Wednesday, January 19, 2011

You Know, The People You Never Think About...

Lately I can't stop thinking about the people that most of you never think about. I can't help it.

My past has been haunting me like no end... in a good way... in a nostalgic sort of way. A sad..." I can't believe that part of our life is over" sort of way.

Did you know I was a military bride?

Did you know I married a new soldier?

I never had a honeymoon.

1 day after our wedding Hubby had to report to the local recruiting station for volunteer work.

8 days after our wedding our 1987 white Volvo 240 was packed to the gills with our life possessions and we left home.

800 miles away.

Our first road trip. But we didn't care. We were together. After months of being pulled apart. I was now His and I went wherever he would go. I would have followed him to the ends of the earth and back if only it meant we didn't have to be apart anymore.

Military life is a very different life. A life no one else understands. That's why the bonds between spouses and friends are so strong.

We lived in a hotel for 6 days and waited for base housing. We were oh so young. 19 and barely 20. To our surprise 90% of enlisted men and their spouses were that age as well. Did you know that? The men and women protecting your country are THAT young. We were all far from home. We were married young. Most had similar stories like ours.

Boyfriend joins the Military. Miss each other like crazy and before long, the justice of the peace marries another couple. They are whisked away to military-land. Children in love thrown into a world full of hard adult problems.

We lived in an empty home. No money and no furniture but we didn't care. Looking back now, those were some of our best times. We hung out with other couples, dated (finally) worked and enjoyed each other.

We were lulled to sleep every night by f-16's flying over our head and we all screeched into our driveways as fast as we could and threw ourselves thru the front door of our home before Retreat began playing. If you were outside while it played you had to stop.

So young and so in love. So innocent by what we were surrounded by. I would watch the news in fear. Every phone call was one ring closer to him being called away. It happened often. I would cry for days and say goodbye to the man I loved the most. Never knowing where he was or when he would return until I got the phone call.

During deployment time we would hold each other at night and I would cry. I would hear the jets leave and know that jet was carrying husbands away. I knew the next jet I heard would be hubby's... we just waited for his number to be called.

Us wives stuck together. Eating dinner together, sleeping over each others houses and managing household problems together.

"How do you handle your babies night terrors?" I would ask...

"Oh don't worry, once daddy comes home they go away. You'll get used to them and so do they...." was a common answer.

Husbands drank. alot. A real lot deal with being away from home.

Wives had a hard time adjusting to the husbands being home once they returned.

We saw so much during those years. Such sadness. Such brokenness.

Young couples who could not handle the stress and life of military-la la-land.

Could you blame them? When all the odds are thrown against you... how could anyone make it thru?

All of our friends are divorced now. Many never made it past the first 4 years of enlistment. Some cheated, some ran back home because living this life was too much to handle , some just fell apart. A few passed away...

I thank God hubby and I made it thru. It was such a special time in our life. A very hard life but it created who we are today. Our foundation was built on solid rock. In a world where civilians didn't understand and all we had were each other, we built a trust and a faith that could never be shaken.

So, tonight. I am thinking of all those young women who kissed their husbands goodbye and go to bed alone each night.

I can't help thinking of the worry they face every single day. The tears they cry. And the loneliness they share.

I see them in their base housing rocking their babies to sleep... wishing their husbands could see their sweet childs face.

I have been there. I have walked in those shoes. They left marks that will never go away.

I will pray for them. I will pray for all those brand new military brides who are so happy to finally be with her soldier. Hopefully the innocence she has now will not crumble when reality hits. I pray she is strong for the road that lay ahead of her.

I hope you will remember them as well. Pray for them. They are so young...

Do I wish we were still in??

Some days I do. Its how we started married life. Its how we work, even 11 years later... who we are is based on that.

But I don't want to ever say goodbye and feel like that again.

Tonight I will hold my hubby tight. I will hold him for all those thousands of women who can't...


  1. Always love to see the truth about our young military. It's a hard life. what a great post.
    My brothers best friend did not make it back from the war and left a wife and 2 beautiful children behind, one he never got to meet.
    People forget to easily how young they are and what there going threw. :)Mae

  2. IT's late while I am reading this and I am thinking of my lil sis.She to is a young army wife(her husband is much older and been in before)He chose this again after they married to support her BUT the sad thing is they just married last year and she is alone and scared BC he left her.I feel so scared for her and I don't know how to tell her BC I don't care for her husbands actions about joining to support her.Emotionally and physically they could have made it doing something else.I don't believe he should have joined again.
    Blessings and prayers

  3. This is a wonderful post. My brother is currently in Afghanistan. He is not so young though....he joined the Marines at 28, something he always wanted to do but never did. He decided if he did not join it would be his life's regret and so with our blessings, he did. He left behind a girlfriend to go to Quanitco for Officer's Training. That girlfriend became his wife last year while he was waiting for his deployment. They eloped and did not have a honeymoon. Unexpectedly she became pregnant and gave birth while he was away. His child is three months old and has never met his Daddy. We hope my brother is home late this spring. It is a hard choice, a hard life. I am happy for you that your marriage was strong enough to endure the trials and stresses of military life. I am grateful for you husband's service.

  4. Jamie- Thank you for your honesty. Its so hard to see a loved one go thru something that you have no control over. Living a civilian life after being in the military so long is hard, so I can understand why he re-enlisted. The military DOES have some benefits (believe it or not) health care with no deductibles and no co-payments, gi bill, va loan. If it weren't for hubbys VA loan, we would have never gotten our Little Red House which I love so much.
    Im so proud of your brother in law for choosing to serve our country and I will keep your sister in prayer that she finds great friends and connections to get her thru this tough time.

  5. Thank you for sharing this.

    Sometimes on the news I see the men leaving, their families kissing them good bye, holding on as long as they can. I can't even imagine how hard that it. I have a hard time when my husband goes back to work on Monday!

    I will keep them in my prayers, thank you for the reminder.

  6. Such a lovely post...

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