When we were in Germany, the Military was pretty much all around us. There was no way to escape it. From where I shopped to where I lived to who my friends were. All Military, all the time. I could never quite relate to people who were married to a service member and yet didn’t feel so Military spouse like. It was all just who I was and what I was a part of.
Then we moved back to the United States, decided to live off post and four years later I feel a little differently. My life isn’t all Military all the time anymore. My kids go to school off post, we go to church off post, we have friends that are not in the Military and some who have never been in the Military. I only shop on post once or twice a month and I don’t really depend on the post for all of my needs. My husband goes to work, some days are longer than others but then he comes home to our civilian house.
As we look ahead to leaving the Army altogether I am not sure what it will be like. What will I feel when I know longer have access? When I am no longer apart of the Army wife “club?” When I no longer live that life?
I have had people tell me that it was so hard to not be a Military spouse anymore when their husband left the Military. Most of the people who have said this to me married into the Military or became a Military wife at 18-20 years of age. Some even grew up in the Military as well. The Military life is all they have ever known. I can see why leaving it would be a very big change.
I am not saying I won’t be sad or miss it or wish we were back in sometimes. I just think it is a little different for me. I was not raised in the Military and didn’t even know much about it until I was 26. My husband and I had about three years of married life before he joined. I think it will be different at first, I think it will be difficult but I think it will also just be a chapter in our lives that came to a close.
I don’t feel like my sole identity is being an Army wife even though I have been one for 8.5 years. Yet at the same time I know my husband’s time in the Army was more than just a job. It was a lifestyle and soon we will be living a different lifestyle. I have learned a lot over the last few years and I know this time has made me a much stronger person. For that I am very grateful.