and I was lamenting the fact that the next four aisles of needed items would wait while extracting the last of my list from my daughter’s mouth, when I nearly ran over an old man.
This man clearly had no appreciation for the fact that I had 45 minutes left to finish the grocery shopping, pick up my 4-year old from tumbling class, and get to school, where my 12-year-old and her carpool mates would be waiting.
I knew men didn’t belong in a commissary, and this old guy was no exception. He stood in front of the soap selection staring blankly, as if he’d never had to choose a bar of soap in his life. I was ready to bark an order at him when I realized there was a tear on his face.
Instantly, this grocery aisle roadblock transformed into a human…”Can I help you find something?” I asked. He hesitated, and then told me he was looking for soap.
“Any one in particular?” I continued.
“Well, I’m trying to find my wife’s brand of soap.” I started to loan him my cell phone to call her when he said, “She died a year ago, and I just want to smell her again.”
Chills ran down my spine. I don’t think the 22,000-pound Mother of all Bombs could have had the same impact. As tears welled up in my eyes, my half-eaten grocery list didn’t seem so important. Neither did fruit snacks or frozen pizza.
I spent the remainder of my time in the commissary that day listening to a man tell the story of how important his wife was to him — how she took care of their children while he served our country. A retired, decorated World War II pilot who flew missions to protect Americans still needed the protection of a woman who served him at home.
My life was forever changed that day. Every time my husband works too late or leaves before the crack of dawn, I try to remember the sense of importance I felt that day in the commissary.
Some times the monotony of laundry, housecleaning, grocery shopping, and taxi driving leaves military wives feeling empty — the kind of emptiness that is rarely fulfilled when our husbands come home and don’t want to or can’t talk about work.
We need to be reminded, at times; of the important role we fill for our family and for our country. Over the years, I’ve talked a lot about military spouses…how special they are and the price they pay for freedom too. The funny thing is; most military spouses don’t consider themselves different from other spouses. They do what they have to do, bound together not by blood or merely friendship, but with a shared spirit whose origin is in the very essence of what love truly is. Is there truly a difference? I think there is. You have to decide for yourself…
Other spouses get married and look forward to building equity in a home and putting down family roots. Military spouses get married and know they’ll live in base housing or rent, and their roots must be short so they can be transplanted frequently.
Other spouses decorate a home with flair and personality that will last a lifetime. Military spouses decorate a home with flare tempered with the knowledge that no two base houses have the same size windows or same size rooms.
Curtains have to be flexible and multiple sets are a plus. Furniture must fit like puzzle pieces.
Other spouses have living rooms that are immaculate and seldom used. Military spouses have immaculate living room/dining room combos. The coffee table got a scratch or two moving from Germany, but it still looks pretty good.
Other spouses say goodbye to their spouse for a business trip and know they won’t see them for a week. They are lonely, but can survive. Military spouses say good-bye to their deploying spouse and know they won’t see them for months, or a year, or longer. They are lonely, but will survive.
Other spouses, when a washer hose blows off, call Maytag and then write a check out for having the hose reconnected. Military spouses have to cut the water off and fix it themselves.
Other spouses get used to saying “hello” to friends they see all the time. Military spouses get used to saying “goodbye” to friends made the last two years.
Other spouses worry about whether their child will be class president next year. Military spouses worry about whether their child will be accepted in yet another school next year and whether that school will be the worst in the city…again.
Other spouses can count on spouse participation in special events…birthdays, anniversaries, concerts, football games, graduation, and even the birth of a child. Military spouses only count on each other; because they realize that the flag has to come first if freedom is to survive. It has to be that way.
Other spouses put up yellow ribbons when the troops are imperiled across the globe and take them down when the troops come home. Military spouses wear yellow ribbons around their hearts and they never go away.
Other spouses worry about being late for mom’s Thanksgiving dinner. Military spouses worry about getting back from Japan in time for dad’s funeral.
The television program showing an elderly lady putting a card down in front of a long, black wall that has names on it touches other spouses. The card simply says, “Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. You would have been sixty today.” A military spouse is the lady with the card, and the wall is the Vietnam Memorial.
I would NEVER say military spouses are better than other spouses. But I will say there is a difference. I will say, without hesitation, that military spouses pay just as high a price for freedom as do their active duty husbands and wives.
Perhaps the price they pay is even higher. Dying in service to our country isn’t near as hard as loving someone who has died in service to our country, and having to live without them.
God bless our military spouses for all they freely give.
When you enter into a lease agreement, be sure your lease has a military clause in it. This clause differs from state to state but generally allows you to break your lease under certain conditions because your soldier is in the military.
Typical clauses allow you to terminate your lease without penalty if any of the following occur:
1 – Your soldier receives a temporary duty assignment outside of the area for 60 days or more
2 – He separates from the military (ETS)
3 – He is killed in action or missing in action
4 – He receives orders for a permanent change of station (PCS)
Some landlords will let you add a clause that allows you to break the lease if you are offered military housing but this is uncommon.
Be sure that the military clause covers everyone who signs the lease. Some couples have run into problems when the landlord only let the military person out of the lease and would not let the Army spouse out of it. Be sure it is explicitly stated that the entire lease is cancelled and not just that the military service person is covered by the clause.
The housing office can help you with this if you are unsure of the wording of your lease. Do NOT sign without this clause. You never know when the Army may decide to move you and you do not want to be stuck with monstrous fees if you have to move. Also, if your spouse is deployed, this clause allows you to break the lease and move back home if you would like.
Most military clauses will require you to give a 30 day written notice. If you do this, you should be able to break your lease without penalty under the circumstances listed here. Be aware that if your lease requires certain things must be done when you move out (such as having the carpet cleaned), this is still required. The military clause does not exempt that requirement.