Life as a military spouse is not all it’s cracked up to be. I actually saw a video the other day embracing how “awesome” being married to someone in the armed forces is… I don’t know who created that video, because that’s a load of bull.
Being a military spouse means getting that good morning kiss goodbye at 0430, or sometimes even earlier; it means sitting with dinner ready and getting cold because your husband told you they were getting released, so you started making dinner, and then “something” came up and his command made them stay late; it means missed holidays and birthdays. But it also means becoming even closer to your spouse because they are the only person you have; it means the feeling of bliss every time that your husband returns from deployment or even just an op; it means that you cherish every moment just a little more because in the blink of an eye it could be taken away from you for days, weeks, or months at a time.
Justin and I started off as kind of a cliché dual military couple. We met after we had both already been in for a little over a year, both very young in our career and living in the barracks. A civilian couple has the opportunity to spend time together, alone without a roommate or someone watching. A civilian couple has the luxury of being able to cook meals for each other and simply live in a space larger than the size of a walk-in closet. We didn’t get that — the first 7 months of our relationship were spent with roommates, eating every dinner out, and watching Netflix on a paper thin, plastic mattress that had been slept on by hundreds of other people before our time. So of course, there was only one option: get. fricken. married. So we did and it was the best decision of my life.
But Monday afternoon on a 72, courthouse wedding with my best friend and his, was not my dream. My parents were there, I didn’t have a big dress, there was no dancing or food (or booze), but he was all I needed at that moment in time. That “Monday afternoon on a 72, courthouse wedding”, little did I know, was about to start the hardest 7 months of my life: deployment.
I truly thought this was the hardest day of my life. I had to pack up my life and ship him off for the next maybe 6, maybe 9 months. I dropped him off to get on a bus, I drove home and watched his plane take off from the Walmart parking lot where I tried not to have a major breakdown.
What I didn’t know was that that day, was probably the easiest. He was still fresh in my mind, everything was still familiar.
Deployment is lonely, for both parties. It strains relationships to their very last ounce of what they have to give. But we made it. 7 months and we made it.
Now we get to spend the rest of our lives, or as long as he wants to stay in, listening to what the Marine Corps tells us to do. But we get to do it together and THAT is the best part of being a military spouse.